WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SEX AND POWER?
Sex and power are the same thing. Both sides want to be conquered and to conquer. They’re equitable, often interchangeable terms. They’re also cyclical terms; one follows the other.
Embracing the full gamut of sexuality can be a powerful thing. Whether that means recognizing you’re not as straight as you thought you were, or if you’re a powerful person in your everyday life and maybe want to be tied up and whipped a little.
As an actor, there are two things that help me discover a character: their sense of humor” and their sexuality. The type of sex a character is having is just as telling as what they find funny because it's so raw. It's also important because of the way our society treats it, so it defines the character's relationship to the world. For the role I’m playing now (in Man From Nebraska), figuring out her sexuality has been a big key in terms of unlocking who she is.
I think once you're involved with gender politics you're involved in sex and sexuality and sex-having and sex talk, because there's so much talk about who you're going to have sex with. We've spent a lot of time talking about what men are gonna to do sexually to us... and I think we're all ready to hear what we're gonna do to them.
I think of myself as a very powerful person, but the sexual power is something I don’t wield.
I don’t like wielding power against partners or people I’m engaging with sexually. Rather, I stay defensive until the relationship feels truly comfortable. Then, when that happens, (good) sex is more about the release of power. Admitting there are feelings and being vulnerable. I’m very capable of having sex and admitting no vulnerability. There are people I’ve had sex with who know me as less vulnerable than work acquaintances. But it wasn't great sex!
Professionally, whenever I’ve had the opportunity to wield sexual desire to gain power, I couldn't do it. In a professional context, fucking someone takes your power away because it complicates an otherwise rational negotiation. There are two power struggles at once. The one who wants to fuck you is going to give you what you want… until they fuck you. So if anything, I would hold off on getting sex involved until after business is done, and our heads are clear.
I struggle with my own sexuality and relationship power.
Literally called “one of the guys” during my formative years, I prided myself on not having a sexuality. Where I feel powerful now is where I’m active and casting off sexuality and sex. When I’m getting down and dirty and active at work and doing everything the boys can do.
In so many ways, sex and power are connected. I don’t even know where to start.
Being in touch with my sexuality, embracing it, and being empowered by it is inherent to my confidence and strength. There’s a lot of power in sexuality. It’s mystical and magnetic. It draws others near you and draws you to others. And along with that, it gives you a real power source within yourself. A lot of my self-confidence is linked to my feelings of sexual power. It’s interesting to feel that sense of self dampened when, for instance, your vagina is not feeling great.
And it’s not about being pretty. Sexuality is part of our personal charm, which is how we get through the day. I ride on good vibes and a smile for lots of things. And self-confidence is a big part of that. If your self confidence is--and I believe it is--inextricably linked to your sexual power, then people can be sexy no matter what they look like. That’s why sexiness and looks aren’t connected.
A big issue I still struggle with--in both my career and in bed--is that I don’t want to bother anyone. To pursue something just for pleasure and personal satisfaction… I find that so hard. But the thing about power is it's necessary to be unapologetic about what you want, and to go after it.
I’ve had conversations with friends, who are willing and happy to give guys blow jobs forever, but would rather DIE than ask their men to go down on them. They feel like ASSHOLES. We have so many excuses for why we can't make demands of our partners: “Go down on me now, 20 minutes please.”
This image of needing to validate a man who is going down on you, by making noises or also giving them a handsy--that is a METAPHOR for all women in life.
The connection is people. We construct relationships based off sexual interactions and establish sexual play by testing power boundaries. Sex is innate to our nature, and sexuality comes in many forms, as do people. While the connection between sex and power is basic human nature in its most primitive state, it is in our daily lives to move up and down the socially constructed power ladder. We cannot stray too far off from how we are wired.
These three key themes have been interlaced throughout the span of human history, and we cannot talk about sex, sexuality, and power, without mentioning our infinite quest for love. As a storyteller, I believe we cannot build human relationships without different types and forms of love. It is the building block, the foundation of our lives, and our work.