Sexual power signals
All sexual couples have a unique power balance and maintaining that balance can be vital for the health and duration of that relationship A lot depends on the complementary nature of this balance, but even this is more complex than it sounds . Let's say one side has areas of dominance over the other In this scenario the man takes nominal control socially and also dominates around the house, choosing the TV programs, sorting the finances, and doing all the heavy jobs . The female is more compliant except during sex, where she tends to be dominant She's also very much in charge with the kids
If this arrangement works it might work on one or both of two levels . It works on a superficial level if both parties perform the roles This would make it complementary If they're both happy with those roles then you're looking at sexual power heaven But then comes a problem Is one of those parties only performing their role because they want a quiet life? Are they really miscast? Or what if one or both change over time? If the man's only being alpha because he feels it's expected of him or the woman's only acting compliant because it decreases conflict, then that partner is going to feel suppressed for most of his or her adult life or they're going to split and go elsewhere to find a more desirable fit Or they might stay in the relationship and have an affair that expresses their true dominance-versus-compliance nature
The gossip columns are littered with celebrities who split with their partners because the balance of power ceased to work As threatening as sexual affairs and spells in rehab might be to a celebrity marriage, it's the status imbalance that is usually the deal-breaker
To look at their photos and TV fly-on-the-wall programs, Victoria and David Beckham seem to be in a continual state of manageable flux status-wise When they got engaged it was so obviously Victoria who was the bigger star, with the Spice Girls being mobbed while David walked behind in relative anonymity Then David turned soccer hero and overcame his diffidence in front of the cameras to pose for several key advertising campaigns and fashion spreads Victoria's career dipped and she was suddenly expected to become a camp follower . Having children probably restored the balance, but whenever there's a lull in the family producing there always seems to be news that Posh wants to reboot her career Their body language signals seem to have evolved to cope with these huge status fluctuations While David is always seen in the very traditional alpha role, walking in front with a serious frown and puffed chest while Victoria totters behind him looking fragile, allowing herself to be towed by David as though he's in charge of all the steering and decision-making, when they're seen working a room it's Posh's very decisive controlling hand gestures around his neck or on his shoulder that place her firmly in the driving seat . This face-saving role-share appears to work for these two
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