Under the kilt: Tough love or rough love?

Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Stripped down and vulnerable? Or confident and ambitious? These are the questions that people are burning to know when they get into a relationship with a significant other. Believe it or not, there is a great division of those who prefer their mate to be one or the other. We’ve seen relationships perpetuated through the media by movies such as “50 Shades of Grey,” which emphasizes the spontaneity and thrill of a BDSM (Bondage, domination, sadism and masochism) relationship. We know that it makes for an entertaining watch, but does that acknowledge its poignancy just because it looks appealing for one on-screen couple? Is it true that the only way to have an enduring relationship is to employ the usage of gimmicks and tricks to keep your mate entertained? Unfortunately with society, it’s never that cut-and-dry.

Everyone loves to create and mold things to their own liking. Having the ability to exhibit control over tantalizing situations boosts people’s egos exponentially. A survey I conducted with 20 UCR students shows that 14 of them desired to be with someone who exemplified qualities related to ambition and confidence.The six people who responded about wanting their significant other to be “vulnerable and stripped down” are no exception to this statement. I was very intrigued to find out that people actually wanted someone who had little conviction and ability to think for themselves. Turns out that some people like having the power to control other people, especially when their lives are going to be intertwined.

Johnny Chang, a third-year engineering major, said, “I don’t think it’s wrong if I want my girlfriend to be a little timid and unaware. I mean, I want to be that guiding figure for the both of us. That way, we both know what we want out of the relationship.” Christian Grey from “50 Shades of Grey,” has a similar disposition and wanted complete control over what was going on in his romantic interactions and social environment. Some people don’t have the ability to relinquish control when they enter a relationship and desire to be in charge even if it’s at the expense of their significant other.

Is chivalry dead? Not to everyone at least. There are some people who still enjoy pleasing their significant other with pleasant gestures like a surprise dinner date at a favorite restaurant or sporadic gifts. Random and recurring acts of kindness have worked well for many relationships and serve as the source of happiness for them. Brittany Nuestro, first-year biology major, states, “I will always enjoy having a partner who knows their worth and has self-respect. It’s just inspiring.”

You don’t have to put on a facade and exhibit jerk-like behaviors to lure someone into a relationship. Being honest and candid should always be a method when beginning to know someone because having a friendship first and foremost will more than likely lead to a successful relationship. “If someone doesn’t treat themselves right, how can they extend that hand to someone else?” Tiffany Vu, first-year chemistry major, remarked after being surveyed.

Despite how much control you may want to exhibit over your relationship, limits must still be taken into consideration as well. When engaging in sexual intercourse or conduct, you must ask for consent before going onward. Consent does not mean a subtle head nod or mumble: Both parties must verbally agree with an actual coherent sentence. By using that definitive method you can avoid any troubles that may arise post-sex and stay away from the abuse lane.

Grey took the first steps and actually wrote up a BDSM contract for his mate to sign in “50 Shades of Grey,” and expert Stephanie Jones, as reported by People magazine, corroborates that written or verbal consent should be sought out before engaging in sexual acts. Grey, however, wronged as soon as he didn’t cease sexual conduct and began inflicting pain on his partner. There is a fine line between intimate sex and abuse. Don’t cross it by assuming your partner is feeling no pain. Physicality isn’t the only component of sex. Communication should always be a salient tool because it is how you get the message across to your partner of how you’re feeling. If you aren’t adamant about the pleasure or pain you’re feeling they’ll figure nothing is wrong.

People enter a relationship and don’t understand how important it is to take precautions. Sex is a very complicated ordeal and people often downplay the severities of its consequences. You must always do everything in your power to ensure comfort for your partner. Wonderful things can come from being sexually inclined but always remember that there are multiple parties being exposed in this situation. Your comfort and pleasure isn’t interchangeable with your mate’s and thinking so is a grave mistake. Playing a little rough underneath the sheets can be rewarding, but consulting with actual journals and documents will lead you to a secure sex life.

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