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Dr. Berman says that nearly 60 percent of all women share Debra's fantasy of being overpowered. "They like the idea of being so gorgeous and seductive that he just can't stand it," she says. "And they like giving him complete control because they don't have to feel guilty. ... Women are so crazed and busy and stressed, [sex is] one time that they can just totally give up."

Dr. Berman says a woman's need for control can be a factor in a diminishing sex life. "We're ordering him around and telling him what to do and controlling everything in the household, and then we wonder why we're no longer attracted to him," she says. "It's hard to be attracted to a man that you don't see as powerful and competent and equal to you. If you see him like a child, you're not going to be attracted to him."

Sharing sexual fantasies doesn't always include acting them out, but in Tom and Debra's case, Dr. Berman suggests they try experimenting with domination. First, Tom and Debra go to an erotica shop together to buy props. Dr. Berman also suggests that they go on a "surrender date" where Debra will surrender to all of Tom's decisions—what to wear, where to go and what to do.

For their surrender date, Tom chooses Debra's outfit and a restaurant for dinner without consulting Debra, and Debra has a hard time releasing control. "Surrender is not my strong suit," she says. 

Watch a clip of Tom and Debra's surrender date. Watch

At the end of the night, the couple agrees the date is a success! Dr. Berman says surrender dates are a great way to get the sexual attraction back. "Even if it's just for one night or one afternoon, give the guy some control. Let him make some decisions," she says. "When he rises to the occasion, you'll see how it really positively affects your perception of him, not to mention his own relationship satisfaction."

FROM: Behind Closed Doors: Sex Therapy
Published on November 04, 2008


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