Sexual Power Dynamics: A Primer

chart of sex power dynamics


We can’t talk about dating, or even just about general power dynamics, without understanding intersexual dynamics.

So in this article, we are going to learn the foundations of sexual power dynamics.

sexual affair


When it comes to sexual partners:

  • Women discriminate sex partners, tend to screen and select their sexual partners more carefully, often refusing sex to a man “just because he’s attractive”
  • Men seek a variety of sexual partners, tend to screen and select less carefully, and are often happy to have sex with any woman they find attractive (enough)

We explain the “why” in the overview of the sexual marketplace.
But for our scope here, we can simply start from this basic general premise as a given.

Men also have more testosterone and plenty of evidence suggests that men think and “need” sex more than women do.

That means that, for most men, there is a gap between how much sex they want and how much they can get.

In simpler terms: most men want more sex than they can get.

Women instead seek sex with plenty more caveats than men do, which means that most women have less sex than they could get.

This leads to the first major point of sexual power dynamics:

Women Have Sexual Power

Generally speaking:

Women are the gatekeepers of sex, and gatekeepers have power over anyone who “wants in”.

In sex, women have one of the -sometimes the most- powerful tools of dating.

In social exchange terms, that power is negotiation leverage.
With that leverage, women can field any demand to men.

Obviously, it’s only in prostitution that the demand becomes direct and explicit.
But even in indirect and covert terms, that exchange is one of the most important factors of dating power dynamics.

For example, in most “standard dating”, in exchange for sex and/or continued sexual access, women often demand initial courtship, investment, support and, possibly, even commitment before sex even takes place.

Of course, outside of relationships, women can also get all kinds of other stuff with sex or the promise of sex.
It might not be an exaggeration to say that women can trade sex -or the hint of sex- to get anything else, while men trade anything else for sex.

It might sound crude to put it that way, but it’s an important rule of social and sexual dynamics.

Women’s sexual power is strongest:

  • Before sex happens the first time
  • Before sex becomes commonplace in the relationship
  • With men who have limited options
  • With men who lust after her particular type of woman
  • Men who are smitten by her

The Limits of Women’s Sexual Power

However, there are some important limits to women’s sexual power:

  1. Women’s sexual power decreases after sex happens the first time, sometimes precipitously. That means that the leverage is highest before sex happens
  2. Women’s sexual power matters less during relationships, because intimacy becomes part of the relationship, and a given. That means that female sexual power is higher during dating
  3. Women’s sexual leverage is smaller with men who can easily get sex, as per simple supply and demand

The Evolution of Sexual Pleasure

book cover of "the mating mind"

Some quick theory now to understand the foundations of sexual dynamics.

Geoffrey Miller says that the duration and intensity of copulation in a species is a clue to the power of female choice.

If efficient sperm delivery were the only goal of copulation, a single thrust would be sufficient.
But copulatory thrusting in humans seems designed to maximize the intensity, duration, and rhythmicity of tactile stimulation delivered to the female genitals.

Delivering stimulation in addition to delivering sperm suggests that female choice has been important when it comes to copulation.
Concealed ovulation and continuous sexual receptivity allowed our female ancestors the opportunity to “test” men as sexual partners with a lower risk of unwanted pregnancy.

The way the different sexual organs function is also very telling about who is the pickiest sex.

1. Vaginas Discriminate…

The clitoris might also be seen as a tool of female sexual choice.

It helps to select males who provide pleasurable foreplay, copulation, and orgasms, and such discriminative power is just what we should expect from an organ of female choice.

Orgasms often require a certain amount of physical dexterity, but also attentiveness and “caring” from the part of the male. That (possibly) helped select men who were willing to invest time and energy into her.

Mechanisms for choice must be discriminating, and that’s why the female orgasm is sometimes elusive: it is supposed to be.
It should not come easy for men who are inept, brief, lazy, inattentive, and selfish.

2. … Penises don’t discriminate nearly as much

The penis instead is not discriminating, and ejaculates easily.

The way masturbation works for the two genders is also very telling in this regard.
It took millions of years and much human ingenuity to achieve maximum female pleasure with (relatively) complex mechanical stimulation via vibrators.

And albeit men can also enjoy inflating dolls and virtual reality, his peak level of pleasure via masturbation is still largely the same. And it’s very simple to achieve: just a hand away.
Basically, the same since our cavemen’s days:

Even in the tech age, a man just needs a hand -or a sock?- to reach the peak amount of sexual pleasure

That’s a very important difference when it comes to sex power dynamics.
It means that:

Men Have Sexual Pleasure Power

Female pleasure matter more in sexual dynamics.

Even in evolutionary terms, her highly varying degrees of sexual pleasure have been more impactful than male varying degrees of sexual pleasure.

And this leads us to a conundrum:

Sex per se empowers women.
But the quality of sex empowers men more than women.

Don’t get me wrong by taking this argument to the extreme, of course. Men also prefer great sex to “just sex”, of course.
And that is especially true for “sex enthusiasts” and men who can get sex easily.
But, in general, since the difference between average sex and great sex is much wider for women, great sex is more important to women than men (exceptions always apply).

If we also include that women need less variety and often enjoy sex more with their partners than with strangers, we can conclude that providing great sex affords more leverage and power to men than to women.

So, in short, since male orgasms are easy and similar while female orgasms are elusive and with bigger upper bounds of pleasure, sexual access is a tool of female power while sexual skills are a tool of male power.

That’s the general rule.

woman in orgasmic expression
Women’s sexual pleasure is highly variable ranging from negative, to a lack of peak, to screaming and shaking consecutive pleasure peaks and equally pleasurable valleys

From a strategic point of view, it means that men gain more improving their sexual skills than women do.
Again, not to say it’s not good for women to be good in bed -it’s great-, it’s just that investing time in improving one’s sexual skills has a higher ROI for men, than for women.

Power and Sex

Power obviously gives access to sex.

Especially for men.

Most often, it’s powerful men who use their position to get sex, and much less frequently women.


Because, as we have seen, women don’t want sex from just about anyone. And they usually don’t like men with less status and power than they have.

So women in power don’t often want to exchange sex from their reports and employees in exchange for favors and promotions.

Men are also not as attracted to women they don’t find attractive just because they are powerful.
And that limits the ability of the few women who’d like to trade power for sex to actually trade power for sex.

But many men do want to trade power for sex.

As a matter of fact, sexual access is probably one of the main reasons why men developed a drive for success and power in the first place.

Great Sex Is Negotiation Leverage

Let’s focus on providing good sex now.

Providing great sex does afford power.

Whenever you can provide something that others want, that gives you power.

Do you remember when talking about the sexual market place we said that people with an over-abundance of value in one category can allow themselves to give less in another category?

The same concept applies to sex.
Men who provide her with great sex can have women go over to their places without investing much else in the relationship.

Women can also have men come over for sex, of course, and they do it all the time.
Not just going over for sex, but also bringing gifts.
But that’s because men want more sex than they can get, and not necessarily because she is particularly skilled in the art of sexual fulfillment.

Most men with a mostly sexual relationship and nothing else on the plate instead need to offer more than just basic sex.
All else excluded, they need to offer great sex (if we include all else, then one could also offer fun time, healing time, drugs, etc. etc. but we’re not discussing that now).

Great sex matters most with high sex drive women

Sexual pleasure affords men most power with:

  1. High sex drive woman
  2. Orgasmic / libertine woman
  3. Several orgasms -in a row-
  4. Several sessions of sex with orgasms

In those cases, his value is extremely higher in the “sex” department, and his power shoots up after sex.

In terms of “great sex” VS “OK sex” in our straight-line seduction model:

The perceived quality of first-time sex heavily influences the dating (power) dynamics

In some fringe cases, his power may even get into the red zone.
If the woman is not very confident she may think that she’s either not good enough for him, or that he’s a guy who is ONLY into sex.
Many of these women often self-reject and do not want to see him again -especially if they’re looking for a relationship-.

We’ll later have a lesson on how to convert one-time sex (including big bang sex) into regulars and relationships.

The Limits of Male Sexual Power

That being said, there are limitations to men’s use of great sex as well.

To begin with:

1. Sex matters little in pre-sex dating (ie.: you can’t start with great sex)

Sex comes later.

In terms of social exchange parlance, it’s an inner-layer trait, so it’s invisible upon first meeting someone (it’s “opaque”).

And in simple terms: sex skills are not what initially attracts women, it doesn’t put your foot in the door.

So, at least in temporal terms, when it comes to partner’s attraction, sex takes a backfoot to more visible layers such as status, health, beauty, etc.
This is one of the reasons why so far I’ve never taken any course on sexual skills. NOT because it’s not useful -and NOT necessarily because I wouldn’t need :)-.
But because, in terms of pure effectiveness, it’s usually better to prioritize external layers and/or to focus on meeting new women.
Same reason why I don’t care much about back hair, BTW, they come later, and are rarely deal-breakers.

It’s only once the couple gets to sex, that sex also enters the computation of sexual market value.

Sexual Game

It’s certainly possible to advertise great sex before sex, and use that to get to sex.

Men can do it both with direct talk, or with mannerism that exudes sexuality and sexpertise.
See Seduction University for examples.

But then we’re not strictly talking about sex anymore.
That’s more about self-promotion, as well as advertising comfort around sex.
And of course, it’s also possible to fake that since a man may advertise sex as something great for her, and then give two f*cks about following through and make it all about himself instead.

2. Sex Loses Some Leverage Over The Long Term

In fresh relationships, sex takes the center stage.

In casual dating in more libertine dating, there isn’t even much else aside from sex.

But as the relationship progresses, her needs and wants also change.

Women often start demanding more than just “meeting and having sex”.
So the power of sex gets diluted with the other currencies she demands, such as support, loyalty, fathering, etc.

Take this one as an example:

text example of how sex influences dating

This relationship crashed and burned in spite of that initial off-the-charts chemistry.

She wanted and was adamant on a relationship. I like her a lot but couldn’t offer commitment.
And there was no great sex that could have saved it, without eventually committing (albeit it might have been used to prolong it and turn it into a semi-toxic entanglement).

Sex and attraction are also intertwined.
Great sex can be extremely effective in boosting attraction, and heightening her feelings of love and admiration.
But a relationship that turns sour also often negatively impacts sexual pleasure.

In short: it’s unlikely a man can keep a woman who seeks a relationship just by providing great sex.
In the long run, more is required.

This is especially true for high-quality women who more easily get men and investment.
They have more dating power, and they more assertively demand what they believe should get.

The “Toy Boy Trap”: When You’re A 1-Trick Sex Pony

Remember the “lovers & providers” strategy?

The worst type of provider was a provider of a meager income, without much else.
And the worst type of lover is a provider of OK sex, without much else.

The same logic can be extended to great sex providers.
If all a man has got to give are orgasms, then she is the chooser and he is a provider (of sex).
Not a bad position to be in, in many ways.

But if he is clueless about power dynamics, then he becomes a toyboy.
Not much different from a billionaire having sex with a dumb bimbo.
As a matter of fact, bimbos and toyboys are the same roles, for the different genders.

Disempowered As Toy-Boy: Low Prower Provides

I’ll give you an example:

I once had a woman who left a girlfriend of hers waiting in the car to show up at my place.

A blonde Russian with a furry coat, she showed up at my door with that coat… And nothing underneath.


And as soon as we were done, she left without saying a word, but grinning a big smile.
That smile was not just because of sex, but also because she was high on her feeling of power.

And she wasn’t wrong: she came, literally and figuratively, and left.
All on her will and time.

vibrator as an example of how pleasure influences dating power dynamics
The more a man’s value is limited to sex only, the easier it is to replace him with a pleasure-providing tool

Compare: High-Power Makes Others Worried to Provide

Now compare that with the sexual experience with another woman, K.

I went for anal sex with K but had to stop because it was being too painful for K., and we kept doing normal vaginal sex.

Not an issue at all, I’m not into anal and couldn’t have cared less.

Once we were done, as we lay in sweat, her resting on top of me, I was enjoying the silence.
Brief silence, though. K. soon raised her head and asked “are you OK?”.
I nodded.
Little later she asked again “are you OK that we did not… “.

What was going on there?
K. was worried that I was disappointed that she could not provide the anal experience.

In which situations does the man have more power?

Of course, the latter.

From a power dynamic perspective, having your partner worry about making you happy with good sex is more powerful than you giving great sex.

These examples are at different extremes.
As a general rule, we can say that sex is another important piece of the sexual market value.
As a standalone, good sex is not enough to make one an overall high-value mate. But a lack of good sex can be a major drawback with mates who want and expect great sex.

This is an excerpt from Seduction University, where we keep the best and most practical content.

Scroll to Top