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But what about when the object of your affection doesn’t have power over you directly?Does fancying someone because they have authority within their own life constitute a problem?I can’t resist it.’ It doesn’t feel very empowered to be filled with a constant desire to hook up with people who can exert control.Sex and relationships psychologist Natalie Cawley says a fascination with powerful people is a common tendency, explaining: ‘Studies have been done whereby people are artificially put in a position of power for a short time.
The second series follows Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s unnamed character, who is equal parts hot mess and perfect woman, as she attempts to charter the choppy waters of a sexually charged friendship with an extremely attractive priest.Natalie says: ‘The desire or attraction seems to come, in part, from the idealised view of the person, it is assumed that because a person holds a position of power they are respected, capable, together and are able to contain and respond to our own fragility or chaos.For such a person to value us would reinforce our ego and communicate to others that we are valuable, lovable and worthy.’ Power imbalances in relationships are a hot topic following the #Me Too movement.When you go that long without seeing anything male it’s only natural. I didn’t just like a bit of male attention or entertain the occasional fantasy. When we very occasionally had an attractive (or even semi-attractive) man of the cloth brought in to talk to us, I was utterly spellbound.Something about the combination of male, older and in a position of authority made me feel safe, protected and sheltered. The heady combination of forbidden fruit, caring paternalistic role and position of total authority (what’s more powerful than a direct line to actual God? I had assumed that once I left school and met some boys my fixation on teachers, priests and anyone with any kind of authority would fade away.
This is because as humans we commonly have a repetition compulsion, we repeat patterns in relating that are familiar to us, as this is less threatening.