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Sick of power-trippers? Well, if you want to understand how you got hooked up with an unenlightened despot, the whole thing is pretty simple: It seems that the person who thinks he or she is in charge usually is. This power trip goes uncontested until someone's feelings get stepped on too hard. Now, if you like groveling at the feet of a power-tripper, you're in luck: There are plenty of people out there to make you miserable.

SEAN, 25, WESTBURY She's on a little power trip. I'm a bartender and she's a server. We hooked up at my birthday party. You know, guys are always naïve. They don't know when someone likes them. I had no idea she was going to come on to me. A restaurant is like a big grapevine. It all starts out with "don't tell anybody." She's on a power trip because I paid a lot of attention to her for a month and a half. We were pretty hot and heavy. I stopped calling her when I realized I was getting the cold shoulder. I was sweating her. She put it on these reasons: "I'm going back to school." And "I'm not quite sure if I'm ready for a relationship." At the same time, she's like, "That's not an invitation for you to go seeing other people." That's a kick in the ass right there. I'm like, you." I'm ready for a committed relationship. I don't call her at all now because I see more prospects coming through the door. There's Ann, Tracy and Cheryl. They're hostesses. She freaks over this and lets them know, "He's not on the market." We're not even going out. But at work, I'll say, "Tracy, it's getting slow. Meet me at 8 o'clock by the liquor room. You can't tell Ann." I'm like, "This can't be happening." The next day I go down there with Cheryl. You talk about evil looks! My ex is like, "Sit, boy. Sit." Not me. I be a good dog, but I won't sit and I definitely don't roll over.

SANDY, 32, WEST HEMPSTEAD He was a Marine and he was always "I'm the man"—the macho attitude. He wanted to be in control. He'd come home from work and he had to have his beer. His dinner had to be ready. Pick him up from work and don't be late. With men, most of them are on a power trip. I'm sure that's where I learned it from. After I got out of relationships with men, I found out somebody's got to be in control. I'm always pretty controlling in the bedroom. That's how I got him. He was pussy-whipped. That's the one time he was pretty submissive. Because I'm always on top. Always. And any position I want to do, he's gonna do. He'd just do it. He can't say nothing. He's very military. You know how a drill sergeant would say, "Drop and give me 10." He'd do it. I say, "Eat pussy." He'd eat it. Even in my female relationships. I've always been in control. I aim to please and I want to be pleased. Even though I'm controlling, I'm understanding. I don't want to be like a Nazi or nothing. I just know what has to be done and when it has to be done. I want to be different than what statistics say I would be—I'm black and I have three children out of wedlock. To be in charge of your life is a good thing. And if you're in charge of somebody else's life? Appreciate it.

MISTRESS INTENSITY, 24, SOUTH SHORE "Yes, mistress" is the best thing in the world to hear. I made my first client kneel down on the floor and kiss my feet. That was fun. He loved worshipping a woman because he knows women should have the power. No matter what men say, women have the power in the bedroom because they can say no. I tell people to do gross things like eat their own cum. I tell people to do it all the time. If they do it, I have control.

BRANDON, 19, ELMONT Two weeks after we started dating, we were having dinner one night and she said, "I have something to tell you." She said she liked whipping people for a living. She's got the dog collar and everything. She gets a lot of customers—stockbrokers, doctors, lawyers. She makes a ton of money—nineteen years old and she drives a brand new Acura. Once in my basement we were watching a Yankees game and she said, "Can I try it on you?" I let her do it once. She did the whip thing. She made me kneel down, told me to bend over and started whipping me. It lasted 15 minutes. I didn't get turned on by it. She wanted to tie me up. I was like, "No." We finished watching the Yankee game. I like it when we both make decisions. It takes two. But she's the type she likes to be the boss. That's why we wouldn't get along. She could be very persuasive. She once told me that if the Yankees win the World Series, I had to run around the block with my pants down. It must be in her eyes. I did it. I felt like such a jackass. She's the only one who could make me do things I wouldn't normally do.

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