John-Michael discusses power and control in situations where there is a power imbalance, such as in teacher-student, coach-athlete, or boss-employee relationships. He highlights that abuse often occurs in such situations and can be normalized due to the power dynamics. He notes that in sports, the power dynamics can be obscured by the jargon and expectations of the sport, which can make it harder to identify abusive behavior. John-Michael also shares his own experiences of being in a situation with traffickers and how he learned to turn the power dynamic in his favor by pretending to come onto them. He emphasizes the importance of identifying and reporting abusive situations where someone is using their position of power to get something that the other person does not want to give.
I would like to talk about power and control in a situation. Whenever there is a power position, such as a teacher, student, athlete, coach, boss, employee, a church official, a pastor, or anyone within the church and the people that go there, there is always this power. And whenever there is power, there is a possibility of abuse. The abuse is just taking that power and using it to control the other person, and we see this happen a lot in sports where the coach is abusive of the athlete. In sports, it's interesting because the sport is such a small nucleus within itself that there are so many jargons and ways of talking and what is expected within that sport that we cover up the power control and we assume and we just normalize it as being "oh, that's the way the coach works, that's the way the coach is instructing us, he touches our bodies to make sure that we're in the right alignment." We give excuses for that power position, and that's not exactly healthy because it should be more of the instructor giving healthy instructions to the student. Whenever the line is crossed and they use that power to get what they want out of the student, that's abuse, and we need to make sure that we clearly identify those moments.
Also, in my situation, I've found ways to turn the control when I would be in situations with the traffickers. I found one of the ways to do that was to pretend that I was coming onto them. I learned really quickly that they had children my age. So, when I started to turn it around and say, "hey, I really find you attractive. I'm so glad we got this time together. I've been thinking about you," two things would happen. One, they would get so uncomfortable with the situation that they would step back and realize that this is not what they wanted, and then the event was over. Or, it would become violent, and the abuser or the trafficker wanted what they wanted, and they were going to get it. But the situation would quickly happen, and then it would be over because they wanted to get away as far as they could. So, those are the ways that I found to change the power within my situation.
Another way I found out that I discovered that if I could get the Johns, what we called them, to climax first, then the situation was over. And in my head, I told myself that it was never sex than in the first place. And if I could control my body and not let that go anywhere, then I had the power, and that's usually what would stop the situation. The event would be over, and they would go on their own. But I really want everyone to realize that whatever situation you are in, stop and see if there's a power position going on because if there is a power position, you need to find out, "Is this person using their position of power to get something from me that I don't want to give?" And that is a part of the whole abuse scenario. It's kind of like a waltz in a dance, and if you feel that way, you need to report and you need to find help so that you yourself are not abused.