When someone has not known love it is difficult for him to trust that mutual satisfaction and growth can be the primary foundation in a coupling relationship. He may only understand and believe in the dynamics of power, of one-up and one-down, of a sadomasochistic struggle for domination, and ironically, he may feel “safer” when he is operating within these paradigms. Intimate with betrayal, he may have a phobic fear of trust. At least when you hold to the dynamics of power you never have to fear the unknown; you know the rules of the power game. Whatever happens, the outcome can be predicted. The practice of love offers no place of safety. We risk loss, hurt, pain. We risk being acted upon by forces outside our control.

bell hooks, All About Love