How do I persuade my long-term partner to do what I need about half the time? He is not, I repeat not, a good American progressive who's been through therapy. He loves me and wants to satisfy me, but is not a willing participant in the "hey, let's have an open discussion" approach. What are some alternative tactics?
posted by anonymous to human relations (29 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
This is an old story. But bear with me.
I have been in a loving relationship for many years. I'm a woman. He was my first. I got a late start. He had been in other brief relationships, but this his first LTR.
We have always enjoyed sex. I am optimistic that sex can, eventually, be a highlight of our relationship once again. I say "once again" because in the beginning neither of us had any idea what, in particular, we liked. We liked everything.
First I'll tell you the scenario. THEN I'll tell you why "just talk to him" is not quite the thing.
If it were up to him, I would get on top every single time, let's say 4-5 nights out of 7. For variety, in his ideal scenario, we would sometimes do it sideways. He enjoys, for example, water sports, but does not need to be hurt or degraded. All of the equipment works well.
I know that nothing in life is 50-50. But for lack of a better way to phrase it, I am happy to do anything he wants about half the time. The rest of the time I want him to reciprocate. I don't have many regrets about our relationship. Obviously I knew, before we started, that some people don't like to dominate. But I tell you, if I had known that I'd have to beg, I mean beg, not in the fun way, for the missionary freaking position, I would have given this more thought.
My needs are not that outrageous. For example, I like to be hit, but hard. He doesn't even have to use a household item. His hand is all right with me. In PRACTICE he will do this. For example, one example of reasonable compromise is reverse cowgirl, dildo in my ass, him whacking me. I'm still on top, so it works for him. I don't need him to deploy 1000 implements of sex. I just need him to give it to me. There are many other things I might WANT. But we are talking need.
Another example. He ALSO enjoys doggy style. But it's a major event by us. A special occasion.
Yes. He is kind of lazy. But even when he makes an effort, all this still applies. Some people don't like getting on top. He's allowed not to like it.
He knows what I like because he's made me come many, many times. A FEW SHORT WEEKS AGO, for God's sake, I actually experienced the fabled female ejaculation. And this at a time when things are not going well in bed! We know how to do it. But "baby, that was fantastic, and I really, really need you to do exactly that more often, I need you to be more aggressive in bed, I am telling you, I need it desperately, it is a basic human need, do it for me, I do whatever you want" is not working.
He enjoys watching porn. But he thinks that feats of porn are, well, for porn actors. Like, you show him a movie with a regular hetero couple and the woman tied up, he says, cool, that's all right for them.
I ask him what HE wants. He says he likes it already.
He is not from the U.S. His first language is not English. He is from a very traditional culture. His parents grew up in little towns without electricity. He is way over 30. He has rejected the sexual taboos of his upbringing. But he's not going to sit and read The Loving Dominant. He is not going to say, "Gosh, anon, even though I like to submit, too, I understand that this is a fundamental need of yours, and so I, too, will try to broaden my role in bed." He is not going to counseling. He is not a good ol' boy from, for example, Nebraska, but he might as well be.
After a year, sure, I might have broken up even though we love each other, but after X many years, I don't want to leave over this. "Opening things up" is totally out of the question here.
I could really use some advice from women who have been there. Better yet, from men of simple tastes who have come to a different understanding of themselves over time. I appreciate any and all thoughts and answers, but it would be most helpful to hear from people who can more or less identify with, or recognize, a traditional mindset, whatever that may mean in your case. In other words: not giving a fuck about Hot Monogamy does not mean he's doomed to be a bad lover.
Throwaway email: firstname.lastname@example.org.