How do I adjust to having sex with someone very small?
April 5, 2009 7:40 PM   Subscribe

My previous partners have always been my size or larger and stronger than me. Now my new partner is six inches shorter, seventy pounds lighter, and much weaker than I am. I am terrified of hurting them in bed and it makes me so nervous I have trouble relaxing and getting into the mood.

The real problem is I'm used to a very rough style of play, to the point where I've never really done anything else. Obviously I can't go as rough with this person as I could with bigger, stronger partners. I end up overcompensating and everything seems so light and delicate it's awkward.

Has anyone encountered this problem? How do you adjust so that you can balance aggressiveness without overdoing it? Very small people, have you ever had a problem with larger partners going too hard or hurting you?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't worry! I weigh about a hundred pounds, and one of my exes and my current boyfriend are both a full foot taller than me and a hundred pounds heavier. I always wanted them to go rougher. Sometimes it got uncomfortable, but never so suddenly and so intensely that I wasn't able to slow things down before I got hurt. The worst it ever got was me having to say, "Hey, OWWW!" and give them a light smack before continuing on our merry way.

Just make sure that your partner is well warmed up and very ready for you. Are you worried about getting caught up in the moment and carried away? That won't be a problem if you stay focused on your partner and their pleasure. To me, that makes for a much better experience anyway, than getting lost in your own little world.
posted by keep it under cover at 7:51 PM on April 5, 2009

jayder: "they" as a gender-neutral pronoun is extremely common, dates back to Shakespeare's day, and allows this anon poster to keep the relative genders of themself and their partner unspecified.

anonymous: I'd recommend essentially "ramping up" the roughness - start at the gentleness you're trying now, and get slightly more aggressive; you'll reach your partner's 'wall' and overshoot just a little bit, but it won't be any worse than an "ow! that's a bit too much," and knowing the limits, you'll soon find yourself able to stay there easily.

On a second reading, have you discussed this with your partner? It's impossible to be certain from your description, but I'm guessing that you're not super-mega-enormous, and therefore your partner, as a relatively small person, may well have experience being with people significantly larger than themselves, and be able to say "yes, do be careful," or "oh don't worry, I can take it," or anything in between. Communicate!
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:06 PM on April 5, 2009

I'm a short straight woman. All the men I've been to bed with have been bigger than me, some significantly so. Without exception, the biggest guys were the most cautious until I was very clear about what degree of roughness I liked, then they adapted. I can be pretty strong for my size, too, especially my legs, so it has never been a complete cakewalk for them. The few times that things slipped beyond my comfort zone, just saying "Ow!" or even "Ummm ..." in a normal tone of voice was enough to get us to recalibrate.

However, if you're a man bedding another man, there may be an extra emotional element not commonly found among straight couples. Are you concerned that your partner can't be as rough with you as you like, making the sex less hot, or are you even considering that another man may be shamed if he can't keep up with your desired degree of roughness? Women generally aren't expected to be as strong as men, but male couples, unless they're pretty comfortable in their delineated roles, may worry more if there's a big discrepancy in their size and strength.

So, as Tomorrowful said, Communicate! And if after explicitly agreeing that a certain degree of roughness works, make sure you're both OK with any discrepancy. There is a possibility from the way you've phrased your question that if your new partner isn't up to the level of roughness you like, that you may be dissatisfied with the sex anyway. Be sure you know exactly what you want and that you aren't, on some level, looking for an excuse to break things off.
posted by wexford_arts at 8:23 PM on April 5, 2009

As a fairly large straight man, this is something that I've experienced with pretty much every person I've ever been with, in varying degrees. At least in a heterosexual context, size and strength differences are not a barrier to roughness, though they are a barrier to out-of-control, full-on wrestling and fighting.

Obviously I can't go as rough with this person as I could with bigger, stronger partners.

I think it's more complicated than this. You can be just as rough, if not rougher, but not in the same way as with someone who shares your strength. And you can't rely on the other person to force you to stop if you take it too far -- you have to be totally in control of your strength and be able to back off when you need to.

But people mean very, very different things with words like "roughness," and how much size plays into it will depend on what you are exactly trying to say. Body size isn't so much an issue for rough, pounding sex (though genital size very much is), for example; on the other hand, body size is a big deal if you want the other person to fight you and maybe sometimes win. And if that's what you want -- serious fighty/wrestley sex, where sometimes you are on top and sometimes you are thrashed and pinned -- the size difference is going to remain an issue unless your partner starts learning Brazilian jui jitsu or another martial art that can allow a small person to out-grapple a larger opponent.

At heart, you need to trust your partner. You need to trust that they will tell you (verbally or otherwise) if things go too far, or if they aren't getting what they need. And you should allow them to teach you -- what are the ways of having sex that work for them? As fun as rough sex is, there are lots of other sexual languages, and it's worth expanding your repertoire beyond what you have relied on so far.
posted by Forktine at 8:59 PM on April 5, 2009

If your new partner is a guy, I'd expect that he's able to handle the rough stuff. Its not like you're jumping on top of his rib cage, right?
posted by Ironmouth at 10:09 PM on April 5, 2009

I've outsized a girl by 16 inches and 170 lbs. She was fine.
posted by valadil at 7:34 AM on April 6, 2009

I (female) am taller (3-4"), heavier (30 lbs) and a bit stronger (shh!) than my (male) partner. I guess my experience doesn't completely relate to yours but I thought I'd weigh in.

I too initially felt strange being the more physically powerful person but I've found that it's my partner's attitude that matters more than the actual force. In other words, I appreciate an aggressive attitude and willingness to play the part more than I require actual strength. (He's not a weak person, I just happen to be a tall, strong, Amazon type.)

If a partner does all the appropriate hair-pulling, slapping, etc., and shows a confident "yeahhh-you-like-that-don't-you?" attitude about sex, I don't mind that it's an illusion and I could get away at any time. On the other hand, if my partner was legitimately stronger but didn't seem aroused, I'd be a little put out.

I suggest straight-up telling your partner that rough play is what you're used to but you don't want to dominate them in a threatening way. Ask them to take control and show you the kind of force they like. If they don't usually experiment with strength and control, ask them to show you what they usually do and maybe teach you a thing or two!

And practice, practice, practice 'cause it's fun to be man-handled. :)
posted by cranberrymonger at 2:57 PM on April 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

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