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He says he wants sex to be more about him, but what does that mean?

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confused asks:

Last night my boyfriend had a few drinks and he got really honest with me...He said that he thinks when were in bed its always all about me and he thinks it should be more about him in return. I don't know what he wants me to do, mostly we have sex missionary but often with my legs in different positions. I do enjoy being on top and get on top often, but maybe that's not enough? I have given him oral and always believed I was good at it. What positions are more pleasurable for men where women do more of the work? I was also wondering if a man orgasms every time he comes?

Heather Corinna replies:

See that part where you say you don't know what he wants you to do?

When you two had that conversation -- or better still the next day or now, when he's sober, and you can even ask him if he meant what he said in the first place -- your next question would have been exactly that. In other words, "What do you mean by that? Is there something in particular you have in mind, or more than one thing that you want? I can't really know what you mean or what you want without you explaining this to me more."

Part of why you need to have that extended conversation is that there is no one thing, set of things, or this or that sexual position which is unilaterally enjoyed by men.

Men, just like women, vary widely, and what any given person wants and enjoys in bed tends to vary. What this male partner finds is most pleasurable can be radically different than what that one does, and preferences will also often differ from partner to partner, rather than being identical with every partner. We don't all fit together the same way. In other words, a position which was our favorite with one partner may not be our fave with another partner because the combination and physics of our two bodies together aren't the same with those two different people unless they have exactly the same build and proportions. Additionally, with one partner a certain dynamic may be present with a given position or dynamic which isn't the same with another, so our preferences with partners can vary in that way, as well. Sex isn't just a physical endeavor, after all: it's also social, intellectual, emotional and metaphysical.

The only way to find out what the deal is with your partner is to talk with him about it and listen to what he says, be sure he knows to communicate during sex, and then for the two of you to try different things and see what you both like. That shouldn't be a drag, either: in fact, while it can be awkward or daunting communicating openly about sex at first, and trying new things out at first, in time, it gets more comfortable having that open communication and finding and experiencing those unique discoveries is part of what makes a sexual partnership vital, intimate and fun.

Know that for the most part, with nearly any sexual activity you can think of, it's not like one person has to be "doing all the work" in a given position while the other person is passive. Think of sex together as being a bit like a see-saw: in order for the see-saw to go up and down, both folks have to do something. And while it may be that one person is heavier than the other, or one is kicking off the ground with more force than the other, if it's moving, both folks are doing at least something.

If a male and female couple are having intercourse in the missionary position, for instance, the woman in that couple can be moving her hips, her legs, her arms, doing things with her hands, her lips, her feet. If a male and female couple are having intercourse where the woman is on top, it's not like her male partner is probably just lying there either: he's moving his hips, using his hands, the muscles in his legs. See what I mean? In many ways, if you're looking for sex where both partners are physically exerting the same amount of effort, a lot of the time, that's not about what position people are in, but how engaged they are in that and what they're doing in that position.

Butcha' know, you may well be taking this more literally than he meant it (which again, is some of what you two want to talk about so you don't have to guess what he meant at all). Reciprocity and sexual equity and balance is a bit more complex than just who does what or who expends what effort. He might mean he wants to explore things he has interest in which you two haven't explored or even talked about yet. He might mean he wants you to initiate sex more, or that he wants to initiate more. He might mean he'd like you to want to treat him to an all-about-him night now and then (and I'm presuming he does the same for you sometimes), and want you to WANT to do that. He might mean...well, who knows what he means, but when you ask him, you get to find out.

And hopefully, from this point forward, you two can start to feel able to be honest with each other about sex and everything else without 60 proof lubricant, eh? :)

In terms of orgasm and ejaculation -- I assume that's what you're asking about -- for men and women (those who do ejaculate) alike, orgasm and ejaculation are two separate events. They are often related events, as in, often ejaculation happens when orgasm also happens, but they're actually separate. So, men certainly can ejaculate without orgasm (like with a wet dream), and men can also reach orgasm and not ejaculate, something which tends to happen more often if a man has already ejaculated once already then reaches orgasm again, or when a man has an orgasm without stimulation of his penis. As you probably already know, many women reach orgasm without ejaculating all the time.

Just understand that if you're asking that because you're trying to get an idea about whether or not someone is enjoying themselves or feeling satisfied on either orgasm or ejaculation, that can be a substandard way to find out. Sometimes any of us can reach orgasm or ejaculate when things really aren't as we'd like them sexually, or really aren't doing all that much for us. As with sex, satisfaction with sex is about more than just physical needs or responses, so the best way to find out if someone is feeling satisfied is to ask them.

I'm tossing you a few links to look at, including one on reciprocity and one on communication I think might be particularly helpful for you. I wish you the best in initiating that extended conversation, and in all the honest conversations the two of you have ever after.

written 14 Aug 2008 . updated 17 Jan 2014

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