T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 108324
posted 08-25-2013 11:22 AM
Bit of background first. First boyfriend, been dating for almost 10 months now, and been really happy. He respects boundaries for the most part, and is perfectly willing to spend time with me in whatever way I want. We've done pretty much everything except actually have sex, and he and I are both happy with where we are and where we seem to be headed.
Now here's the thing. He's a pretty strong alpha male. Normally I don't mind this, because I do like dom/sub stuff (although not what I think of as actual bsdm, just mild restraint and a sense of being "his") but he tries to push further than I've said I'm comfortable with occasionally. I can't say no while he's doing it because I can't get my brain together enough (I kinda lose a lot of function if I'm in the middle of a strong emotion) but afterwards I can get pretty annoyed at him for it and kinda shut down. We've had a couple of discussions and he's mentioned he's really bad at resisting temptation in any form, and he thinks its carrying over to this. I'm hoping that really is all it is. No, I'm not asking you to interpret his behavior for me- I know that's pretty much impossible- I'm wondering if someone has any ideas for either being more assertive or being proactive and preventing it. Any help is greatly appreciated; he and I both want to fix this and we're having trouble figuring out a good idea.
Member # 101745
posted 08-25-2013 12:37 PM
Hi silverandgold, and welcome to Scarleteen.
I'm glad to hear that you're feeling happy with your boyfriend! But I have to admit that what you're describing here is pretty troubling to me. Here's the thing: I don't think respecting boundaries is something for which partial credit counts much. If you're not doing it consistently, the fact that you do it sometimes isn't a huge positive in your favor. Even people who are sexually assertive or think of themselves as "strong" or "alpha males" have a responsibility to be respectful of their sexual partners and make sure that they're getting consent for everything that's happening. Your boyfriend knows that in the moment, you have a hard time saying no; that means its his job to pay attention to your reactions, ask questions in the moment, or maybe even establish, before sex happens, something like "let's plan on doing x and y, and we won't do z unless you suggest it." It's completely understandable that you would be annoyed with him or emotionally shut down after he does things you haven't agreed to - that's not consensual sex, that's sexual assault. I have to admit that I'm worried about the fact that he's framing this as his weakness in resisting temptation, but somehow you feel like it's your job to keep him in line. Your boyfriend is the only person who can control his actions; it's his job to make things right. Yes, if you can speak up in the moment that might help, and I'd encourage you to work on that, not just for the sake of this instance but because being able to communicate in some way - whether that's verbally or through other means - is an important part of having sex be pleasurable for everyone involved. However, it's pretty clear that he knows this is an ongoing issue! It's really on him to take responsibility for his own actions. If he doesn't feel like he can respect your boundaries during sex and make sure that you're consenting to everything that happens, then it's probably not a great idea for him to be having sex at all right now. Honestly, I'd suggest that you not have sex with him at all while you sort this out. I think this article would be a good thing for both of you to read and talk about:
Driver's Ed for the Sexual Superhighway: Navigating Consent
Member # 108324
posted 08-25-2013 01:39 PM
…your fifth paragraph just cleared up what the issue might be in my head… we've been trying to work together but I know I've mostly been talking about things that *I* can do. In a lot of my life I feel like it's my job to make other people's lives easier, occasionally at the expense of my own comfort. It's an attitude I'm attempting to kick, with thankfully a lot of support from every part of my life. I didn't read this as one of those issues until now. Thanks a lot- hopefully communication gets easier from here on in.
Member # 90293
posted 08-25-2013 01:53 PM
Being partners romantically and sexually means there's a partnership in all aspects of the relationship.
So no, it's not your responsibility to take care of or "fix" this all by yourself. How do you think it will go to let your boyfriend know that he needs to take some responsibility for this too?
Member # 108324
posted 08-26-2013 09:50 AM
It's not that he won't, because he knows he should and will. He's good at that. It was my own problem. Talked to him about it, he understands, I understand, and it should get better from here! Thanks so much.
Member # 90293
posted 08-26-2013 10:22 AM
Glad to hear it. You're welcome.