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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Unsure about roleplay

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Author Topic: Unsure about roleplay
dylan19
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I had the longest time trying to find a girlfriend due to shyness but now finally dating a girl for almost 3 months. The problem is in bed she wants me to be more 'dominant' and 'aggressive' Actually I tried a few times and she couldnt stop herself from laughing a bit, even though I know she tried not to. She said it seemed so forced and artifical and at the same time 'hesitant' Like I was dealing with something fragile. I don;t really know if I can do what she wants and I am afraid I am going to lose this woman because eventually she will seek out what she cannot get elsewhere.
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Sam W
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Hi Dylan,

First off, I want to say that figuring out how to do any kind of roleplay does have a learning curve (especially if the role is very different from how you normally approach the world). So don't be hard on yourself for not being able to immediately transform from into Mr Aggressive.

That being said, I do want to check: Are you comfortable with/into the idea of being dominant in the way that she is asking you to be? If not, that's completely OK, but you two should discuss that so you aren't doing anything you're not OK with.

If you are actually into the idea, then talking with her is still a good place to start, if you haven't already. It will give you a chance to figure out more specific things to try, as well as tell you if there are any things that need to be avoided. Having those parameters will help you both feel more comfortable.

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dylan19
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Well I am not being forced against my will or something.It just doesnt feel very natural or authentic to who I am as a person.It doesnt seem like a skin I can feel comfortable in. Maybe I can take some acting classes or something in order to fake it but I feel like I am...defective..as a guy because I cannot not 'naturally' feel my way into this kind of 'performance'.
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Sam W
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OK, gotcha. I think that, again, if this is something you're OK experimenting with, that accepting that it will take practice is a good place to start. Because, in spite of what it might feel like right now (and what many cultural images tell you), there is no "natural" way that a guy is supposed to be able to act in bed. Some guys find being dominant comes easy to them, others find that their default is actually more submissive, and many find it varies by instance. So, there is noting defective about you for not being able to turn super-dominant on cue.

Have you talked about your feelings around this with your girlfriend? If so, how has she responded?

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dylan19
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I have and shes fairly understanding but Im not so wide-eyed naive about communication, people cant help being human. It may come to it that she will be unsatisfied by this lack but will try to make me feel better by being sympathetic and understanding, all the while, I will know I am not giving her what she really wants.It sucks, I wish you could just be yourself AND make the other person happy.
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Sam W
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When you say she's fairly understanding, can you be a tad more specific?

I think it's sound to be careful not to assume to much about what a partner is thinking without actually asking them. Yes, sometimes people lie or alter the truth to protect someone else's feelings but it's often better for our own piece of mind to take them at their word. So, if you talk about it and she says she doesn't mind the learning curve, or is fine with you not being super dominant, it may be best to take her at her word.

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dylan19
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I mean that she talks to me about the ways in which my personality doesnt necessarily match up to this fantasy but she says I dont want you to be all ignorant and alpha male in normal life, its just that it would be nice sometimes for you to takeover in the bedroom.Not that im submissive mi more give and take mutual in my way.
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Heather
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You know you CAN be yourself and have other people be happy with that. Just not everyone. Some people will mesh with us, and we them, others not so much. Or, we will mesh with someone in some ways, but not others.

As I understand it, you have tried to do what she has said she wants, but she was not satisfied with that. It sounds to me like she may be asking for something that isn't possible -- in a word, I hear her asking for someone who is an experienced top and someone who tops in a way she envisions. You have not done that, obviously, but for all you know, no one else may match whatever her standards are, too.

To boot, someone asking a partner to experiment with something new needs to have the maturity to give them room to experiment and explore, rather than laughing at them or nitpicking right off the bat. And it is sound to be hesitant and cautious when playing the top with someone, especially when people are new to doing that together and just starting to negotiate things! It sounds like that maturity and patience (and that understanding you seem to have that role-play like this is something to be careful with) may be something she lacks at this point in her life or with you.

Let's maybe take a slight veer here: what do YOU want? What kind of sexual dynamic feels like a better fit for you? I hear you saying, in your last paragraph, you prefer something that is not dominant or submissive, but more shared and without those roles. Do I have that right?

[ 04-11-2014, 04:10 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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dylan19
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Yeah.it might sound a bit weird and androgynous..but someone did try to get me to be a bottom type once and it just felt horrible to me, I mean it made me feel sick but at the same time it just doesnt feel 'right' for me to be dominant either, I know that sounds wishy-washy and vague and androgynous but I guess thats just the way I am.Probably it is not the kind of guy she reads about in books or sees in movies where everyone has extreme personalities or something.I suppose I never really thought about what I wanted, I have desires of course but they are not exactly shaped and with specific roles and things like that, its just vague for me I guess.I dont know how people are 'supposed' to do these things.
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Heather
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None of that sounds weird to me, and -- as it sounds like you already know -- wanting to be dominant or submissive in bed, or period, isn't about gender, even though there are some gender roles and stereotypes attached to that by some folks or some cultures sometimes.

You saying what you want here does not sound wishy-washy to me. (It also doesn't sound androgynous to me, since again, these preferences are not something that dictates gender, but if androgyny was part of any of this, it's not like that would not be okay: androgyny is one of many valid gender identities, after all.)

There is no supposed-to with this stuff. There's just what you want, what someone else does, and whether those things mesh or not. Some people want people in their sexual lives to play specific roles, and some people want hierarchies in their sex lives: others don't want those things, some others want them sometimes, but not all the time, and some folks who want them have their own given idea of what that looks like, while someone else may have a radically different idea.

But I do think it's really important to know that with sex with others, we have to bring what WE want to the table, and have that be a big part of what we choose to do or try: as big a part as what someone else does.

So, let's try this again: I hear you saying none of this kind of role-play feels right for you. And that is okay: just as okay as if it did. Given that, can you express that to this person, and then try talking together about what each of you likes and wants to see where you DO fit together?

This piece can help a lot with that (and may also help you to identify more of your own desires or limits): Yes, No, Maybe So: A Sexual Inventory Stocklist.

P.S. You may be right that some of what she is asking for is perhaps a fiction, or, outside of fiction, may not be what she wants at all. For instance, someone totally taking charge of everything in the bedroom? Not only, most often, is someone not going to like that, or not like it for long, people cannot, in reality, actually do that consensually. They can only play at that when they are actually negotiating and agreeing on what will take place. In real life, consensual and healthy BDSM does not involve anyone just "taking over," but instead, a lot of communication and negotiation.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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dylan19
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I guess I feel that other people have this stuff all mapped out in their head, first this then this then this, he should sound like thise, she should sound like that, he should have this posture. You know when she says something like 'Do what you want with me' its supposed to be this invitation that I jump on like some kind of predator but the reality is a great big question mark in my head??Maybe I am too tentative and cautious, maybe I am leaving it up to her too much too fill in the details but as I said, im kind feeling like inside shrugging my shoulders. Its not that I dont desire women, or this girl in particular, I do, I am turned on by their looks and body and other non physical aspects but I dont have this detailed picture drawn out in my head with defined roles etc etc etc.Im scared that if I dont really know what I want 'in detail' she will think im weird, or gay, or that I dont fancy her or just that I am too much work.Maybe i am being too hard on myself.
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Heather
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It sure sounds that way to me. It also sounds like you may have an unrealistic idea of how this all goes for everyone else. Getting to know what we want sexually, and what we do not want, is a learning process that takes time. Some things we will know sooner or more immediately than others, other things, not so much. And of course, this varies from person to person, too.

It also sounds like you do not feel all that comfortable with this particular person? You say you are worried about her thinking certain things about you: is she not someone who you sense is really into you, can be trusted to accept you for who you are, and who has the patience and maturity to understand you and she are not the same person, so may not both want all the same things?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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dylan19
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Maybe I need to think about my trust of this person or even my trust in girls in general, since she is my first proper longish term girlfriend.
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Sam W
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I think that considering how comfortable you are with this person is a really good plan. It may help to consider the dynamics around sex (or relationships) that you ARE comfortable with, and then see if those seem like things that are possible with this person. And it's OK if you need some time to do so (including taking a break from this relationship or waiting to enter into future ones).

As hard as it may be, try not to get too discouraged wondering if future partners will be untrustworthy. As you've said yourself, this is your first time in this kind of relationship, and inexperience means that sometimes we get into the middle of something and go "wow, not what I was expecting," stop, and re-evaluate. So finding yourself with one person who ends up not being someone you're comfortable with does not mean you are doomed to that forever.

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