partner is experiencing dysphoria during sex and i don’t know how to help

Questions and discussion about your sexual lives, choices, activities, ideas and experiences.
fruityrumpus
not a newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:37 pm
Age: 17
Awesomeness Quotient: i am squishy!
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: he/they
Sexual identity and orientation: queer or gay
Location: CA

partner is experiencing dysphoria during sex and i don’t know how to help

Unread post by fruityrumpus »

hello! here i am again.
my relationship with my partner (both 17) is going well, and we are incredibly happy. our sex life is totally good too!
we’re both switches, so during sexual situations it’s more than likely than one of us will be more dominant. sometimes we do that, and sometimes we both are silly and cute with nobody domming. either way, we both aren’t JUST subs or JUST doms.

recently, i’ve been domming….a LOT. i don’t remember the last time i’ve been able to be subby with my partner genuinely enjoying domming. i brought it up to them, and last night during a sexual situation they sheepishly admitted to me that domming in the way we’ve been doing it makes them uncomfortable because it makes them feel super masculine. they do insist on being a switch, though, and they are very open about enjoying domming. so the possibility of them being an exclusive sub is not it.

this made me feel really bad, because if i had known i wouldn’t have been so pushy about it.
this also got me thinking. of course being more dominant during sex would make them feel super dysphoria inducing masculine- they’re AMAB. this stuff is so ingrained into all of us that it just makes them feel…not good. i can’t relate, since i’m AFAB. domming for me feels inherently feminine, and our struggles with gender are very different in that way (i do wish that AMAB trans people were treated much better in this society….).

i’m trying to brainstorm certain feminine things i do that i could recommend to them. they enjoy domming, but clearly we need to change the way we do it in order to make both of us comfortable. i told them that sometimes i’ll paint my nails before we plan a date, because that makes me feel feminine during sexual stuff. i also told them that i’ll act in a certain way while domming sometimes, which….well, imagine a stereotypical succubus. that’s what i do. we also use certain words with each other like “sir” or “master”, and i considered dropping those entirely or coming up with new things to say.
but other than that, i couldn’t think of anything else.

this has been really getting to me since last night, and i wanna make sure my partner can be comfortable being dominant again. do you have any advice for how to do things in a feminine way, or new ways of doing BDSM type stuff entirely?
Marisha
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 104
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2020 5:30 pm
Age: 22
Awesomeness Quotient: Aspiring sex educator
Primary language: English
Preferred pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: Bi
Location: USA

Re: partner is experiencing dysphoria during sex and i don’t know how to help

Unread post by Marisha »

Hi fruityrumpus,

First off, I want to seriously commend you for approaching your partner's needs with this level of care. It's great to hear that you're trying to search for other ways to be a good partner for them.

I wonder if you've voiced these specific thoughts with them, specifically about your feelings of guilt about being 'pushy', your ideas for improving your dynamic, and the question of how to change things up. I think since you're already communicating about feelings of dysphoria during sex, I think it would be helpful to talk about these related emotions as well as turning your question into a two-person exercise. To borrow a quote from the BDSM Advice subreddit:

"We don’t know:

What they like

What you like

What they are curious about

What you are curious about

What they don’t like

What you don’t like

What their limits are

What your limits are

What your dynamic is like

What your relationship is like

What your personalities are like

Only you two know that, so only you two can come up with ideas."

I will offer the same suggestion as they do: look up BDSM checklists for ideas of ways to experiment. Using search terms like 'domme' or 'dominatrix' might help since those are expressly feminine and might lead you to some ideas for both play and aesthetics.

I think since your specific issue is related to dysphoria, it would help to talk through the specific aspects of your dynamic with your partner to sort through the bits that make them dysphoric.

Let me know what you think about these suggestions!
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