Lesbianing with AE! Power Struggles in the Bedroom

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Dear Lindsey,

I’m a married lesbian who is not working at the moment. My wife is the career woman bringing in the money and I supposedly have it easy all day, and there’s been a shift in power in the bedroom. It’s almost like my wife feels she deserves more attention, especially after working all day. How can I let her know I need attention too? I’ve brought it up, but I don’t think she gets it..

– Not Easy

 Hey Not Easy,

 I assume your sexual dynamic was different before you stopped working, i.e. there were specific things you two did that you no longer do.

Perhaps start by straight-up asking for the thing as you’re undressing one another or making out. If you say, “you know what would make me really hot right now? You use the vibrator on me while you’re eating me out.” Whatever that thing is that you want, be specific, use your words and ask for it, and be playful. And facilitate what you want by, say, taking out the vibrator.

Whatever that thing is that you want, be specific, use your words and ask for it, and be playful. And facilitate what you want by, say, taking out the vibrator.

 Two hours earlier while you’re waiting for her to come home, check the vibrator has batteries. And is clean. And hasn’t, like, fallen under the bed where it’s gathering dust. Whatever your thing is that you want, remove all the external obstacles to making it happen the way it used to happen.

The asking is the scary part. It opens you up to rejections or misunderstanding. Which I can only assume is happening because you’re fumbling your words when you ask for what you want because you’re not really great at talking about it.

Few of us are, I’m not blaming you!

But you’re giving away your power here. Look at your question: there’s a “shift in power in the bedroom,” “she feels she deserves more attention too,” and “I don’t think she gets it” when you try to assert your needs.

Take ownership of your pleasure and your power. If there’s a shift in the bedroom dynamics, you’ve allowed things to shift. If you were asking for what you wanted, you’ve stopped. If she feels like she deserves more attention, you’re giving her more attention—or not calling out her subtle neglect of your needs in clear and judgment-free language.

Take ownership of your pleasure and your power. If there’s a shift in the bedroom dynamics, you’ve allowed things to shift. If you were asking for what you wanted, you’ve stopped. If she feels like she deserves more attention, you’re giving her more attention—or not calling out her subtle neglect of your needs in clear and judgment-free language.

I’m guessing that you’ve tried to talk about the changed dynamic outside the bedroom, perhaps when your wife’s gotten back from a long day at the office, and is tired, and wants to connect. And perhaps her go-to way of connecting with you is physically and your love language is something other than touch. I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt.

My general rule about talking about sex is that it’s better when you don’t do it while you’re having sex. Because nothing shuts down the mood faster. That said, your problem might be able to be solved in the moment by simply asking for what you want and keeping the mood playful. Call back your power and be direct and push the dynamic back toward equitable, which doesn’t have to mean equal. Just attentive to your needs, too.

When you ask, in bed, to be touched in a certain way, then your wife, if she’s at all intuitive and not dense as a box of rocks, will comply because it turns her on to touch you, or it makes her feel powerful to make you come, or because give and take in the bedroom is common for lesbians who are decent human beings and not control freaks.

When you ask, in bed, to be touched in a certain way, then your wife, if she’s at all intuitive and not dense as a box of rocks, will comply because it turns her on to touch you, or it makes her feel powerful to make you come, or because give and take in the bedroom is common for lesbians who are decent human beings and not control freaks.

So let’s say she’s like, “Mmmh that could be fun but not until you’ve given me a lap dance you little house minx. Cmon, I’m gonna make it rain.” In other words, she shuts you down. She refuses to play along. She holds out her needs as being stronger or more important than yours.

You can say, “mmmh, nah, actually I remembered I put in a wash, I’m gonna go switch it” and straight-up leave the bedroom.

You could ask again. Nicely.

You could comply with the lap dance request, then put the vibrator in her hand, muster up a smile, and say, “okay my turn now!”

You have a choice about where, when, and how much to give attention to your wife’s needs. You have a choice about prioritizing your needs in and out of the bedroom. To the extent you’re unhappy with the sexual dynamic, I gently encourage you to examine the way you enable it. Changing the narrative starts with you, and the choices you make.

I’m not suggesting this applies to you, but I have to leave a note of caution in case: If you’re scared, nervous, anxious, worried, etc about asking for what you want, think about whether this pattern bleeds into other parts of the relationship. Did you have a choice to stop working or was that choice made for you? Are other choices made for you that aren’t decisions you would have made for yourself? These are signs your partner is too controlling, in which case you need to take care of yourself and that might mean leaving the relationship. Good luck!

Need Lindsey’s advice? Write us! Write to the editor:  memoree@afterellen.com and be sure to put “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line so we know it’s for her! 

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