Lesbianing with AE! How to Get Out of Your Head and Top Her Already

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Dear Lindsey,

I am newly dating a real sweetheart and we have passionate sex. But, she’s a topping from the bottom type–she wants to lie back while I’m on top of her. This makes me feel pressure to be more dominating and more on-display than makes me comfortable. I sort of feel attached to a submissive identity, although maybe I need to let that go. It’s just how I’ve always thought of myself, probably because my lovers have tended to identify as tops and identify me as service-y. Anyway, now I feel unsure of myself and the uncertainty takes me out of the moment a little bit. I start to question her — does she need me to be on top or otherwise it won’t work? Is she somehow uninterested in me? Is she seeing me in a way that I don’t see myself? (I’m sort of an overthinker, as you can tell). Do I tell her to climb on top of me at least some of the time, and if so, how the hell do I say so in a way that’s lighthearted and not demanding? Or do I do some extra push-ups, get more creative, and give her what she wants?

– RS

Hey RS,

You’re way overthinking this! At least you recognize it, though.

Rather than question everything from whether your girlfriend needs to be topped to if she isn’t interested in you (which, hello anxiety brain, you’re gonna drive yourself crazy if you keep that up), why not enjoy the opportunity to open up your sexual practice to include … more assertive moves?

You seem skittish over these developments, but you also say you’re having passionate sex. So what you’ve been doing works—at least, if you define working as getting your girlfriend off. I’d say that’s proof that she IS interested in you. But does she NEED you to be on top, probably not.

I hope you’re having reciprocal sex, which doesn’t need to mean everyone’s orgasm count is equal, just that everyone’s needs are met. So once you finish topping her, do you roll over and say, “Now you do me!” or hand her the vibrator or push her head between your legs? If not, then start here: By telling her what you need. It can be phrased in the form of a question, but it isn’t a question in the sense that it isn’t negotiable. She will see to your needs, and you can work out the mechanics of it, but you can ask her to top you, too, if that’s what you want.

I hope you’re having reciprocal sex, which doesn’t need to mean everyone’s orgasm count is equal, just that everyone’s needs are met. So once you finish topping her, do you roll over and say, “Now you do me!” or hand her the vibrator or push her head between your legs? If not, then start here: By telling her what you need.

Rather than assume your new partner needs you to have stronger arm muscles or more creative moves (and there’s all sorts of porn and sex tips for that), why not ask her what she wants? If you read the column, you know I always tell people not to have that convo in bed when she’ll take what you’re saying as a critique. Have it on a date/on the phone/on the sofa. I don’t care.

Tell her you’re having so much fun with how things are going. Tell her you usually are a bit more subby in the bedroom, and it’s a challenge for you (I mean, why not speak honestly?). Ask her what she super likes, what she’s always dreamed of doing, what’s a turn-off. Tell her your preferences—and this can include saying “I love giving you want you want, but I would also love for you to climb on top of me and …can we make that happen?”

If she is super into bedroom roles, you’ll be able to tell from her body language or response. If you get the sense that she needs to be the demanding bottom or she won’t come, ask yourself if you want to continue seeing someone who can’t shift her preferences to accommodate your need.

If she is super into bedroom roles, you’ll be able to tell from her body language or response. If you get the sense that she needs to be the demanding bottom or she won’t come, ask yourself if you want to continue seeing someone who can’t shift her preferences to accommodate your need.

Do you need to let go of your sort-of attachment to submission? Sure, I guess, because if we keep having the same type of sex all our lives it gets boring. Perhaps you can see this as an opportunity to expand your range of preferences. You might find new turn-ons, boost your confidence, or build that wrist strength. Keep an open mind—about this woman, about your turn-ons, about the possibilities you allow yourself to inhabit.

And come up with a snappy sentence to tell your brain when it gets on the crazymaking loop, from one overthinking to another.

Send us your burning questions! Write to the editor: memoree@afterellen.com with “Q for Lindsey” in the subject line. 

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