Connect with us

How Do I Date

Do You Like To Be Sexually Active Or Passive?

passionate embrace

Libido

Do You Like To Be Sexually Active Or Passive?

The old joke goes: The doctor asks the patient “Are you sexually active?” “No,” says the patient. “I generally just lie there.”

Recently a counseling client of mine complained about the partner who lay there in bed and asked “Are you interested in sex? If so, hop on.”

Does it surprise you at all to learn that the client was a woman criticizing her man? It surprised her. “I thought men were supposed to be the active one,” she sighed. Apparently he hadn’t read the same rule book.

Numerous studies have shown that one of the most common sexual fantasies in both women and men is being sexually overpowered and assertively taken by an (of course, attractive) other.

More anecdotal evidence. A handsome gay friend of mine, butch in demeanor and customarily the top in his relationships, had a brief hot affair with a woman, much to the astonishment of his friends. “How come?’ they asked. “You switching teams?”

“She just took over,” he grinned. “She set her sights on me and ran everything, from the party at which we met to the bed where we went directly afterwards. She was a force to be reckoned with and I felt swept away. It was a novel experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

If you are a person who bought the canard that in relationships and in sex it is the ordained role of men to insist and women to resist, perhaps it’s time to think again. I used to be outraged by the Doris Day-Rock Hudson films of my teen years in which he chases her until she catches him. Men were never passive, not real men. And certainly no lady wasassertive, let alone aggressive. Hollywood would have it no other way.

Many couples of all orientations have the same dynamic. One is dominant, one submissive. One makes the decisions, the other complies. The roles are set from the beginning and if one of the partners eventually wants to expand his or her part a break-up often ensues.

Back in grade school gym class when we had social dance instruction the girls were lined up against the wall and it was up to the boys to cross the wide chasm of the gymnasium to ask a girl to dance. All eyes were on the boy’s humiliation if she refused and on the girls who were left standing against the wall unasked. It struck me even at that tender preteen age that this was a miserable arrangement for both sexes. I resolved then and there never to wait for an invitation in life, to dance or anything else. If I felt like doing something I would initiate—a very important life lesson that has stood me in good stead.

But even those of us who are habitual initiators like to be asked at times, and those who are customarily more passive do occasionally have the urge to take charge. Tom Greensmith wrote “Every relationship should have a kite and an anchor. The kite soars. The anchor stabilizes. The best relationships are those wherein the partners take turns being the kite and the anchor.”

I think this applies to initiator and responder as well, both socially and sexually. I would like to urge the reader who will instinctively know what role she or he most usually plays in life to take a stretch. Followers, lead. Leaders, follow. Everybody do-si-do and enjoy the dance from a new perspective. You may find it most invigorating.

[Isadora Alman]

Isadora Alman, M.F.T., is a California licensed marriage and relationship therapist, a Board-certified sexologist, author and lecturer. Her syndicated sex and relationship column "Ask Isadora" ran in alternative weekly papers worldwide for 25+ years. Web surfers can find her columns on her online free interactive Sexuality Forum www.askisadora.com (link is external). She is the author of two collections of Q & A's from columns: Let's Talk Sex and Ask Isadora, as well as Sex Information, May I Help You?, a peek behind the scenes of a sex help phone line which still flourishes in San Francisco today. Doing It: Real People Having Really Good Sex is a collection of helpful hints and titillating tidbits culled from column readers and Forum web site users. Her novel Bluebirds of Impossible Paradises: A Sexual Odyssey of the 70's is out in paperback on Amazon.com. She has also contributed chapters to several books including Herotica (Down There Press), Dick For A Day (Villard NY), The Moment Of Truth (Seal Press) and Single Woman Of A Certain Age (Inner Ocean Publishing, Inc.) Isadora has been a talk show host and frequent TV and radio talk show guest, and a lecturer and workshop leader on a variety of communications topics. She conducts her private psychotherapy practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Libido

Best Dating Sites

Categories

Must Reads

To Top