Poor communication leads to inequality in bedroom
My new boyfriend is quite lazy in bed — he just lies there and expects me to do everything. He says it’s because he likes to look at me, but I find it exhausting after a long day at the office. We’re in our 20s. >> While your boyfriend’s behaviour leaves a lot to be desired, your compliance bothers me more. Why do you agree to indulge him? And what do you think would happen if you told him to sod off? Equality is important because inequity creates resentment.
Like most sexual difficulties, the problem you describe is almost certainly a symptom of poor communication. After all, if you have never challenged your boyfriend about his behaviour, you can’t exactly blame him for adopting the supine position and letting you get on with it.
In good sexual relationships, both partners ought to pull their weight. There is, of course, room for flexibility. Sometimes it is really nice to man the ship singlehandedly. At other times it is nice to be the passenger. However, taking turns tends to average out over time, so that neither partner ends up feeling overburdened. You don’t need to keep a logbook, but if one partner’s generosity is exploited to the point of inequity, mutiny is an inevitability.
I have encountered similarly anomalous behaviour in a number of female millennials. These are educated, successful, hard-working, attractive young women who are in sexual relationships with men who only prioritise their own pleasure, and yet they collectively shy away from confrontation and feel unable to make appropriate sexual demands within their relationships.
Why do they settle for so little in their relationships? Well, it has never been easy for couples to talk about sex in general, and sexual difficulties in particular, but twentysomethings who have grown up communicating through instant messaging and email appear to be doubly challenged in this department.
It is also true that nearly half of all dating app users are millennials and this has created a kind of ‘kid in a candy store’ mentality, for young men in particular. Before dating apps, young people were forced to fish from a much smaller pool of real-world connections. Now a seemingly endless supply of alternative partners means that relationships feel much more disposable than they did previously. To achieve exclusivity and commitment, both partners must be willing to reject other options and this creates an unease that might explain why young women seem to be prepared to work so very hard to please young men who give so very little in return.
As things stand, you have absolutely nothing to lose by talking to your boyfriend about the onesided nature of your sexual relationship. Although there are exceptions, most men want to be considered ‘good in bed’, so they are generally grateful for guidance that will help them to be. In this context alone, you will be doing him a great favour if you explain to him that sex is meant to be a mutually rewarding reciprocal experience, however awkward the conversation feels at the time.
If he doesn’t subsequently make more of an effort you need to ask yourself whether the kind of man who thinks it is OK to lie back and enjoy the view while his exhausted partner does all the work is really the ideal man for you. I didn’t think so.
“Young women seem to be prepared to work so very hard to please young men who give so very little in return