Ask An Educator: Being On Top

11 Aug

Dr. Ruth Neustifter is back with another guest addition of “Ask An Educator!”


I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for about three months now and I’ve never been on top. He’s always asking me to try but I afraid I won’t be any good at it.  How do I make sure he is satisfied ? And get over my fear of being a topper for the first time?

 You’ve asked a really important question with lots of valuable points; thank you for sending it in. First off, I want to make sure that you’re interested in being on top. Some people want to try it and others can’t or don’t. Make sure it’s a type of creativity that you’re interested in, and not just something that he wants. If you are interested in exploring, but also nervous then that’s ok. However, I’m a bit concerned that your question only asks about you being skilled (not about him being skilled about being on the bottom), about his satisfaction (not yours), and about your fear. None of that sounds like you’re very happy about this idea, or that you’re pursuing your own pleasure and fantasies here.  

Let’s say you are interested in it, you’re confident that your satisfaction will be addressed either while you’re on top or before/afterward, and he is just as concerned about being skilled with you as you are with him. Let’s also assume that you feel as good about saying no to him as you do about saying yes when he requests new things, and that he respects both answers equally and with a smile. I truly hope that all of this is the case!

Trying new things can be scary, for sure. Your partner should be someone with whom you feel safe and supported when you both want to explore. Does he offer that to you, or is your fear a sign that that’s missing in your relationship? Our fears can teach us things about ourselves and others, and it’s important to listen to them to try to figure out those lessons.

 Perhaps you might consider approaching exploration like this from a sense of grown-up playfulness. Not all games are fun or interesting to kids, and not all sexual things will be fun or interesting to any adult. However, if approaching the idea of getting on top is a playful experiment of discovery together instead of a test of your skill and dedication, it’s probably going to be a lot more fun. Mistakes and weird body things happen all of the time in sex. To me, nothing is more potentially hilarious than naked bodies trying to figure themselves and each other out together. That’s part of being playful around sex; relaxing and letting it be fun to do things you want to do together. Perhaps once the pressure is off and you’re free to enjoy, explore, and learn as you go then this idea can be fun again. Then it can feel like a happy shared adventure, instead of a source of pressure and fear. That will allow you to be able to explore and find your own answers for how to do it in a way you both like best.

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