Average reading time : 3-4 minutes.
Making love is like a dance - both take part, but at any given time, one of the two partners has a 'leading', 'driving' role. However, in my experience, when things are going well, each one plays this role about half the time (except maybe in some cases of kink in which I don’t have enough knowledge). Of course, this can sometimes be adjusted according to preference or need: if my partner needs to reconnect to her pleasure, I can take the lead and be at her service for longer periods of time, and if she needs to reconnect to her desire and power, I will let her 'run the show' for longer. In any case, situations where there is too much imbalance between partners in each role are often a sign of poor relationship quality, communication issues, and issues in sharing pleasure.
In a sexual interaction, I may be the first to propose a gesture or a movement, but I will always be listening to her reactions, and adjust accordingly. And even when I'm in the 'leader' position, and what I do is pleasant to her, at some point my lover will make a move to take control and propose her own movements, her own 'steering' - and therefore reverse the roles. This is an opportunity I don't pass up: it proves that she trusts me and our interaction; it proves that she has enough pleasure to participate; it gives me clues about what she likes; and it gives me the opportunity to discover new delicious experiences and enjoy new sensations.
The way I visualise things, when I am ‘leading’, I feel like I'm the pilot of a ship, and she's both the vessel and the navigator - she's taking me to the stars and tells me if we are on course... Conversely, when she takes control, I am her ship, she is the pilot. This is my favourite mental image. Another metaphor is one of the partners being a violin, and the other the violinist. In all cases, there is no "passive" role. On the surface, one of us is more active, and seems to be leading, but the other has two essential roles: on the one hand, being present and attentive to one's sensations, and on the other hand, adjusting or directing the actions of the other (give feedback). And the one who ‘leads’ does so in the service of the other, and always listening to the results of their action.
In my view each partner is responsible for the other’s pleasure, so the most active / leading partner is the one servicing the other’s pleasure... while still respecting their own wish and pleasure of course! And it is a dance where the lead is passed on - ideally, in a smooth way - whenever one of the two has had its fill and wishes to reciprocate.
So, when I am the most active, I am more focused on her pleasure and reactions. And when a shift in leadership happens, it is, most often, my lover’s wish to reciprocate and make the experience more enjoyable for me... or, it is an opportunity to learn new things to make me better at pleasuring her.
However, the more in tune two people are with each other, the easier it is for them to harmonise, and it all blends in. And, the more one is in tune with one’s sensations and the moment, the more their touch will be pleasant to receive.
The best indicator that an interaction is going smoothly is that the ‘steering’ role shifts from one to the other. However, whether you are the one leading and making propositions, or the one following her lead, you should always be aware of each other’s reactions: is she enjoying herself, asking for more, or yearning for a change of pace, or is she not enjoying, and waiting for the next step ?
If you are not 100% sure, ask! Ask her if this particular move is pleasant, if she would like something more or something different – this is when it is best to have agreed on vocabulary and communication, because poorly chosen words can kill the mood (especially since our language tends to make sex sound very demeaning for women). A few ideas here. for setting the communication, and here for things to focus on in previous conversations.
But more importantly, listen for her cues. Once you know how to listen, you will seldom need to ask. The way she moves will show you which body parts she wants stimulated, her breath and moans will tell you when you strike a nerve. Then, you can insist, stimulate that part, and then drag away, create the surprise, the temporary frustration, make her yearn for more and, when the desire is almost painful, fulfil it generously, and then go for another part and repeat.
A dance that increases in intensity and participation as the minutes go by, and where one is in turn musician and dancer.
Your input :
- What is your experience in the matter?
- Do you have favourite metaphors for the interaction and your place in it?
- Do you prefer being in the steering role or being led by your partner? Do you feel there is difficulty in shifting the lead?