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My wife will not take the lead in the bedroom

Tagged as: Sex<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (1 September 2022) 13 Answers - (Newest, 27 September 2022)
A male United States age 51-59, anonymous writes:

Hello all,

My wife of 20 years and I are both pretty submissive in the bedroom. I tend to take the lead in most areas and have had the desire to be a follower in the bedroom for sometime now but not able to get her to take it seriously. Seriously would be to do some research, buy a toy or outfit, just something that shows some initiative.

We have tons of sex, and talk about my desires, but she never actions on them. I am starting to feel that her statements about caring about me only go so far and end up becoming resentful.

Looking for advice on this matter, is there a path through?

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 September 2022):

Hello Wiseowl,

You said - Sorry, but it has a lot to do with age and tradition. You are a product of your upbringing and environment. Outside things that influence your behavior. You don't respond and/or act on simple instinct like lower animals. This is speaking in general terms; but it is backed-up by scientific research, not just my opinion.

Is it true that you are a mature male and gay but also claiming that you are following the teachings of Christ the Lord, a regular church goer etc? If so, are you not giving in to your animal urges rather than following the preachings of your church and the traditions and teachings of your elders? This is no different to a woman of your age liking to be sub and dom, kinky whatever you might call it, regardless of how her family were before her.

It was fairly recently in American history that any man who said he was gay or was found out to be gay was told he had a mental illness and could be locked up or forced to have regular and painful treatment to cure him.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 September 2022):

Wiseowl. If you say that everyone follows the traditions and patterns no matter their age then how come you are at least 60 and are not following such traditional patterns and being gay for years with sex with men only? You cannot tell me that your father was like that? If he had been that way he probably would have stayed single or been with men only and you would never have been born. No matter what your upbringing and the dictates of the church- that frown on homosexuals - you are still one. You go against tradition and your church's teaching when you have those leanings and choices same as a woman does when she likes broadminded and kinky sex no matter what her age is.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (17 September 2022):

Wiseowl - you do talk a lot of rot. I know lots of women in their 60s and even 70s and 80s who are into kinky and broadminded and adventurous sex. And I know a very young woman, think she is about 25, who tells me she lays there like a log of wood and never moves and then breaths of sigh of relief when he has finished and she can go to sleep.

Personally I am very much into kinky sex - my mother would be shocked and horrified if she knew, so would my father. According to you I would follow their lead. It also has not occurred to you that parents do not usually tell their off spring what their sexual tastes are, they tend to just get on with it in private.

And yes people do follow their basic instincts. I am a therapist and often see clients for such things. Some of them have bizarre fetishes which none of their family ever had. Nor did any of their friends. They are drawn to these things for no apparent reason and crave it. Every so often I come across a new fetish I have never heard of before, there are hundreds of them. One guy I saw for about six months wanted to phone women and ask them to pass gas and fart down the phone while he played with himself. This all came from him, his own desires. I could name many more but it is not necessary.

There are serial killers who get weird and horrible fixations and have to kill their victims after or during. None of these serial killers were shown it or heard about it before they did it.

Dressing up in long leather boots and carrying a whip is tame compared to most of the things.

Please wiseowl stick to giving advice on religion and stop pretending to be an expert on sex or a therapist, and I promise I won't pretend to know all about church and religion. You are extremely articulate and wise about some things wiseowl but when it comes to women and their sexual feelings and preferences no idea at all - probably because you are gay and never been in love with or had a romantic relationship with a woman.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 September 2022):

WiseOwle, just because a woman's over 50 most certainly does not dictate what she likes to wear in bed or for sex! I'm 61 and wasn't raised conservatively and a silky nightgown would leave me cold! And I don't mean physically! I like a corset, bustier, stockings and suspenders etc.

You cannot determine how someone is going to think, feel or dress because of their age, anymore than you can determine the same things due to someone's race, religion or sex!

I object to being categorised by you or anyone else because I'm over 50! Shame on you!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 September 2022):

Age has nothing to do with tastes sexually wiseowl.

I am 65 and very much into sub and dom,role play and kinky sex. My parents were not at all, they were traditional, old fashioned and prudish . I am a qualified sexual therapist and have been helping people with such problems for about forty years now, their age has nothing to do with it. I think your religious leanings have a lot to do with your theories and views, but they are not necessarily shared by others who are not mature and religious too. I have a friend who is 66, religious (a minister's wife) and the most prudish woman you could ever meet.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (5 September 2022):

In reading your follow-up post, doesn't seem like your wife isn't open to new things, or things you like to do. Maybe you're placing too much emphasis on who initiates sex. If she's totally submissive and likes to follow your lead; my good fellow, you should read DC; and see how many complain about their wives or husbands not being interested in sex at all! Some things about our mates don't change, and we learn to adapt to them; because we love them. You said you have a good sex-life; so be grateful.

If you keep stubbornly making this an issue; you're going to grow resentment, and you'll start acting like a spoiled-child when he can't have his way. Your issue is only as big as you want to make it.

You have a healthy sex-life, but you're ungrateful for what you do have, so you're finding fault in it. You're at the point of taking things for granted. You're both getting older, you're both still healthy; and you don't know how many more years your sex-drives will holdout. Enjoy it while it lasts! You keep adding things to the list; there will become a point she will stop at where she feels comfortable, and thinks things have gone far enough. She wants YOU to be the aggressor and initiator. Sometimes you can't force people to act out of character, just because you insist they do!!!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (4 September 2022):

"Some are submissive, some sub, some both, some do what they call switching, it has nothing to do with age or being traditional wiseowl!"

To: Female anonymous reader

Sorry, but it has a lot to do with age and tradition. You are a product of your upbringing and environment. Outside things that influence your behavior. You don't respond and/or act on simple instinct like lower animals. This is speaking in general terms; but it is backed-up by scientific research, not just my opinion.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (4 September 2022):

Wow sorry but you sound seriously sexist and selfish

You have talked about ‘your desires ‘

How about her desires which may be not to play the Dom that most men get from watching way too much porn

If yoh want to throw away your wife over that then another man would love her right I’m sure

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 September 2022):

Why are men always such pigs and cannot be satisfied with the woman they are with? You can go out and find any vagina to take the lead but they won't be your wife and they will not be worth losing your wife over. Isn't your libido declining by now anyway? Just enjoy the companionship. What you have so many people cannot find these days. Stop pissing away all the good you already have by focusing on something inconsequential.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (3 September 2022):

Some are submissive, some sub, some both, some do what they call switching, it has nothing to do with age or being traditional wiseowl! It it to do with what turns each person on. Your problem is that you don't talk and share your thoughts and feelings and preferences with each other enough, you just do the motions and you have had a whole twenty years to do this - why did you not do it years ago??!

If you are into sub and dom and doing it properly you probably have considered how to make it even more fun, this often involves having a special room with a lot of equipment, furniture, props, toys, which all costs a lot of money and time and hassle to set up. I find it hard to see why you have had a whole twenty years to do this stuff and not done any of it at all? I suspect your wife is getting bored with it being same old same old and you showing no initiative or decision making skills. If you are not careful she can easily find another guy for fun and games.

Loads of guys out there would be eager to give her something more exotic and do whatever it takes to please her so that they can steal her from you.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (3 September 2022):

Thank you for the great responses, taking them to heart.

A few clarifications. Not looking for BDSM or anything overly kinky. We talk about sex now and again, discuss what we like and what we would want to add. Sometimes it's just 'I want to be surprised'. We agree and go on about things.

Last time we talked I put her on my face, she had not done that much and we loved it. The time before I bought a small vibe, again new to her, and she loved it, we use it lovemaking a few times a week now.

But on her end, she forgets, I get no surprises other than that she likes what I do. Neigher of us is conservative in nature really, it's just that there seem to be other things more important to her.

With this I find I get resentful of other stuff, like shopping or surfing the internet. Time is not the issue, it's interest. How can those things be more important than our agreement, more important than giving the other what they want?

Maybe she has a hard time getting started, but she never asks for help, brings is up, it just disappears until I get frustrated a month or so later and we promise again.

I think she would like to do this together, but taking the lead would be as simple as saying 'Here, I got this book on positions, which one should we try?' In my mind this is different than me buying the book and asking, I really want it to come from her.

And yeah, in the grand scheme of things this is a small thing, but sometimes if feels like a big thing.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 September 2022):

If you're both in your 50's, or older, your wife is going to yield more to the conservative or traditional side. She was probably raised old-school; where she was taught that women should be submissive. You can't go watch some porn, or read some wild sex magazine; and expect your wife to suddenly want to do things outside her traditional values or comfort-zone.

We get a lot of posts from people who want their spouses to do kinky stuff; but like most of them, you won't tell us exactly everything you're expecting your spouse to do sexually. You say wear sexy stuff, then buy her something pretty and within her taste. She may not want a leather corset, spiked heels, or a lace bustier; but a silky nightgown, or shear lingerie might get her approval.

If you have tons of sex, then you don't really have a problem. You want things your wife can't take seriously; because she probably won't enjoy doing them. Sexual pleasure has to please both parties; and if only one will enjoy it, the one who doesn't has to force themselves to do it. That will ruin your sex-life altogether.

If you have tons of sex, be grateful. You've been together for over 20 years, and your wife likes to be the submissive one. Take turns. You even admit that she's willing to compromise, respect her boundaries. She probably expects her husband to be the man in the relationship. That was what your marriage was built upon; and if you now want to introduce weird things into the bedroom, you may ruin what you already have. When it comes to sex, insisting a woman does things she doesn't want to do is immoral and undue coercion. It can do her psychological harm. It can also piss her off, and she will decide she doesn't want to do anything; and wonder why out of the blue you're forcing this stuff on her in your bedroom. The last thing you want is to create suspicion as to why it's suddenly so important? She will start to feel insecure; and suspect that you'd prefer a different kind of woman, and start cheating. You married her for who she is, for better or for worse. All people don't have the mindset for kinky stuff, it's repulsive if you don't like it! It's funny, if it seems stupid or out of character to your partner. It does not make her a bad-person to not want to do things she doesn't enjoy doing in your bedroom; because it feels unnatural to her.

I'd be very cautious about bringing sex toys home; if your wife is conservative, religious, or has strong moral values. It may gross her out, and upset her to the degree she doesn't want sex; because she thinks you're unsatisfied with being with her. People have divorced for less! If you've talked about it, and she won't yield; maybe that is because she is truly happy with things just as they are. Feel blessed.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (2 September 2022):

Honeypie agony auntYou have tons of sex, so there IS activity there.

She just doesn't WANT to take the lead in the bedroom. It would pretend for her and that IS NOT sexy.

Have you asked HER what she would want to explore?


You have known this woman for 20 years! And you are upset that she doesn't want to play DOM for you. That it MUST mean she doesn't really care about you. Are you serious?!

Maybe the two of you TOGETHER need to find a middle ground where BOTH of you get something out of it. Not just do things YOU want. (aka HER taking charge).

Sit in bed AFTER sex and look up toys together. Maybe she is like a LOT of women who find toys somewhat impersonal and props. Same for "outfits".

If I were to guess... I think she is actually very content with what you have going on. Otherwise, she would probably not want to have "tons" of sex with you after 20 years.

Have you bought any "toys" or "outfits" for YOU to wear? Or is that limited to what YOU want to see on HER?

You two need to talk.

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