Welcome to You Need Help! Where you seek advice and we try our very best to give it.
This has traditionally been done by way of individual Formspring accounts, Autostraddle’s Tumblr and a Formspring Friday column, which has all been very fun and insightful. But, because Formspring has a character limit and we’re wildly optimistic w/r/t our time-management skills, we thought we’d go one further and let you use our ASS private messaging to share advice-related feelings, too.
For more info on sending in questions, see the bottom of this post. Let’s get down to bossing people around on the internet! Today’s contestants include a top wanting to know how to be a bottom and someone who’s partner isn’t what she used to be. Enjoy!
For 2 years my partner was healthy/fashionable/took care of herself beautifully every day. In the past year, she stopped exercising/started smoking/her clothes/hair/teeth are rarely clean. If I decide to talk to her about it, I don’t know how to.
This is really, really tough. I mean, there’s no fail-safe way to approach this, but the first thing you might consider is that your partner could be suffering from depression. Obviously not exercising or starting to smoke or reducing showers aren’t signs of depression in and of themselves, but the 180° shift in typical behavior is.
If you feel like your partner could be depressed, look into her options. The goal here is to make taking the first step (seeking help) as easy for her as possible. Assuming she has insurance (which is a ridiculous assumption, actually), call her provider and request a list of approved local therapists. Find out what her insurance covers: will she need a referral; is there a limit on visits; what’s the copay, etc.
If she doesn’t have insurance, find your local Jewish Family & Children’s Services. They offer free/reduced-rate counseling and you don’t have to be Jewish to participate. Some regions even have LGBT-specific programs and options.
So depression aside, I feel like the kindest way to go about this would be to gradually change your lifestyle as a couple. Get out in the sunshine, do laundry together, try new recipes, consider gardening, go to the farmer’s market or something equally positive and fun. Basically anything that seems like the opposite of destructive (e.g. drinking, smoking, falling off of ladders, destroying mailboxes, swallowing nails, etc.) is usually a good way to redirect negative feelings / actions.
It’s worth noting that your partner could be perfectly happy with the way things are and these changes could be here to stay. If that’s the case, it may be time to reevaluate your Sometimes My Girlfriend Isn’t Perfect™ umbrella and decide if you’re willing to stay with someone who doesn’t wear clean, trendy shirts and may die of lung cancer.
So when I hook up with girls, I’m used to giving as opposed to receiving. But I’m getting involved with someone who is very much a top and just super dominant. I’m not really sure how to be the bottom. Is this weird?? How do I do this.
I obviously had to discuss this with other team members because Rome wasn’t built in a day and it takes a village to tell people how to have sex. First and foremost, no of course it’s not weird. Cows with spider legs or like, circus clowns in general — that shit’s weird. You’re just a girl wanting to fuck another girl and that’s really normal.
I’m not super into strict top/bottom, dominant/submissive roles, but I definitely understand the natural predisposition to one end of the spectrum over the other. Going from bottom to top seems to be an easier transition, since most bottoms are actually tops in disguise (bottoms are very sneaky and also very in charge, they just don’t brag about it). But going from top to bottom seems a bit trickier, because the only thing tops are used to submitting to, relatively speaking, is bottoms, not other tops.
After a while we concluded that it’s probably easier to fake domination than it is to fake submission. We feel like you’ve got your work cut out for you and we’re very invested in your success, so we put together a list of things people can do to be bottoms. We really hope you find it useful.
“Well, being on the bottom, is one thing.”
“I feel like I concentrate all of my senses on the other person’s body, like reading it? And moving with it? I guess it’s like, you still do a lot of moving around.”
“It’s about being willingly manhandled.”
“Sometimes you sit cutely on top of the other person like at the end of a successful lap dance. That’s an example of bottoming from the top.”
“Getting fucked by the strap-on rather than fucking with the strap-on.”
“Power bottom is my favorite sexual term since ever.”
“Being the bottom means never having to say you’re sorry.”
“I think you can probably be the bottom by having someone else get all up on you. I think that’s how sex works.”
Of course my advice is to be really honest about how you like to fuck and figure out if there’s a compromise the two of you could reach. Like, maybe Taco Tuesday can be her day to top and Thirsty Thursday can be yours, and on the other days you either have to wrestle for it (hotter) or base it on who drove that day. (If you drove duh you have to be the bottom because you already got all your topping in by driving. Driving is hella toppy.)
Sugarbutch has some advice that may be relevant to your interests. You could read a f*cking book or two: The New Bottoming Book and/or The New Topping Book. Also we’ve discussed this before, sorta: NSFW Lesbosexy Sunday: Who’s On Top Who’s On Bottom Now?
There’s a chance you’ll like being submissive and just don’t know it yet because you’ve not been with anyone who could dominate you until now. But if being dominated gives you all nine kinds of anxiety and displeasure, what’s the point? Definitely give it a try (or two or fifteen), but don’t discount the importance of sexual compatibility. Maybe you’d be better off with someone more submissive, and that’s totally ok.
To send your question via ASS personal messaging, choose an editor: Riese | Laneia | Rachel
Or ask any team member you’d like: Meet the Team
*If messaging is down, email us! There are so many options, you guys! You could send carrier pigeons!*
For 100% anonymity, contact us through Formspring: Riese | Laneia | Rachel
Please keep your questions to around, at most, 100 words. Due to the high volume of questions and feelings, not every question or feeling will be answered or published on Autostraddle. We hope you know that we love you regardless.