Role Reversal in a Marriage

Q: In some marriages, the male and female roles are reversed. Is this normal, or is this a problem? I would like to read something on this; do you know of a website?

A: The best thing about being a man or a woman in an intimate relationship these days is that there are no rules. Rather, people can decide on whatever division of labor helps them reach their mutual goals the fastest. So if the husband of an ambitious, well-paid woman wants to work from home as the primary parent, no one would dare label that abnormal.


The same latitude applies to the bedroom, where the degree of sexual role reversal now runs the gamut from minor to extreme. That means couples are free (at long last, hallelujah!) to define their own sexual lifestyle, and it ain’t nobody’s business but their own.

Among the many books available on this topic are Families As They Really Are and How Love Between Equals Really Works. (Full disclosure: I wrote that second one.) And on the website of the Council on Contemporary Families, you’ll find evidence that role-sharing couples are less prone to divorce.


Q: My husband and I have sex at least once a week. He gets nice hard erections, but I do not feel him inside me like I used to.

It’s not a lubrication problem — we use Astroglide when necessary. We have great foreplay, and I’m turned on, but I just can’t feel his hard erection like I should. I’ve tried some clenching exercises — is there anything else I can do?

A: Clenching the vaginal muscles can indeed create a tighter vagina, but you need to do it a lot — off and on for one 10-minute period three times daily.

Another thought: Go to a sex shop and get some Ben Wa balls. Then insert these small beads in your vagina, clamp down on them and hold them inside as you go about your chores. If you can keep them in, you will have one strong vagina!

Finally, is it possible your husband’s erection subsides a bit during intercourse? If so, have him try one of the erection drugs — that might solve what you thought was an entirely different problem.

Photos: Copyright jameslee1; copyright Richard Ellgen (both via

Search AARP Blogs