This is material that I am trying to understand for my latest sefer on the Torah understanding of gender and sexuality. The point is that we have what is an accepted halacha and yet the Seforno, Malbim and Torah Temima acknowledge the pshat of the verse is against the halacha.=====================================
Leah is used in Eiruvin 100b as proof that a woman is not supposed to verbalize her desires - and yet Leah apparently did. The gemora indicates that are apparently two views in Chazal and yet it concludes there is only one.
Meiri (Eiruvin 100b): Even though the attribute of modesty (tznius) is praiseworthy for everyone – nevertheless it is more praiseworthy for women. In spite of this whoever makes themselves beloved to their husbands and entice them to the mitzva of sexual relations – this is not considered pritzus (immodesty) but rather zariz (alacrity) to do the mitzva and it is a desirable characteristic. She is rewarded for her concern with this mitzva by having proper children. That is because her intent is only for children. The Torah has already given an example of the appropriateness of this concerning Leah, And Leah went out to meet Yaakov and told him that he was to sleep with her that night instead of Rachel (Bereishis 30:16).
Bereishis (30:16): And Yaakov came from the field in the evening and Leah went out to meet him. And she said to him, You shall come to me [tonight] because I have paid for you with the mandrakes of my son. And he lay with her that night.
Eiruvin (100b): R. Samuel b. Nahmani citing R. Johanan stated: A woman who solicits her husband to the [marital] obligation will have children the like of whom did not exist even in the generation of Moses. For of the generation of Moses it is written: Get you from each one of your tribes, wise men and understanding, and full of knowledge, and then it follows: So I took the heads of your tribes, wise men and full of knowledge. while men of ‘understanding’ he could not find, whereas in the case of Leah it is written in Scripture, ‘And Leah went out to meet him, and said: Thou must come unto me, for I have surely hired thee, and subsequently it is written, ‘And of the children of Issachar, men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, the heads of them were two hundred, and all their brethren were at their commandment. But can that be right? seeing that R. Isaac b. Abdimi stated: Eve was cursed with ten curses, ... ’ And he shall rule over you - this teaches that a woman asks with her heart while her husband asks directly for intercourse. This is a good attribute in women. In other words she acts seductive and ingratiates herself with him but does not directly say what she wants.
Torah Temima (Bereishis 9:16.4): In other words from this pregnancy Yissachar was born as is states explicitly in the Torah. The gemora (Eiruvin 100b) asserts that she didn’t ask Yaakov directly for sexual intercourse because to do so is a disgusting behavior and her children would have been called the children of brazeness [ instead of praising her]. In fact she seduced him by showing her strong feelings of love. But the language of the Torah apparently contradicts this explanation since she is quoted as saying, “You shall come to me [i.e., have sexual relations]”. However this phrase is to be understood that she meant that he should come to her tent but not that she was saying she wanted sexual intercourse....
In contrast others sources seem to assume Leah spoke bluntly and directly - but since she was on a much higher spiritual level - we can not learn that it is permitted for women today to speak this way.
Rashi (Bereishis 30:16): I hired you tonight – I paid Rachel [to be with you tonight].
Malbim (Bereishis 30:16): And she said to Yaakov , You are to come to me. This teaches that her intent was solely for the sake of Heaven. Therefore she wasn’t embarrassed to speak this way. That is because she had no lust which would have caused her embarrassment. This was like Adam prior to the Sin that he and Eve were naked and did not feel shame.
Seforno (Bereishis 30:16): You are to come to me since I hired you. And she did not do an injustice with her behavior in taking away the sexual rights of her sister since it was done with her knowledge and agreement. At first glance this story seems to be disgusting to those who look for excuses to say negative things about the Torah. In fact we learn from this that the Avos were similar to Adam and Eve prior to the Sin. Their intent was not at all for their own pleasure but was solely for the sake of Heaven to establish descendants for the honor of G‑d and to serve Him. We learn from this that since the intent of the Matriarchs was pleasing to G‑d in their efforts ... Their prayers were accepted. That is because it is appropriate for a tzadik to make efforts according to nature as much as possible to obtain that which he desires and to also pray that he succeed. Our Sages note that G‑d desires the prayers of Tzadikim (Yevamos 64a).