Warning: Adult content!
I’ll be honest: I’ve probably initiated sex seven times in my entire life, and at least three of those times, it wasn’t really me. It was the tequila.
Maybe I just run with a conservative group of women, but I’m not the only one who finds herself opening a corporeal invite more often than she sends it.
It’s not that I’m never lit head to toe with the kind of carnal desire that demands the demise of buttons and boundaries between bodies. And, I’ve definitely had suitable candidates worthy of receiving such an invite (pretty great boyfriends).
It’s also not a lack of experience; at 27, I’ve spent the last decade wrestling serious relationships and serious sexcapades.
And still. I hardly ever—that’s right, almost never—initiate sex.
Desperate boyfriends have made the mistake of asking why.
Unfortunately, asking a chick why she doesn’t initiate sex is like asking her why her breasts never filled out or why she doesn’t suck dick better. The question itself is heavy enough to push even the healthiest of egos right off a four-post bed.
Why? Because she’s already asked herself it a million times. She’s pressured herself to make the first move. She’s told herself she will. She definitely will.
Until then, she’s hoping you don’t notice.
So men, I’m all for communication. Really, truly I am. Especially if the conversation can happen over a warm dinner between limber minds. That’s better than when heads are on pillows, and hearts are soft and open, unprepared for a question that carries the weight of insecurities not yet understood.
That being said, I totally understand why you might ask such a question in bed; maybe she’s turned you down two nights in a row, and as you’re gathering the courage to initiate again, it suddenly pisses you off a little that this whole thing is seemingly all up to you.
I get it, I really do.
But before you go there, it might help if you read this.
This is why I wasn’t initiating sex (and could be why she hasn’t been either).
1) It’s common knowledge; the female body needs a bit of tender loving care to fully unfurl.
And tender loving care often also translates to tiiiime. That’s right. It often takes an investment of time (i.e. more than 42 seconds) before she’s even ready for the whole body to body thing. Sigh.
When I did attempt to initiate sex, my partner (in shock and excitement, probably), often became so enthusiastic, it’s like his attention became completely transfixed on sex organs, bypassing any subtle, slow intimacy I was attempting. Within seconds he was in the driver’s seat again and driving way too fast.
Men often wrongly assume that if a woman initiates sex, she is somehow ready for the actual act of sex. Wrong. She’s ready for whatever she’s currently doing.
Meet her where she is, not where you desperately hope she’s going.
2) I assumed that if he hadn’t already made a move, he wasn’t in the mood.
And, as normal (and even expected) as it seems for a guy to gingerly rest hands and lips on tender places, it’s actually a very, very courageous act, one that comes with the risk of being rejected at your most vulnerable. And though women are often credited with being the gender more willing to embrace vulnerability, there are certain instances where this just isn’t true.
If she thinks you’re not in the mood, rather than risk rejection, she might opt out altogether.
Here’s where I use the F-word. Feminism. There’s one reason it exists: Globally, women aren’t allowed the same freedoms as men. Women are heard less, paid less and victimized more. As a result, females second-guess themselves more often than men, and generally feel less confident in their own decisions and opinions. This is also true in bed. If she wants it but she’s not sure you do she’s less likely to make a move.
So, hold off on the snoring, make eye contact and give her a tiny reason to believe you’re up for it (without actually making the move yourself).
3) Sometimes, frankly the relief of not being pursued overshadows potential sexual desires.
I’m not sure if I’m an outlier, or if all of my previous partners have just been extremely persistent, but unless my man was sick, there’s hardly been a time that I’ve shared a bed with a boyfriend without being pursued sexually. Sometimes, it all just gets to be too much. We can’t turn around without finding a woman (on an ad, or real life) in the midst of overt sexualization. When this feeling extends to your own bedroom, you’ve got trouble.
This is why routine touching without the expectation of sex is so huge. If she feels a strong physical connection with you that has nothing to do with sex, she’ll feel more freedom daily, not only with you, but in the world. Where there’s freedom, relief is a constant, so there’s no need to choose relief over sex.
So, sex it is!
4) I’m not even sure how to say this next one without sounding like a bitch or like someone who’s had a very unfortunate sex life.
Not only have I had too much “fast” sex, void of foreplay, but I’ve had too much one-sided sex.
Sex should be like a wonderfully engaging conversation between bodies. There should never be a time when one is talking the whole time, and the other is listening, and listening, aaannd listening. I’ve experienced this more times than I can count; it’s almost like the dude goes into auto-pilot. The “conversation” becomes very unbalanced (the guy making decisions about position, speed and depth) and communication cues that are not loud or dramatic, go completely unnoticed.
It seems obvious, but no woman (or man) I know wants to begin a conversation with someone who doesn’t really listen, and never asks her questions in return. Don’t be that dude (or chick).
5) When’s the last time you saw a sex scene where the lead male role is moaning/groaning/yelling “Yes, Karen!”?
Hmm. This hardly ever happens. It’s completely socially acceptable for a woman to be loud about what feels good, but it’s often hard to tell if a man really appreciates your moves, unless he makes a point of saying later, “Wow when you did ___, that was awesome!” You may only have a vague idea of what was working and what wasn’t.
This lack of clarity about what gets him going is enough to throw a woman off who might otherwise have initiated sex. Anxiety about what really satisfies him inspires some women to simply leave the whole thing up to the man. Let her know when she does something that feels really good.
It’s a simple addition, but one that could make the difference between sending the invite, and merely patiently awaiting an invite herself.
6) Men aren’t mind readers!
Yep. We women get that. We’re trying to communicate our needs, and blah blah yadda yah. But seriously. Men can’t read minds. If, after you’ve made your move, your man seems completely uninterested, there’s a chance that he didn’t recognize your come hither eyes, or the special way you twirled your tongue as an actual invitation to sex.
Don’t let this bum you out. Get courageous and practice verbalizing what you’d like. If you let it, the mere act of speaking up can be hugely arousing. And, if it turns out that he’s actually just not in the mood, let it float on by like a balloon. Taking it personally is the only mistake you could make. There are millions of reasons why you’ve said no in the past (several that have nothing to do with him) and he’s just as human as you are.
Have courage. Stay curious. And keep your heart open.
Bonus! Waylon talks with Lodro Rinzler about sex, relationships & how to be happy and genuine:
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Lucy Animus
Editor: Emily Bartran
When the boyfriend turns down sex (youtube.com)