With Consent, of Course, Here’s How to Initiate Sex

Let’s get straight to it… you should be enjoying (more) sex! Whether it’s for all of the added mental and physical health benefits, pleasure, or even to strengthen your relationship. 

But for couples who don’t instinctively ‘hop to it’ like rabbits every hour on the hour, (do these people even exist?!) intiating sex can sometimes be a sensitive subject. Especially for those who are shy, inexperienced, or have a low sexual self-esteem.

There are, of course, times when partners have matching libidos or ‘sex schedules’, or are so open and comfortable with each other that getting it on is as easy as a teasing grab or a suggestive verbal hint. But for the rest of them, finding the right way to get the mood going can be difficult.

And FYI, the belief that men always need to be the ones to intiate sex is so unbelievably outdated. Ladies, you’re just as in control in every aspect. 

“Desire is very individual and not based on one’s sex or gender. Anyone can want and then take steps to make sex happen,” says sex educator, August McLaughlin.

So, for those who are struggling, this one’s for you. Here are six ideas to consider that may help you to initiate intimacy, and ultimately live your best sex life.

How to initiate sex

1. Make it Personal

Think about it like this: if someone you have the hots for casually mentions that they’ve got a thing for brunettes (and you’re a brunette), you’d probably feel kind of hopeful, right? 

But if the same person had to say that they find your brunette hair to be gorgeous, the ‘special’ factor is like tripled. Now think of it this way… 

You’re in the mood, and you tell your partner that you feel like banging one out. This is all good and well, but imagine telling them that the way in which they just smiled at you got you feeling all riled up? Or that their legs look so freaking hot right now? 

People want to feel wanted, and this is just a little trick that might start a bit of magic. 

2. Expect the Unexpected 

For some couples, sex is treated like something on their to-do list. Sometimes there’s a schedule involved or it’s written ever-so-neatly on the calendar that you just can’t miss it. 

And while this works for some couples, the element of sexy surprise has the ability to eliminate the usual ‘routine’ and make things more exciting than if it were planned.

Initiating this out-of-the-blue rompage could all begin by a simple touching of the leg, a brush against her breast, or a slight glide across his pelvis. Words don’t need to factor in if you’re too shy to boldly admit that you’re ready for play time.

3. Lights, Camera, Action

Nah, we’re not suggesting you make a porno… unless you want to? We’re merely suggesting that, by watching something erotic together, like porn or even a sexy film, it could stir up some sexual arousal. You know the expression, “One thing leads to another”? Kind of like that… 

Of course it would be weird to just put on porn if you’re a couple who don’t do that kind of thing together. But start a subtle dialogue that might get things going. “What’s your favorite fantasy?” “Do you watch porn? What’s your favorite kind?” Take it from there, it could work wonders.

4. Say It in a Love Letter

Ok, so it’s not really a love letter, more like an erotic gesture written down on paper. But if saying it out loud isn’t your thing, getting your desires down in writing can be a big help. Try slipping a cheeky note into your partner’s coat pocket that spells out your intentions. 

Or, if you’re feeling more modern, send a suggestive email flirtatiously outlining the things you want to do with/to them. You know what also works great? A sexy selfie! (But remember to practice safe sexy selfie sharing!).

Otherwise, get on the trend that millions are now experimenting with: sexting! A deliciously-descriptive text message is a great way to ‘up’ the anticipation until you next see each other.

5. Learn Their Love Language

Marriage counselor, Dr Gary Chapman, has sold over seven million copies of his book, The 5 Love Languages, which has made it to number one on the New York Times Best Seller list. 

This book basically introduces the reader to five different love languages, to which every individual gravitates more towards one (and sometimes two) than any other. This is then known as ‘your love language’.

In case you haven’t heard of it, the five love languages are: 

1. Words of Affirmation
Words mean more than actions to you, and hearing things like, “I love you, you are important to me,” or receiving compliments is the quickest way to your heart.

2. Acts of Service
Acts of service include giving a helping hand. So if you identify with this love language, your partner offering to do the dishes because they know you’ve had a long day, or them spoiling you with a massage, will mean the world to you.

3. Receiving Gifts
This love language is applicable to those who appreciate the thoughtfulness behind receiving a gift. It’s not a materialistic thing, but more so knowing that someone has taken the time to give you something that they knew you would love.

4. Quality Time
This is more about experiencing and spending quality time with the one you love. It’s about drowning out the noise of the day, putting down phones and turning off the TV in order to spend uninterrupted time together. 

5. Physical Touch
This could be in any sense, be it sensual or affectionate. It’s a physical gesture that makes a person feel loved, cared for, and appreciated. A platonic hug, holding hands, and cuddling are all considered physical touch when it comes to the 5 love languages.

Now that you’re familiar, you can ask or decide which love language best suits your partner, then bring comfort and joy to them by doing something that’ll feed their love language. An example could be buying them a new sex toy, or initiating a prolonged and comforting hug. Who knows what’ll happen next… 

6. Learn Your Partner’s Style of Initiation

Dr. Petra Zebroff, a couples counselor and a sex therapist in Vancouver, did a study to find out how men and women prefer sex to be initiated. After concluding the data, seven different styles of initiation were formed:

  • Make Out Style: These people prefer to get things started with a good old-fashioned make-out session.
  • Passion Style: These people prefer to be adored and desired with intensity. 
  • Sapio-Dynamic Style: These people prefer to be teased in order to heighten the sexual energy.
  • Sensualist Style: These people prefer to be touched, feeling different sensations.
  • Love-Connection Style: These people prefer heart-felt and emotional connection.
  • Verbal Style: These people prefer sexy and dirty talk.
  • Power Style: These people prefer using power as a tool in which to turn it up a notch.

So, just like the five love languages, knowing which one of these seven styles of initiation your partner identifies with, could guide you when it comes to doing the nasty! 

See? Initiating sex doesn’t have to be an overwhelmly nerve-racking thing. There are tons of different tools here to keep you busy for a while! 

Oh, and, PSA! Sex should always be consensual. That is, an agreement to participate in a sexual activity. Both partners must agree to sex, every single time, for it to be consensual.

Written by: Helena Lorimer

Helena is a sex-positive freelance copywriter in her early 30’s from Cape Town, South Africa. She’s travelled and lived in various countries in Asia and Europe for almost a decade, and continues to live her dream — traveling the world independently as a copywriter. Having written for various companies and magazines within the industry, she has extensive knowledge in the field of sexual health, the escort industry, and sex toy marketing.

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