What to do if only one partner initiates sex?
Patient: I don’t usually lie, but it is a common occurrence.
The old joke about the “funny partner” is not funny, especially if it refers to your long-term partner. It gets very old to be the one who initiates sexual activity. It is easy to feel unloved if you ask and are not asked.
This is the usual defense of the passive partner in couples therapy when it comes to this topic. Who would?
The male is more likely to be the aggressor in heterosexual couples, perhaps because of his higher libido. However, this is not always the case. Women with high libidos have men who have low libidos, and women who have higher libidos. Sometimes they even get married. There are also same-sex couples whose sexual libidos often are not compatible. It’s a combination of an unequal desire to sex, a lack of libido and/or a willingness to take on the risk of initiating. What can be done?
If you are a regular initiater of sex
It’s time to be the initiator and not complain to your partner if you’re constantly doing it. You might say, “I initiate sex between you most of the time.” It would be nice if you did it occasionally. What would you find the easiest? Perhaps you could show me that you are interested by taking a shower before I go to bed or giving me a massage. Would you consider doing that for me?
Expect to be told why she/he cannot or is difficult. These may not be valid excuses to act out of one’s comfort zone. Some people are sensitive to arousal, but they don’t respond spontaneously to it unless stimulated. If this is the case, you can ask your partner to give you more compliments and tell you that you are loved more often.
If your partner is the one who initiates sex,
Are you open to making some changes if you’re the passive partner? It doesn’t matter if your partner has never raised the issue. Ask or better yet, have a good talk with your partner and make the clear move in a way that you can both appreciate. For example, offer a more passionate kiss, let your touch be more sensual or invite them to share a bath, shower, or massage.
Your partner will most likely talk about your unusual behavior. Discuss it. Was it something she or he liked? Was it uncomfortable for you both? Do you think it is worth repeating?
You will be able to have more open conversations about how you feel about sex change and how you felt about it. This will lead to deeper relationships and self-disclosure.