I Never Initiate Sex: My Partner Resents Me For It

by | 22/01/21 | Low Libido

“I never initiate sex and we keep arguing about it. He just doesn’t get it”.

“He thinks I’m not attracted to him anymore but that’s really not true! I love him and want to be with him, I just haven’t been up for sex lately!”

Ever heard yourself utter those words once or twice? It’s more common than you think.

Just because you’ve stopped initiating sex, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t attracted to your partner anymore.

But how do we make them see it that way?

In the beginning of your relationship, everything seemed so easy!

You didn’t have to think about who was initiating sex and why. It happened naturally. That new relationship energy just pulled the two of you together. You probably had so much sex that at one point it even started to hurt and you had to stop!

Unfortunately this stage doesn’t last forever. But if it did, we probably wouldn’t get anything else done!

So how to we keep our sex lives alive for the long haul?

Problem 1: You expect sex to happen spontaneously.

“Sex should feel easy! After one subtle non-verbal gesture, we should be getting it on!”

I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this but that’s not a helpful long-term strategy to rely on for your relationship if you ever want to have sex again.

Most women have responsive desire rather than spontaneous desire. So you probably aren’t going to feel aroused until you’re already engaging in sexy activities.

You waiting to “feel like sex” at the same time that your partner is trying to initiate sex with you is a very bad strategy for maintaining a sex life. Those opportunities will very rarely come around.

You waiting to "feel like sex" at the same time that your partner is trying to initiate sex with you is a very bad strategy for maintaining a sex life. Share on X

Have a look at your own relationship, has this strategy ever worked for you? Relationships take work, sex is no different.

This might mean that you need to accept the fact that you might never magically feel a spontaneous uncontrollable urge to have sex again.

“Excuse me, Megan, What???” I can hear you already shouting at me!

You heard me. It’s possible that you will never feel a spontaneous urge to jump your partner’s bones ever again. So hanging onto that hope is only going to lead to disappointment.

This doesn’t mean that you won’t experience being full of sexual desire and lust again, it just means that it’s not going to hit you out of nowhere like a cool breeze. Your sexual desire needs to be stimulated or triggered first before you can get there.

It’s the media that’s convinced you that all sex needs to be spontaneous, and if it’s not then your relationship is in trouble. It’s a huge myth. Most women have responsive desire.

If that’s the case, think about what you can do to initiate sex more often.

Do you need to schedule a regular sexy date night where you take turns initiating sex? Be creative.

Problem 2: You turn your partner down without explanation.

When you turn your partner down and don’t respond to their advances, there usually isn’t a discussion about it. Everything just gets left up in the air and you both make your own assumptions about what that means. This is a recipe for shame and resentment.

Expressing sexual desire is an extremely vulnerable act. If your self-esteem isn’t very high, when you get rejected or turned down, you can question your whole worth as a person.

Having a partner who doesn’t want to have sex with you can really bruise your ego and and hurt your confidence.

If you take some time to think about it, I’m sure you can understand why your partner feels that way.

There’s something special about knowing your partner wants to take your clothes off and desires you, it’s a normal human need to feel desired.

Just for a minute, look at it from their point of view. Consider for a moment that they aren’t trying to use you for sex or for an orgasm, they can do that on their own. The reason they’re asking you is because they want to connect with you. This isn’t really about the act of sex at all.

Initiating sex can be a signal that shows their love and affection for you, in the same way that you telling them they look gorgeous does, or cooking them a delicious meal does. Everyone has a different love language. For some people, sex is how they give and receive love.

This can be a very complex problem if you allow it to be.

The solution here is to actually talk to each other. Crazy, right? It can be that simple. But f*ck, that can be hard sometimes.

The simple act of explaining why you are saying no when you turn down their request for sex can make a world of difference to your partner. It can turn an opportunity for resentment in to an opportunity for emotional intimacy.

There may be a million reasons why you don’t want to have sex, but not finding your partner attractive isn’t one of them, make sure they know it.

Why don’t you want sex?

Are you feeling stressed? Is your mental health in the toilet? Are you feeling self-conscious about your body?

Do you have some underlying performance anxiety? Do you have an underlying medical condition that’s standing in the way?

Do you need someone to start the sexy time before you’ll get into it and start feeling the desire?

Really think about the last few times your partner has tried to initiate sex. What was the problem? Why did you REALLY say no?

Just because you never initiate sex, it doesn’t mean that it’s all your fault.

Yes, you have been the one saying no to sex but that doesn’t mean that the problem with your sex life is YOUR fault. But it isn’t their fault either. The only way to move forward is to both accept responsibility for your part in it and move forward.

A major hurdle to having these discussions is shame. We are so worried that a rejection from our partner means that we are unattractive, disgusting or unlovable. All of this is made more difficult when you are already dealing with pre-existing self-doubt and insecurity.

How do we work through this?

The number 1 best thing you can do for your sex life is creating opportunities for intimacy and connection OUTSIDE of the bedroom.

The number 1 best thing you can do for your sex life is creating opportunities for intimacy and connection OUTSIDE of the bedroom. Share on X

By creating opportunities for quality time together outside of the bedroom, you start to build a foundation of intimacy that can foster connection both inside and outside of the bedroom.

Make sure they know you find them attractive, especially when you’re in a neutral space AND they don’t ask for it. By complimenting each other and expressing desire for each other in ways other than sex, you can both get what you need without even having to have sex yet.

Instead of waiting for someone to initiate sex and magically hoping it works out, talk about how you both prefer sex be initiated.

What do you like? What do they like? Is there a way that can work both of you?

By understanding how each of you prefer to be aroused and have sex initiated, you can minimise the rejection whilst both feeling appreciated no matter the outcome.

Bonus tip

Negotiate what kind of sex they would be up for instead of completely shutting them down when you don’t feel in the mood for one type of sex.

Why settle for one type of sex (eh em, P-in-V sex) when you can choose from a whole buffet of options.

I can’t mention this without at least mentioning the orgasm gap. A study was done in 2017 measuring the frequency of orgasms during sexual encounters in heterosexual, gay and lesbian relationships. The report showed that:

  • Heterosexual men orgasm 95% of the time.
  • Gay men orgasm 89% of the time.
  • Lesbian women orgasm 86% of the time
  • Heterosexual women orgasm 65% of the time.

And I still think the real figure for heterosexual women is actually lower than that!

Why’s this? This is because penis-in-vagina sex is considered the only real sex in a lot of heterosexual relationships. And if you know that 75% of women cannot orgasm from penetration alone, it becomes very obvious what the problem is.

Women are not experiencing the types of sex that make them feel good. If you don’t experience the kind of pleasure that you enjoy during sex, you’re going to be a lot less inclined to say yes to sex when the time offer is on the table.

In Summary

There can be so many reasons why you never initiate sex.

Stop depending on spontaneous sex to keep your sex life afloat. You most likely have a more responsive desire type and need to be stimulated or triggered before you will feel the sexual desire.

This is not a problem, it’s just how you’re wired.

In order to help you initiate sex more often, you may have to get yourself into a sexy frame of mind first. You can do this by reading erotica, masturbating, or listening to some sexy music or audio stories. Once you’re warmed up, I’m sure you will have no problem initiating with your partner!

Stop turning down your partner with no explanation. Stop leaving any room for assumptions, it can only end badly. If you don’t want to have sex, say why, and see it as an opportunity to connect on an emotional level.

Talk to your partner about how you both like sex to be initiated. If this means they need to make sure the dishes are washed and the bed is made first, then so be it. Let them know, I’m sure they will be happy to oblige.

I never initiate sex and my partner resents me for it

Make sure to share this post with your family and friends if you think there’s a good chance it could help them too. Thank you!

Disclaimer: This blog consists of only my opinions and doesn’t reflect the opinions of the Department of Health of South Africa or The Southern African Sexual Health Association. All information is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but it’s possible that there may be omissions, errors or mistakes. While I am a registered medical practitioner, I am not YOUR doctor. The information presented on this blog is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only and shouldn’t be seen as professional medical advice. If you rely on any information presented, it’s at your own risk. Please consult a professional before taking any sort of action.

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