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How to initiate sex with your partner

When I was young I thought sex was probably quite a rare occurrence. From what I’d seen on TV and in films, it looked like sex within a straight, long-term relationship involved a fair amount of rigmarole. You have to shave your legs, wash your hair, put on makeup and look seductive. If you’re a dude you’ll probably have to do a different kind of groundwork: snuggling in front of a film, and inching your arm along the back of the couch painstakingly slowly until it finally comes to rest on one of your partner’s breasts.

I’ve never seen a TV couple start fucking the way we usually do.

“Do you want to shag? We haven’t done it for a while.”

Or seduce each other with the kind of lines you can only get away with if you know the answer will be ‘why not?’

“Do you want to touch my freshly-shaven cunt?”

Mismatched libido

To be fair, it wasn’t always this way. My first ever boyfriend was a bit nonplussed by my efforts. Not only did he have a much lower sex drive, I think felt as if each fresh attempt to fuck him was a slight on the fuck he’d had with me before. You’re only after this because the last one didn’t satisfy you, right?

OK, fair enough, I didn’t scream the walls down, and if I hadn’t faked an orgasm then he could be sure as shit I hadn’t actually had one. But if it hadn’t  enjoyed what we did then I wouldn’t be pleading with my eyes and staring longingly at his crotch.

“Are you tired? I’m not.”

At the time, I floundered a bit. Spent two months’ allowance on an Ann Summers corset and sobbed when his reaction to it was an indifference bordering on hostility. That I’d put so much effort in made the rejection hurt all the more.

*turns round* *pulls down trousers to show a glimpse of arse* “Want to fuck me?”

I didn’t realise until much later that sex doesn’t always have to be something one person tempts the other into. That the build-up can be as simple as:

Do that thing you did yesterday, but again, and harder.

While we often see couples on TV making preparations for date nights or dressing in sexy lingerie, we don’t often see the kind of easy, casual delight with which lots of couples initiate sex.

It’s hard to say ‘not tonight’ if someone’s asking you with their soul shimmering in their eyes and a desperate hope in their tone of voice. And I think it’s much easier to say ‘yes’ as well.

*puts on some porn* *points at crotch* “Touch yourself?”

Let’s be honest – most of us rarely have time for poetry and lingerie. And a simple ‘fancy a fuck?’ does nicely when you’re with someone who doesn’t mind you being lazy every once in a while. It’s not pretty, or meaningful, or romantic. It’s a combination of honesty, crassness and enthusiasm. Which I think is why I like it.


  • Tim the Toolman says:

    You’ve tried those lines in a nightclub before?

    Heh. “Wanna fuck?” I wish it worked on my missus.

  • RB says:

    Your first ever boyfriend sounds exactly like my first ever. Just…indifferent. And so insensitive. I really felt like I had to repress my libido after a while and it made me feel abnormal. And, yes, it was always me initiating. Always better to start bad and get better!

  • As a female, it’s far easier (in my opinion) to ask for sex than it is for a male, when first approaching the subject. Oddly enough though, I always end up with men with lower sex drives that then I feel like I am pestering them for sex, and I never take the rejection well.
    What I love about this post is that it’s absolutely true: couples comfortable in a relationship approaching sex is nothing like TV shows; it’s far more playful, or to the point.

  • Fiddy says:

    With my wife “No.” isn’t an answer she sees as valid when asking. Not that I’d ever say no. :P

  • Nile says:


    Does it every time. You need to know your partner, and their moods, and which touch to use that day…

    …And I could tell you my favourite, but it’s way more fun to find out for yourself.

    A hint: a light run up the spine, right in the crease of the back, with the back of your fingernail is pretty effective; and if it doesn’t work in its own right, they will give you *very* strong body-language cues about where they actually want your hands to be. Learn to read them!

    As for what works for me, I am very much Mister Vanilla: a hand left cupping my balls with the wrist pressing my prick might leave me cold and uninterested, for minute after minute. We all have Monday Mornings, and our libidos do, too.

    But five or ten minutes, just left there – innocently, almost (try ‘insouciantly’) – and just by doing nothing but placing a hand, we’re in ripping underwear and pounding-the-carpet territory.

    We men are very simple creatures. There is something, some touch, that does it for all of us, and you’ll probably find yours by accident.

    Also: really nice, soft, silky luxurious rugs *that are machine washable* are the holy grail of a sex-positive household where initiating sex is always something that could be happening right now. There’s only so many times it’s amusing to fall off the f***ing sofa.

  • Desire on wheels says:

    Reading this and the post you linked to about men turning you down, I’ve had two types of being turned down by a partner. The first was the miserable type you describe in your other post, where I’d be trying to woo him into bed and making a big effort and so forth. That really shouldn’t be necessary in a loving relationship, and that’s when the rejection stings like hell. Especially when they don’t even seem to notice that you’re coming onto them, and you resort to hints to minimise the rejection, and it gets worse and worse.

    With my current relationship, it’s rare for him to turn me down, but on the few occasions, he’ll kiss me nicely and say, “Sorry, darling, I think I’m just too tired tonight,” and we snuggle happily, or sometimes I get myself off while he holds me and kisses me sleepily, and there is no fuss or resentment. Same when I’m turning him down, which with my pain and fatigue issues happens oftener than I’d like, but we often find a way to work around it somehow.

    Although the other night, I was rather tired (and getting me off was out due to a pelvic pain flare-up) but in a silly mood, and we were stroking each other idly, the usual last-thing-at-night cuddle that may turn into sex or may turn into drifting off in each other’s arms (and then I realise that I’m nearly asleep and wriggle out, I’m too restless a sleeper to sleep with his arms around me, damn it). I said cheerfully, “You know, I’d really like to grope you but I’m not sure I can be arsed.” He burst out laughing, we giggled together, and I decided I had a bit more energy than I’d thought and jumped him anyway.

    I think it’s being able to be casual about it that shows it’s a happily sexed-up relationship. You shouldn’t have to beg the person who supposedly loves you and fancies the pants off you.

  • Natalie Anderson says:

    Hey… I had my first and only boyfriend when I was 19… we’ve been in a steady relationship for so long… and wonder of wonders… It took us exactly 5 french kisses to realise that the other wanted australian ones… so then we both suddenly came to the conclusion that the other want sex.
    I didn’t have to ask, and nor did he… neither of us has had to be the “Initiator” for everything.
    We have happy, mindblowing vanilla sex and I hope and pray that every deserving girl gets a boy like mine…
    We both kind of spontaneously combusted afterwards, and the result is that we’re still an item and will be married this June!

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