What's Keeping You From Initiating Sex?


What's Keeping You From Initiating Sex?
5 obstacles that may be keeping you passive in the bedroom.

Who's in charge in your bedroom? You? Or Him?

If the answer is him, then you're missing out on being fully present in your sexual relationship, which is not only vital to your relationship but vital to your own health and sense of self. My next question is then: As a woman, why aren't you initiating sex? If you're not sure what the answer is then I urge you to take a closer look for the sake of your own sexual identity.


First of all, women are complex. We have a hard time focusing on just one of our many interconnected parts. This is why a woman needs to feel mentally fulfilled by her partner before having sex (whereas most men can compartmentalize their mental frustrations, yet still be ready and able for sex).

Secondly, we live in a world where women are wearing WAY more hats than ever before. One woman alone can be a mommy, a wife, a professional, captain of the household's social calendar, a housekeeper, a kiddy "schlepper" (aka driving the kids from one activity to the next), a cook/meal preparer, etc. That said, it's no wonder why so many women have put their sexual needs on the back burner, leaving it up to their partners to initiate the sexual connection.

If you are a "multi hat" wearing woman who is hardly initiating sex with your partner, then read below to learn about five common obstacles that may be keeping you from taking charge in the bedroom:

1. Exhaustion: One of the most common complaints I hear from my female patients is how they are simply too tired and too overworked to even THINK about sex, let alone initiate. After a day full of work, kids, errands, etc., the idea of sex can unfortunately feel like a chore instead of a sacred and exhilarating time with your partner.

Solution: If you are a woman caught in the "exhaustion web" then you need to ask yourself: Where in my life can I either slow down, delegate to others, and/or let go of responsibilities that are not as high priority so that I can reserve energy and interest for my relationship at home? Are you a stay-at-home mom who strives to "do it all" with no help? If so, it may be time to hire a housekeeper once a week. Whatever your situation may be, self-care is essential in order to keep your libido alive and well.

2. Poor body image: Women are conscious about their bodies. Period. You may be one of those women who feels the guilt and/or shame that your body just isn't the same as when you first married. Or are you someone who never lost all of the baby weight since giving birth and now find yourself lost in a world of mac-n-cheese leftovers while forgetting what your gym looks like? For many women, poor body image equates to low self-esteem—and if you are not feeling sexy, then the likelihood of trying to seduce your partner is highly unlikely.

Solution: First, it's important to remember that you being sexually satisfying to your partner has little to do with how you feel about your body. Chances are your partner is thrilled to have "sexy times" with you no matter what, so make sure you don't project your insecurities onto him.

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To really make this advice work, you need to follow these action steps to complete today's challenge.

Right now, I want you to:

Take 10 minutes of quiet, alone time to close your eyes and get clear on what's keeping you from initiating sex. Try to find the root emotion or cause, even if it's unpleasant.

Within 7 days I want you to:

Once you have identified the specific issue, take the time to look at your daily routine and interaction with your partner and make note of when and where the issue pops up. For example, if "exhaustion" is the issue, make note of how you lack in self-care throughout the week: Are you getting enough sleep? Are your eating well and exercising? Are you taking on more projects than you need to at work? Are you not taking enough time for just you in order to "re-boot" and feel more energized? Cultivate a strong awareness and understanding of your obstacle.

By the end of the challenge I want you to:

By the end of the challenge, develop a healthy game plan—even if it only involves one small change. It's important to see yourself taking action to make sex a priority again. Perhaps you will choose to discuss the issue with your partner so that he can help fight the obstacle, too. Ultimately, I'd hope by the end of the challenge you have taken a huge step forward and are able to express yourself sexually to your partner. And if you're able to initiate sex—even just once—then bravo! 

Article contributed by

Carin Goldstein MFT

Marriage and Family Therapist

Carin Goldstein, MFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles as well as the witty writer of Be the Smart Wife where she writes about the trials and tribulations of how to naviagate through your marriage. Sign up for Be the Smart Wife bi-weekly posts and connect with Carin on facebook and twitter. If you live in the Los Angeles area and are interested in learning more about Carin's psychotherapy services, visit her website at caringoldstein.com.

Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Empowering Women, Marriage
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