In our Becoming more sexually engaged course, we challenge wives to start initiating sex in their marriage, but what if that’s too big of a step for you? What if you just can’t bring yourself to do that?
Well, here’s a baby-step for anyone who might be feeling that way: initiate precursors to sex instead of sex itself.
What’s a precursor to sex?
I’m glad you asked. Precursors are anything that happens before the situation becomes sexual, but that generally lead to sex. That might be different in every relationship.
In our marriage, giving my wife a massage is almost guaranteed to turn into sex. I mean, you’re touching, and clothes are coming off (you know, purely for accessibility), the coconut oil is already out as massage oil (which happens to double nicely as lube), my wife is very relaxed (always helpful when transitioning to sex), and I can slowly move to more sexual touches as the massage progresses.
Don’t know how to give a good massage? Check out Denis Merkas’ amazing course, Melt.
For you, it might be something else. Maybe movie night always ends in sex, or date night, or slow dancing. Don’t have anything that usually leads to sex for you? Check out our Truth or Dare game, because that usually ends with sex for most couples.
Why initiate a precursor to sex?
So, why do we need to know about precursors? Well, if you’re having trouble initiating sex, initiating a precursor might be a little less daunting. Why?
- A precursor does not guarantee sex – While the hope is that the precursor will lead to sex, let’s face it, there’s no guarantee. So, it’s not like you’re asking for sex. It’s more likely you’re asking them to be open to the idea of sex, and that’s a bit less scary.
- You’re not asking for sex directly – Even if you have a precursor that you know will lead to sex, there’s still a subtle difference between outright asking for sex directly, and asking for something that will lead to it. At least that’s how it often feels in our minds. If you experience shame regarding initiating sex, then this can feel like a shame-free way to make your desires known.
- Rejection hurts less – If they turn down your invitation, well, it’s not quite as bad. They turned down a massage, not sex. It stings a bit less, and doesn’t create as deep of a wound as being rejected for sex. That’s not to say it doesn’t hurt and isn’t disappointing. But it can feel less so.
This is a baby step, not a permanent go-to-move
If this works for you, great! But, don’t rest there permanently. Sexually healthy people initiate sex with their spouse, and like having their spouse initiate sex with them.
There’s nothing wrong with initiating precursors, and that can be part of your repertoire of initiations, but it shouldn’t be the only method. Depending on what your reasons for being shy about initiating are, you may have different work that needs to be done or might need some coaching on how to work through it individually, or as a couple.
My point is, just don’t let it sit at this baby step. Work towards something more authentic and intimate.
What about you? Do you have trouble initiating sex? What’s holding you back? Is this something that could help?
37 Questions for spouses to ask each other about sex
Subscribe to get the 2 page PDF full of questions to help you and your spouse start to talk about your sex life.