9 Ways to Initiate Sex
Jump-start your love life by learning how to put the moves on your man
By Denise Schipani
You’ve heard all about the benefits of having sex—it can improve your health, help you sleep and, obviously, strengthen your relationship. And the best way to have more sex is to ask for it. But for some women, that’s easier said than done. It may be because you can’t figure out a way to get the message across, or you’re exhausted, shy or just plain out of practice, says Aline Zoldbrod, Ph.D., sex therapist and author of Sex Talk. No matter what the reason, if you’re not sure how to give your man the hint, read on for nine tips to initiate romance.
1. Put it in writing.
Sometimes, saying, “I want you, now” out loud can feel intimidating or embarrassing, especially if that kind of talk doesn’t come naturally to you, says Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., a couples and sex therapist and author of Getting the Sex You Want. But writing down your desires can help shake off your inhibitions, since you can get your point across without face-to-face contact. Pop a note in your husband’s coat pocket before you leave for work, send him an email (to his personal account!) or tap out a quick text message. What you say depends on your relationship, but, “Try to break out of your comfort zone to help build erotic anticipation,” says Dr. Nelson. Texting things like, “Can’t wait until tonight,” or “Having a naughty thought about you right now” can work to build excitement for what’s to come. Or, Dr. Nelson says, you can be more graphic than you might feel comfortable doing in person, saying something like, “Tonight, I’m getting into bed naked and will do XYZ to you…”
2. Establish an “I’m in the mood” code.
Between the two of you, come up with a word or phrase that is a secret call for sex. “Make it something that you can say in front of your kids, or even your in-laws,” says Dr. Nelson. The contrast between how ordinary the code sounds to others and what it really means to you stirs up excitement and fosters intimacy. Try something like, “Honey, can you help me balance the checkbook later?” or, “I really have a headache!”
3. Get—and stay––in the mood.
When it comes to summoning sex, getting yourself in the mood is half the battle. “You are more likely to initiate sex later if you pay attention to your own feelings first,” says Dr. Zoldbrod. Look at some erotic images, such as those in the Kama Sutra, or read a few passages from a favorite romance novel to put you in a sexual state of mind. If that’s not your speed, just spend some time thinking in detail about the last time you had sex, which will help rev your appetite. Dr. Zoldbrod also recommends going for a walk to boost endorphins, wearing lingerie to work or even thinking about your favorite celebrity crush. By reminding yourself to keep sex at the forefront of your mind all day, the positive vibes will last well until bedtime, inspiring you to make a move. Photo: Thinkstock
4. Send a nonverbal cue.
If verbal requests for sex are out of your comfort zone, don’t worry: non-verbal initiation can be just as powerful. Try a kiss on his neck or a little ear-nibbling while he’s on the computer or watching TV, suggests Dr. Nelson. Then escalate the gesture by stroking his arm while you’re sitting near each other. Ramping it up slowly like this serves two purposes: First, the element of surprise can boost sexual feelings; secondly, the non-verbal come-on can be unexpected, which could pave the way for spontaneous sex, says Dr. Nelson. Photo: George Doyle/Thinkstock
5. Try something new together.
Explore unknown territory as a couple, whether that means attending a free art class at your library, going to see a foreign movie or signing up for a volunteer opportunity in your community. “When couples do new things together they produce more dopamine, the feel-good brain chemical,” which will help make you feel closer, says Dr. Zoldbrod. And if you enjoyed that foreign film or art class and ended up making love when you got home? That tradition will likely catch on, so doing it after any excursion may become a delicious habit.
6. Be generous with compliments.
As relationships progress, couples are often less inclined to court and compliment one another. Noticing—and appreciating—each other’s positive attributes not only fosters affection, but will also remind you both of the early days of your relationship, when sex was likely intoxicating and frequent. The key here is to identify those times that your partner looks sexy or really impresses you, and tell him rather than keep it to yourself, says Dr. Nelson. Try something like, “I was looking out the window when you were mowing the lawn. You looked so hot in those shorts!” Or, “Honey, you just look so sexy to me when you’re cooking us dinner.” That kind of appreciation is an ideal segue into sex. Photo: Thinkstock
7. Change the timing.
Instead of initiating sex as the two of you are brushing your teeth or settling into bed with a book, make your move during unusual-for-you times, says Dr. Nelson. The idea is that by taking him (and yourself!) by surprise, you may shed a few of your inhibitions, since the experience will feel out of context. “Try anything that’s out of the ordinary, like hugging him from behind when he’s washing dishes and whispering, ‘Wanna do it?’ in his ear,” says Dr. Nelson. Turning the expected on its head sparks excitement—for both of you. Conversely, the same thing might happen when you make the effort to schedule sex; the anticipation—and the habit—all build sexual excitement as you count down towards “go” time.
8. Play the “remember when” game.
As you’re sitting on the couch together, or over dinner, recall your best, sexiest memories. “Saying things like, ‘Hey, remember that time when we went to Jamaica on that vacation and it took us a whole afternoon to even leave the hotel room?’ tells him that you are thinking about him in a sexual way,” says Dr. Zoldbrod. And reminiscing together about past experiences will not only pave the way for a romp in the hay, but will also reinforce the bond between you as a couple.
9. Be straightforward!
Being absolutely direct is natural for some women, and a little harder for others. If you can master it, nothing works better, says Dr. Nelson. What man doesn’t want to hear, “I’m taking a shower. Care to join me?” Or, “Get in bed. Now.” The perks of being direct are that you don’t have to worry about being clever or creative, or expending loads of time and energy conjuring up ways to ask for it. And in this case, practice makes perfect! The more you directly ask for sex, the more second nature it will become.
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