Sex ad­vice

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - PERSPECTIVES -

We have one big prob­lem. My part­ner and I are both in our mid-20s and we’ve been to­gether for 18 months. It is the first se­ri­ous re­la­tion­ship for both of us. I love him very much but he doesn’t want to ini­ti­ate sex! He says he “wants to be wanted” but so do I.

He’s a lovely, car­ing, clever man but I’m los­ing a bit of re­spect for him. I won­der if he’s miss­ing the mas­culin­ity gene or has low testos­terone.

He re­fuses to go to the doc­tor as he says he has plenty of in­ter­est in sex. What do we do? It’s both of your jobs to ini­ti­ate sex. Want­ing to be de­sired is the easy role; build­ing the ca­pac­ity to deeply de­sire a loved one and the courage to act on that de­sire is much harder. You’re de­scrib­ing some­thing that plays out be­tween lots of cou­ples, some­times with one grudg­ingly giv­ing in and do­ing all the pur­su­ing, which isn’t the best out­come as re­sent­ment will back­fire at some point.

You’re in a het­ero­sex­ual re­la­tion­ship so “fem­i­nin­ity” and “mas­culin­ity” or what­ever you like to call it comes into the de­sire and arousal pic­ture, but in no way does this need to dic­tate your roles. You each get to ex­press your­selves in your way.

It sounds like you’re both able to en­joy be­ing se­duced or taken, which is great. Now dis­cuss how anx­i­ety-pro­vok­ing it is for each of you to set out to bust a move and then pre­pare to­gether to move out­side your com­fort zone.

Iden­tify what turns you on and gets you in the mood for sex and share this with your lover. Un­der­stand they also get a say in the mat­ter, so each gen­er­ates as long a list as pos­si­ble. Don’t be rigid about what takes top place.

When your lover ex­presses healthy de­sire for you, you get in­stant val­i­da­tion. When you are the se­ducer you have to sup­port and af­firm your­self and you need to have ways to gen­er­ate and har­ness your own de­sire to bring to the en­counter.

You’ll both gain so much by stretch­ing your­selves in this way, be­com­ing com­fort­able with ini­ti­at­ing and ac­cept­ing. This is part of how you be­come an erotic adult.

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