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If You Almost Always Initiate Sex, Here's How To Switch That Up

You deserve to be pampered, too.

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In the beginning of a relationship, when things are fresh and exciting, initiating sex is probably something that just happens organically with both of you likely initiating things. Over time, when things naturally slow down a bit and the two of you get comfortable, there might be a new normal forming in your relationship. As a couple, you'll find your own sexual patterns of frequency — and also which one of you usually tends to initiate it. Ideally, there is some balance (or at least a dynamic) that both of you are happy with. But for the person who feels like you’re always the one to initiate sex, there may develop, over time, what feels like a growing sense of resentment, frustration, and sometimes even insecurity. You get tired of initiating intimacy and wish your partner would do the legwork more often.

But are those feelings warranted? Or is it normal for one partner to be the one to always kick-start those adult fun times? To answer that question, I reached out to the experts — Kelley Kitley, psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker, and Kayla Lords, a writer and sexpert for Jack and Jill Adult — who shared their thoughts on why this imbalance of initiation tends to happen in relationships, what it means for the relationship, and how to deal with it if it's starting to create a problem for the two of you. If your girlfriend or boyfriend never initiates sex, it doesn’t have to be that way forever.

It’s Common For One Partner To Initiate Sex More Often.

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In most relationships, the experts say it's common for one partner to take the lead when it comes to sex. “There is usually one person in the relationship who is more of the sex initiator,” Kitley tells Elite Daily. But she adds that there is nothing wrong with that, so long as both parties are comfortable with the situation. “However, if the initiator is constantly being rejected, it could cause problems within the dynamic of the relationship,” Kitley warns. If you’re thinking, “I always intitiate sex, and my partner doesn’t reciprocate enthusiastically,” this could be worth a conversation to understand what’s going on.

Sexual Desire & Sexual Confidence Aren’t The Same Thing.

Oftentimes, the problems this imbalance creates arise because the initiating partner doesn't understand why it’s left to them to always make the approach. Lords says this can happen for any number of reasons. “If you're the one initiating sex, it can mean several things,” she tells Elite Daily. “You may feel more comfortable expressing your sexual desires than your partner. It could also mean that you have a higher sex drive than your partner. This doesn't mean they don't want you, only that your desire for sex is easier to express than it is for your partner.”

However, she does acknowledge that in some cases, it could also be a sign that there are problems in the relationship. “Yes, it can mean they're less interested in you sexually or that your relationship has cooled off since the beginning,” she says, but she assures that none of these reasons mean that the relationship is doomed.

Understand Each Other’s Needs By Talking About Your Sex Life.

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If this situation is hitting close to home, the experts say it's time to stop ignoring the problem and speak up, because both of your needs are just as valid. “Most couples have different levels of sex drives, and it’s important to honor both and meet some place in the middle,” says Kitley.

In order to resolve the problem, you first have to address it, says Lords. “You need to have a serious discussion about what you both want and how much sex is desired by both of you,” she says. She adds that you may discover that the issue simply comes down to a miscommunication. “Your partner could see your role as the one to pursue them, instead of realizing that they can (and possibly should) initiate sex as well.” Whatever the cause, instead of panicking, Lords says to use that as a place to begin an honest dialogue. “[This can] be a starting point for a conversation to discuss how you both want sex to work in your relationship,” she assures.

Choose a time when you’re both feeling relaxed and level-headed — preferably not right in the middle of a sexual encounter. "Use 'I' statements and talk about the things you like and prefer," sex therapist and social worker Danica Mitchell previously told Elite Daily. "Gently guide in the right direction, and be kind.” Make your partner feel valued and respected, and don’t put them on the defensive. “Ask questions,” Mitchell suggested. “If you have something you want to talk about, it's always good to open the door for the other person to express themselves so the conversation isn't one-sided. Their pleasure matters, too."

While the conversation may be hard to initiate (ironically enough), it is ultimately the only way you are going to have any kind of resolution. Relationships take work, but if yours is worth fighting for, then it's time to speak up and tell your partner what you need before it's too late. Otherwise, resentment can build up an insurmountable wall for you. Maybe things will get awkward when you first talk things out, but, in the end, it will be worth it. You’ll learn more about each other’s needs and how to make each other happy.

Experts:

Kelley Kitley, psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker

Kayla Lords, writer and sexpert for Jack and Jill Adult

Danica Mitchell, sex therapist and social worker