Who Initiates Sex and why it Matters so Much

By | January 9, 2023

It can seem a highly trivial subject to get so upset about being rightly no more significant than who should open the door first or open a new jam jar first and yet judging from the heartache, it tends to generate it appears to matter very much indeed it’s at the root of many affairs. It is the catalyst for vicious arguments and bitterness, the long term future of small children can be decided by it and couples routinely end up in therapy or more often the divorce courts because. At the heart of the drama are all the complexities involved when late at night in the darkness, one person’s hand moves over to tentatively touch the other’s body in a way that signals a desire to initiate either sex or a cuddle. And nothing much happens in return. This move ends up being so much more fraught than one might imagine because it has so little to do with making love. It is about knowing that we are wanted. The willingness to initiate sex can appear like the litmus test of whether one is appreciated within the relationship as a whole and therefore whether a couple remains a going concern or not for one person never to initiate or else merely to respond half heartedly to caresses is tantamount to declaring that they cannot possibly love the person they are with. In truth, a lack of initiation or response can mean many things it may at points simply be a sign of exhaustion after a long day of child care or work at the office sometimes an untouched hand is just an untouched hand. The real problem in the ambiguous darkness of the bedroom is not a lack of reciprocation per se. It is the way that that ambiguity is interpreted, the way that assumptions are formed without discussion and grave offences taken without the topic having first been aired. Beneath this lies a more pernicious problem still shame unreciprocated touch becomes properly dangerous when it comes into contact with a high degree of self suspicion or self hatred on the part of the person who has dared to slide their hand across what might merely have been judged an innocent or temporary lack of enthusiasm comes to be taken silently and automatically as evidence of something far more catastrophic proof that the other person finds us disgusting. Ideally, if we all loved ourselves enough. We would know better what to do when we moved a hand across and didn’t get much in return. We would address the matter within the couple through calm and kindly discussion and try to determine what is at stake if the evidence pointed squarely to an enduring lack of interest or emotional capacity we would leave after all, there’s nothing wrong with ending up sharing a bed with an emotionally or physically withholding partner. There is something very wrong or at least very unfortunate with sticking around once one knows this is the case. But these are not the options open to us when we feel overly ashamed. Our unresponsive partners reinforce pre-existing feelings of unacceptability that render us bitter, mute and fragile a history of not knowing how to value ourselves makes it extremely difficult for us to complain effectively about unfortunate treatment, let alone leave in order to seek warmer lovers elsewhere as self hating lovers we cannot say with requisite calm and strategic patients that we feel rejected that we need to be understood and that we’re looking for change. We will either say nothing at. All and might have an affair or else explode into a rage that guarantees our message won’t be heard. In the tensions around unreciprocated touch in the bedroom, we catch sight of a more general problem in love. The difficulties created when we aren’t able to ask for what we want in a relationship when we suffer from a sense that we don’t deserve to be happy and cannot handle frustration or respond to our misery adequately. We should not leave the untouched hand for too long in the darkness. We should dare to switch on the light, express our pain and consider our options without shame.

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