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Dr. Chelsie

Initiating Sex

It is surprising to some people that initiating sex can be almost insurmountable to some – like the summit of Kilimanjaro. There seems to be an unwritten code or list of ways to get things going, but I have found that couples at ANY stage of the relationship may have a hard time starting sex, even if it is very good once they get the ball rolling. So, I will review a few difficulties and strategies to make things happen.

Warm up

The first part of initiating sex is getting warmed up. The fires of passion are not like a microwave – you cannot turn them on in seconds. Instead, they are like a wood burning oven that needs to warm up for hours, even days to get to a good working temperature. This means getting yourself to think about sex, sensations, to feel good in your own body and mind. This is often a problem for overworked, focused people who tend to be stressed out. Taking time, even scheduled 1 minute breaks to think about sensuality, will help this. You can go further by engaging with your food, clothes, and basically connecting to your world sensually – with the senses (hearing, touch, taste, smell and thought).


Now we get to the other person! Small touches of holding hands, kissing, hugging, sitting near each other, a small squeeze when you pass all count. It can be small and gentle or more clear as a pat on the but or more sensual caress. This depends on your partner and how they receive touch and what they like. Try a few things out, or even ask what they like to get past this hurdle and start making contact.

Right Place

I am known for talking about “couch time.” For new couples. This is where you take the dating world inside to a private location so allow privacy and intimate touch to be more likely. This does not have to be an actual couch, though often is with TV watching, a movie, doing work on a laptop together, etc. This is when it is good for a dating couple to try to have a reason to invite, or accept an invitation to come into someone’s home. For couples who live together it is good to find time to be near each other. This can be a problem with living room furniture, comfort tastes (soft couch laying down versus harder chair sitting up), a habit of being in different rooms, having children or pets that get in the way – LITERALLY! Now is the time to choose slight discomfort to be near to your dear! Let the dogs, cats, kids, and all of them have a moment on your other side or in another room. You may even choose to have special time each night (or a few nights) on the back porch bench. Do not let habit get in the way of your loving touch.

Moving forward

Now to try to kiss, touch, or move forward. This is where may feel anxious or fearful of rejection or humiliation. Remember that if someone is not in the mood it is often just due to themselves. They feel stressed, have not made room in their minds for sensuality, or have an upset stomach. The bold thing is to just try. Make a move; ask verbally in a cute, playful way; or use the candle technique. The candle communication uses 2 led candles that each person lights theirs when they are ready to be “warmed up”. This is not consent or promise for sex, but an ok to try and to be open to seeing what happens. Many couples find that by having the candles, they then think about if they are open to being warmed up and thus are more ready and open. It also gets rid of some intimidation for being rejected.

Make it happen

Be aware of your actions and the reactions of your partner. If they seem to be more engaged or energized, are starting to touch in different ways, then go along if you are ready. Many couples get stuck at kissing deeply due to not paying attention to the other one being ready to move forward. Many guys in my office say that the women like foreplay, so they kiss for as long as they can stand and the woman complains that the man is taking too long and not being aware of her signals to try something different. Pay attention, if needed talk , and at worst, debrief after to say what can be done later. Some couples have a way of communication with small taps on the back (2 taps means, move on) just like you would if you were dancing together and leading each other around the dance floor.


Take Care,

Dr. Chelsie