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Why women don't initiate sex first?

Updated: Jan 9, 2019

   


Photo credit: Natalie Poette

Recently,  I encountered many questions regarding why women are so afraid to initiate sex first and just prefer to wait till they are being approached? It’s also interesting that some men find this type of behavior as “turn off” because it’s signaling to them that his partner is not really interested sexually in him or her sexual desire is somewhere else… I looked into this problem more carefully. Before moving further, let me briefly explain psychology of female sexuality.

   The very first and fundamental reason why women wouldn’t initiate sex first is the common traditional stereotype of a “virgin” woman who is prudish and can’t openly desire sex. If she does - she is immediately labeled as “whore” or a girl who lost control over her libido. The fear in women to come out as sexual being has been cultivated for centuries and still nowadays it’s very hard to act out openly without negative judgement by the society. Being seductive or using their sexuality as a source of power is viewed as manipulation and a sin. These preconceived views steer away from seeing the reality that, just like men, women have a natural and healthy desire to be sexual.


The fear in women to come out as sexual being has been cultivated for centuries and still nowadays it’s very hard to act out openly without negative judgement by the society. 

   

In majority of  Islamic and Christian countries where sex is regulated by religious law, women forced to repress their sexuality. For example in conservative forms of Islam, the motivation to repress sexual desires and sexuality is great. Most Islamic traditions have a strict sexual codes that forbid homosexuality, demand virginity until marriage, and require extreme modesty from women. Such a strict code creates several anxieties in followers, which force them to repress desires that are not congruent with the model of their faith. This repression can often lead to identity confusion, sexual frustration and sexual anxiety for those individuals who don’t feel that their desires match those of their faith. Most Christian religions also maintain strict regulations on what sexual behaviors are considered moral. For the most part, only sex is within a heterosexual marriage is considered moral.

    Some stereotypes regarding women's sexuality are based on the fact that because of influences from both society and family, many women are less likely to reveal their sexual desire. Society's point of view reminds us that men are designed to want sex, while women are designed to withhold it.

If women are in fact less sexual than men, there is a certain degree of explanation in the family dynamic. Families tend to be more protective toward their daughters. Parents impose their own moral, religious or personal views toward sex onto their children, and this is particularly the case with girls. Feelings of guilt and shame are born in the household and at a very young age, when little girls are taught to hide or repress their physical selves. As they reach adolescence and start dating, protective or critical attitudes from parental figures tend to teach young women to suppress or resist their sexuality.


When a person's sexual nature is stripped of these hurtful and shaming cultural and psychological influences, a man and woman's desire for sex is basically the same.

For many women, becoming a mother and shifting her focus onto her children can further interfere with her desire for her partner. Conservative society feeds into this notion, indicating to women that now that they are a mother, it's no longer appropriate to be sexual. Being free is deemed irresponsible, and being spontaneous is shunned as immature.

When a person's sexual nature is stripped of these hurtful and shaming cultural and psychological influences, a man and woman's desire for sex is basically the same.

    There are also some biological reasons why women don’t initiate sex. Daily routine can be pretty draining especially for women who has a day job and kids at home. The last thing she would want at the end of the day is to have sex… The busy lifestyle that includes carrier, hobbies, house chores, family can easily cause stress thus contributing to forming low sex desire. Especially, if woman doesn’t have time to take care of herself. It could be spa, nail salon or simply soaking in hot aroma bathtub  for 30 minutes… She might feel unattractive or not beautiful enough to have sex. Of course, if her partner is initiating, she might go with a flow but she also can reject him. And again there is nothing wrong with her partner. It’s more about how she is feeling about herself at the moment.


Women need fantasies and stories because this is how the female desire forms.

The other important aspect of female sexuality is how the desire is been formed… Women need time to prepare for sex. It’s very rare when women feel spontaneous desire and initiate sex on spot. Her sexual desire must be sparked by a generous caring  action or sensual loving touch. Women are more about building the sexual excitement up. This is where the foreplay matters. But in most cases men think that foreplay starts in bed or on the couch 10 minutes right before pulling it out… Wrong. The build up starts from the moment we woke up. Every detail matters: how we  kiss good morning, how we eat breakfast together, what we text to each other during the day etc. If there is no sensuality or flirt in daily conversations and interpersonal behavior, there won’t be any passion or desire to initiate sex at night… There is no foreplay. There is no story to play with woman’s mind to get her aroused. But women need fantasies and stories because this is how the female desire forms.

    Сlear communication of sexual desires is always a good first step.

Family therapist Jill Whitney advices to men: “Tell her that you’d love it if she made the first move sometime, that you’d think it was sexy and it’d make you feel desirable. Don’t demand that she initiate, that’d be a turnoff for most women, but make sure she knows you’d like it.”

    This article is only explaining why women don’t initiate sex first. I’m not writing here about women who actually do it and do it pretty often too. There are some cases when women used to be “initiatory” and then switched to “receptive” or “available” type. This dynamic is normal considering that the sexual attraction in long term relationship tends to change and in some cases to extinguish. We will be discussing this topic more in our future posts.


Sources:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/compassion-matters/201306/misconceptions-about-womans-sexuality

https://www.fatherly.com/health-science/why-women-dont-initiate-sex-with-men/


#womensinitiative #sexdriveinwomen #relationship #intimacy #love #sex #whywomendontinitiatesex #femalesexuality #libido #sexandsociety #menandwomen


Disclaimer: The content material is only informative and academic in nature and shouldn’t be construed as medical recommendation.

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