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Sex

5 ways to spark a little sumthin’ with your partner

By Maya Khamala

Ahh, the old matter of “initiating sex.”

Personally, I have a long and sordid history of relationships with men who have a significantly lower sex drive than I do, and until my most recent relationship, this served as an endless source of stress for me. Crazily enough, I’d say half the stress came not from my actual sex life, but from the enduringly simplistic myth that men are hornier than women. I have always found this deeply questionable notion dismissive of my experiences, and therefore oppressive.

Maybe in part due to the perceived politics of my higher drive, I used to try to initiate sex with men in ways that got me nowhere fast. One ex even told me I was pressuring him, when I thought I was just trying my best to be seductive. The point is, initiating sex ain’t always so straightforward. Some of us throw ourselves at our partners in ways that don’t necessarily arouse, and others among us leave it up to our partners to initiate even when our desire is strong. This, of course, comes with a whole other slew of problems related to lack of communication.

Whether your relationship is old or new, and whether the frequency and quality of your sex life has been negatively affected by Covid or not, do consider the following 5 ways to light up that fire, baby.

1. Lower the stakes

As someone who suffers from an overdeveloped sense of urgency, I can’t stress this enough. Yes, sex may feel urgent, particularly if you’re feeling starved for it. But therein lies the trap. If you start kissing, touching, or fondling your partner and they’re just not in the mood, do your best not to take it personally. After all, we can’t all be simultaneously horny all of the time. If you feel that the sexual dynamic is really one-sided and consistently stressful, talk to a friend or even a therapist, and work to build your confidence and gain a fresh perspective.

2. Share your anticipation

There is no need to be spontaneous all the time, and there’s no need to surprise your partner with sex in the moment. Particularly if you have trouble expressing your desire, try expressing it as it arises, by texting, sexting, kissing them in ways normally reserved for the bedroom, and even hinting at candlelit plans that you’re hatching. This way, your guy or gal can get excited with you and by the time you find yourselves alone, there’s no telling what may happen.

3. Make out more

Let’s face it: Covid has robbed many of us of many things, and making out is one of them. Now, I haven't conducted any studies, but I’d venture a guess and say that public displays of affection are at an all time low. Hell, in the Philippines, they’re outright prohibited. I mean, there’s just something about mask wearing, sanitizing, and an ongoing global pandemic that fails to inspire those shameless PDAs of a now bygone era (sob). But I say, if its still allowed where you live, you should feel free to (safely!) show your love. The problem is, even in private, it’s far too easy for even the newest of relationships to fall into the trap of not making out unless sex is explicitly on the table. This, my friends, is a crying shame. All or nothing is not the way desire works. The more you feel free to express love ‘n lust with some heavy petting that doesn’t necessarily go all the way, the more the floodgates of your mutual desire will remain open to whatever the moment brings. True spontaneity, after all, is not a pressure situation, but a gentle nudge over the edge. 

4. Straight up seduction

There are many ways to get one’s partner in the mood, and the way you do it will depend almost entirely on what your partner is like as a person—what gets them going. Only you know that. Maybe a costume change is in order: maybe you’re inspired to get some new lingerie and model it for your partner, or maybe you’ve got a naughty teacher’s outfit just waiting to be pulled from storage. Or—if your partner tends to respond more to tactile than visual stimuli, you might play the professional masseuse. Need I say more?

5. Communicate to fornicate

IMO, the single most important piece of advice anyone can give you when you’re looking to initiate sex more often is: communicate! It’s the simplest and yet most complex thing that we as human beings are able to do—and it’s 100% required of anyone in a romantic/sexual relationship. It’s not always easy, but if you’re feeling randy as a goat it’s best to let your partner know. What they do with this information is up to them, and it’s up to you to work on not feeling rejected if they’re not always on the same page. The most important part here is learning to own your desire.

Bottom line: life is messy, and tiring, and downright hellish at times. When it comes to sex, don’t feel you always need to wait for a ‘perfect time,’ because it may not come. But what we can do—when the mood captures us—is grab life (or a partner) by the horns, and make our intentions known. <3

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