If you are the one—male or female—who is always the first to ask for sex, you may begin to think your partner doesn\’t want it. But there can be all sorts of reasons why he or she is more reticent than you. They could be medical, psychological, relational or just that you\’re off kilter.

Your natural interval between sexual intimacies may be shorter than your partner\’s, so you are always ready sooner. You may have to use super self-control to wait for your partner to be absolutely ready. A nice sensual massage that doesn\’t lead to sex might get your partner thinking.

At any rate, you no doubt want to know why, so talk to your partner. Gently. Carefully. Here are a few reasons they might offer, if they\’re completely honest.

1) They don\’t expect to enjoy it. You are not going to ask for something if you don\’t expect to like it. This is a hurdle you both must address together, possibly with the help of a therapist. After all, sex is an integral part of a loving, successful relationship. You should both enjoy it and work together to make sure both parties have a good experience.

2) They think asking for sex is taboo. This seems to be a woman\’s issue more than a man\’s. Supposedly proper young ladies are taught not initiate sex unless they want their partner to think they\’re a whore. This is nonsense in this day and age, but a mother\’s and grandmother\’s teachings can have a strong influence. You might tell her that you would find it sexy if she would initiate sex every once and awhile, and when she does, give her positive reinforcement so she\’ll do it again.

3) They are tired of initiating. If you are always responsible for your sex life as a couple, it can become a burden. And being the only one to initiate might seem humiliating to some. So rather than continue the pattern, they break it by not asking. Even when they suffer the consequences of less sex. At least they\’re not always the one who has to ask.

4) They are afraid of rejection. No one of either sex likes to be told ‘no.\’ And when they are told ‘no\’ more often than not, it\’s discouraging. It\’s hard on their self-esteem, and after awhile it\’s easier to forego sex than to be turned down yet again. Some people\’s egos are so fragile that they are afraid to ask even without a history of rejection. If that\’s the case, it may be remedied with some frank conversation.

5) They don\’t feel desirable. They\’ve gained a little weight. They\’ve always had body image issues. They don\’t feel they deserve a good sex life. Whatever the self-esteem issue, it can be a roadblock. These issues require good therapy. No one should feel so unattractive that they are not worthy of a good, satisfying sexual relationship.

When you initiate sex, you are inviting your partner to become intimate in a way that only the two of you experience. It should be a joyful union that makes you both happy to be involved with each other. And when the invitation is a two-way street, it is a mutually enjoyable event. Ultimately, when you both feel comfortable initiating sex, it will strengthen your relationship.

Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional.  If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch.  You can reach her here: https://nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.