Wish your guy would initiate more? Here's why he doesn't

Posted April 19

Does it feel like your man doesn’t care about sex anymore? Like he’s not interested in you? Are you worried he’s moved on? That he doesn’t care about you or find you attractive?

The answer to this problem may surprise you. The problem may not be him, but you. If you find yourself wishing your man would initiate sex more often, here’s why he doesn’t according to a licensed therapist and counselor.

Rejecting consistently

Men hate being repeatedly rejected when they make a sexual advance. I’m not saying a guy should expect that every time he makes an offer it will be positively received — that’s not realistic. But if you’re consistently shooting him down, that kills desire. Being rejected hurts. It’s awkward and kind of embarrassing. So, if you shoot your guy down consistently, expect him to initiate less and less.

Making false promises

Let’s say your guy tries initiating sex, but you’re not interested. You feel bad, so you promise to have sex later in the day or ... tomorrow or ... later in the week, but when it comes time to make good on your promise, you don’t deliver. This is difficult for guys, and let me tell you why: Guys think about sex a whole lot more than women do. We like sex. We look forward to sex with our partners. If you promise to have sex with your guy, expect he’s been thinking and looking forward to the fruition of that promise. When you don’t deliver, you’ve just squashed hours or days of anticipation. It’s kind of infuriating and shuts your guy down. If you do this, expect your guy to initiate less.

Treating sex like a chore

I get it! You’ve had a long day, and you have a lot on your mind. But please don’t treat sex like it’s another thing to check off your to-do list. Sex is fun, exciting, bonding, playful and passionate. When you treat sex like a chore, your guy can tell. He can sense when you are going through the motions and don’t really care. That hurts. That kills the fun and the passion. Even though your guy loves sex, if you’re not going to get into it, he’ll stop initiating.

Being self-conscious

When you are feeling overly self-conscious, it affects the sexual experience. He can tell when you’re more worried about how you look than about connecting with him. Sex for him is not about a performance. It’s about forgetting the worries of the day, connecting with you, being passionate and enjoying each other. But when you make it about how you look or how you are performing, it diminishes the experience. He no longer looks forward to it and stops initiating.

Not considering his needs

If sex is all about your needs, expect him to initiate less. Trust me, he likes making you feel good. In fact, he feels good when he can make you feel good. But, if it is always going one way, it can be unsatisfying. Sex is about mutual satisfaction; it’s a two-way street. It is an act of giving and receiving. If all he does is give, it can build resentment. Change it up sometimes. Ask him what he would like.

Being routine

If all you ever do is the same ol’ same ol’, than expect him to initiate less. Routine is the enemy of passion. It’s okay to be spontaneous every once in a while. Surprise him with something new or at an unexpected time. Also, it’s not just about when you have sex but how you have sex. Don’t become routine with positions or foreplay. Get a book, buy some new music, get a candle or read a blog and mix it up. It may be hit or miss, but it’s still fun to try new things and its shows you care.

Making it conditional

If you make sex conditional upon your partner fulfilling some kind of hidden agenda, expect him to initiate less. If you have a disagreement and refuse sex because he doesn’t agree with you, that’s a bad precedent to set. The reason being you are using sex as a bargaining chip. That’s not what sex is for. It is a shared privilege between the two of you. It is not something for you to give and take away. You must consider the needs of the other partner (that goes for him too, of course). Sex is a vital aspect of any intimate relationship, but once it becomes conditional, it is no longer a shared element of your relationship.

Mind reading

If you expect him to always know when you are in the mood without giving any signals, expect him to initiate less. You want him to know what you need. That’s a fair point. Intimate partners should be attuned to each other’s needs, wants and desires but not all the time. That’s an unrealistic expectation. Throughout the day you’re juggling several different things: work, family, friends, social life, kids, paying bills, responding to emails, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Help your man out. Communicate that you want to be close to him, that you’d like him to massage your feet, give you a hug and make love to you. You’ve got a lot on your mind and so does he. Help each other out and don’t assume he’s ignoring you. Whenever you expect him to mind-read, you’re setting him and yourself up for a frustration.


This section could easily be labeled “Making it conditional part 2.” If you view sex as a means of gaining control in your relationship, expect him to initiate less. Just as you want a sense of shared control over your bank accounts, budget, bills, where you go on your vacation and whose family you spend time with over the holidays, you also want a shared sense of control over sex. Once you are the only one holding the reigns, he will resent that. No one likes feeling as if they have no control regarding something as important as sex. Get comfortable with sharing control. That means you’ll have to trust him and he’ll have to trust you.

I’m sure there are more things I could add to the list, but hopefully this will stimulate your thinking. Don’t make the mistake of placing all the blame on him for the lull in your sex life. If he’s not initiating more, dig deeper and ask why. Be prepared to take responsibility for your waning sex life. A good sex life takes two people.

Daniel Bates is a Graduate of Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon with two master degrees. He owns and operates his own counseling small business, Better Lives Counseling.


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