NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Saturday, April 15, 2023

Relationships: What is Your Sexual Initiation Style?

I'm continuing to focus on the book, Sex Talks, by Sex Therapist Vanessa Marin with the topic of sexual initiation styles (see my related articles listed at the end of this article).

Problems With Sexual Initiation in Long Term Relationships
During the early stage of a relationship the excitement and passion of new relationship energy often helps to facilitate sexual initiation.

Sexual Initiation Styles

This is the stage when sex occurs often and easily because you're responding to each other's sexual vibes. 

It's also the stage when neither of you are worried about who will initiate because you know you're feeling a sexual yearning and can't keep your hands off each other (see my article: A Cornerstone of Eroticism: Longing and Anticipation).

But as passion naturally settles over time, the issue of who initiates sex can become problematic in relationships (see my article: Sexual Boredom in Long Term Relationships).

So, it's important to understand your own and your partner's sexual initiation style.  

So, let's consider the six sexual initiation styles as described in Sex Talks.

What is Your Sexual Initiation Style?
According to Vanessa Marin, you might identify with one or more of these sexual initiation styles or you might discover that you're either a combination of certain styles or what you like might depend on your mood.  

As you read over these sexual initiation styles, consider what resonates with you and how this compares with your partner's style.

Sexual Initiation Styles: "Excite Me"
  • "Take Care of Me" (The Caretaker): For you to feel sexual, you need to feel nurtured by your partner. You might have so much on your mind that you need to feel taken care of by your partner in order to get in the mood for sex. So, if your partner is especially loving and nurturing, you can relax and ease into a sexy mood. 

Sexual Initiation Style: Take Care of Me

Sexual Initiation Style: Play With Me

  • "Desire Me" (Wanting to Be Wanted): To get into the mood for sex, you need to feel desired. You want your partner to show you that you're irresistibly sexy and desirable. Your partner can show this through glances, words, touches and behavior like spontaneous kissing or pushing you up against the wall for sex. You like to feel the immediacy of your partner's desire. Not only do they want you--they want you right now (see my article: Based on Sex Research: What Gets a Women Turned On?).
Sexual Initiation Styles: Desire Me
  • "Connect With Me" (Let's Talk): Getting sexually turned on for you involves emotional connection. You need emotional intimacy before you're ready for sexual intimacy. Sharing an emotional moment through an intimate talk and feeling that your partner is emotionally attuned to you is an aphrodisiac for you (see my article: Emotional Vulnerability as a Pathway to Intimacy).

Sexual Initiation Styles: Connect With Me

  • "Touch Me" (Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me): Physical touch is what turns you on and makes you feel sexually alive. Physical touch can mean passionate kissing, sensual massage or cuddling.  You might be someone who experiences spontaneous sexual desire if your partner knows how to touch you in a way that makes that spark come alive for you (see my article: Savoring Pleasure).

Sexual Initiation Styles: Touch Me

What If You and Your Partner Have Different Sexual Initiation Styles?
It's not unusual for two people in a relationship to have different sexual initiation styles.  This will be the subject of my next article: What If You and Your Partner Have Different Sexual Initiation Styles?

Knowing your own and your partner's sexual initiation style can revive sex in a long term relationship where sexual energy needs to be revived.

As previously mentioned, you can have more than one sexual initiation style or a combination of styles depending upon your mood, the context, who you're with, and various other factors.

Getting Help in Sex Therapy
Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy for individuals and couples (see my article: What is Sex Therapy?).

People seek help from sex therapists, who are licensed mental health professionals, for many different reasons (see my article: What Are Common Issues Discussed in Sex Therapy?).

There is no touch, physical exam or sex during sex therapy sessions (see my article: What Are Common Misconceptions About Sex Therapy?).

Rather than struggling on your own, seek help from a skilled sex therapist.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.