“The battles that count aren’t the ones for gold medals. The struggles within yourself – the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us – that’s where it’s at.—Jesse Owens

initiating sex

If you’re like 87% of the ONE Family, there has likely been some point in your marriage where you struggled to initiate sex with your spouse. 

Struggling to initiate sex is not the problem. In fact, there are plenty of creative strategies you can use to overcome this challenge. 

The real issue occurs when you aren’t taking action to address this. 

A lack of initiation goes hand in hand with a lack of deep sexual intimacy. So if you struggle with initiating sex, it’s time to create change for the sake of your marriage. 

In Chapter 10 of The 6 Pillars of Intimacy: The Secret to an Extraordinary Marriage, we describe sexual intimacy as more than just the act of sexual intercourse. It’s also about romance, foreplay, and, you guessed it, initiating.

The standard definition of initiate is “to cause or facilitate the beginning of or set going.” In the context of sexual intimacy, initiation is whatever you do to cause your spouse to know that you are interested in them and in being sexually intimate with them. 

Undoubtedly, initiating sex can be challenging for a variety of reasons. 

Media often gives you the wrong impression of what initiating should look like. Alternatively, you might feel clueless about how to initiate or worry your spouse won’t like what you do. 

A history of past rejection can discourage you from initiating sex. You might feel insecure, awkward, or inadequate. Perhaps you’re afraid of embarrassing yourself. Or they may be health or performance issues that make initiating a challenge. 

There is a lot of emotional weight surrounding this topic. However, you can’t make any progress until you get honest with yourself and your spouse. 

First, reflect on why you feel and act the way you do about initiating sex.

Whether you take action or you don’t, why do you do that? If there are internal challenges to initiating sex, such as low self-esteem, fear of rejection, or prior sexual trauma, seek professional help to address those roadblocks. 

Then, you need to create a safe space to talk with your spouse about initiating sex. 

Some couples have never had this conversation. They desire deep sexual intimacy but haven’t built emotional intimacy in their marriage through honest conversations. 

So be clear with each other about what things you do, even subtly, to initiate sex. And if you’ve gotten into the pattern of rejecting your spouse or minimizing their efforts, you’ll have to take intentional action to create something different in your marriage. 

Once you’ve built a strong foundation of emotional intimacy, you can try creative ways to initiate sex. To get started, download the free Top 10 Ways to Initiate Sex Marriage Guide today. 

There are lots of ways to creatively initiate sex. For example, you could plan a romantic surprise, try new sex products together, or send seductive messages to each other throughout the day. You can engage in sensual touch or schedule a date that you both know will conclude with sexual intimacy. 

Strengthening your sexual intimacy is a learned skill. Fortunately, that means you can develop the skill throughout your marriage. In other words, you don’t have to stay stuck where you are.


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