Doing the same old thing but hoping for different results?

November 26,2019

A few weeks back, I got this email:

“That ‘grabbing the boobs’ thing you mentioned in your email? My partner tries to initiate with me that way. Every. Single. Time. I’ve never said ‘yes’ to him when he initiated in this way, so I don’t know why he keeps doing it!”

This is a classic example of this week’s mistake…

Initiation and consideration mistake #4 – Initiating in the same way even though it’s not working 

So many of us initiate in the same way over and over and over again.

Even if our partner has never responded positively.

Even if they’ve actually told us, “That doesn’t exactly turn me on.”

The “honking boobs” thing is a classic illustration of this. 

Here’s another good example: when you think you’re being really obvious with your partner that you want to be intimate, but your partner seems oblivious. (Obvious and oblivious… the words are so similar, but the meanings are so, so different!)

One woman told me, “I’ll lay there in bed naked, staring at him, and he’ll just go brush his teeth.” She keeps trying to initiate in this way over and over again, and he keeps going to brush his teeth every dang time!

I know this seems baffling, but sometimes the signals that seem crystal clear to us are – for whatever reason – just NOT that clear to our partners. So this becomes yet another example of repeating an unsuccessful initiation technique.

You know that old cliche, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results”?

Well, I think it’s safe to say a lot of us are “initiation insane”!

Your action item for the week: 

Think about the ways that you typically try to initiate sex.

For each one, ask yourself, “When I have initiated in this way, has my partner seemed to like it?”

Be honest with yourself about the answers! 

In thinking this through, you may realize that you just don’t have many – or even any – successful initiation techniques. 

I know that might suck to admit, but we’ve all been there! Almost all of us struggle with initiating confidently and successfully, because this just isn’t a topic we talk about, let alone something we get taught to do.

Your action item for the week: 

Think about the ways that you typically try to initiate sex.

For each one, ask yourself, “When I have initiated in this way, has my partner seemed to like it?”

Be honest with yourself about the answers!

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HI THERE!

I'm Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and writer specializing in helping you have more fun in the bedroom.

I have bachelor’s degrees in human sexuality and sociology from Brown University, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’m also a licensed psychotherapist. I’ve been working in the sex therapy field since 2002 and have been featured by The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Real Simple, and many more.

If you’re interested in improving your sex life, you can work with me via my online courses or personal coaching sessions. I look forward to supporting you in creating the sex life you’ve always wanted!