Ep #61: Stepping into Your Sexual Power: Initiating

The Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast with Dr. Sonia Wright | Stepping into Your Sexual Power: InitiatingIn softball and baseball, a great batting average is considered to be 300/1000 and above, which means hitting the ball 1 in 3 times. I like to look at this and think of it relating to sex. What if women initiating sex was similar to batting averages? What if getting a yes 30% of the time was a great average?

Most of the time, women need to have a perfect batting average of 1000/1000 or they’re not even going to try. If they get turned down, they make it mean so much more than just “not tonight”. But can you imagine what it would be like if we didn’t make it mean so much about ourselves if one of us says no?

In this episode, I’m showing you why some people have more difficulty initiating sex and what makes them less likely to initiate, or even stop trying altogether. I’m sharing a step-by-step process to empower you to initiate sex more often and showing you how to switch away from thoughts that aren’t serving you around initiating sex.

How is your sex life? If you rated it on a scale from 1 to 10, is it less than an 8? If so, we need to talk. I’m inviting you to check out my new 30-day program Your Empowered Sexuality (YES!). We’ll give you the sexual tune-up you need to kickstart your intimacy and create the sex life that you deserve, whether you have a partner or not. Click here for more information!


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
  • Some reasons people might consider saying no if their partner initiates sex.
  • How to think about what your partner might truly mean when they say no to sex.
  • Some tips to help you stop blaming yourself if your partner says no when you initiate.
  • Why women tend to interpret a “no” as something wrong with them.
  • Some reasons we as women shy away from initiating sex.
  • How to empower yourself to initiate sex more often.
Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast episode 61.

Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.

Hello, hello, hello, Diamonds. How are you doing this week? Well, we are definitely in fall. I’m in Minnesota. So yes, I’m starting to freeze my ass off up here. And so we’re in the middle of fall as I record this podcast. And for those of you who love baseball or have partners that love baseball then you know we just wrapped up the season with the world series, so congratulations, Atlanta, so good.

But never fear there’s always another sport around the corner. The sports industry and broadcasters are so kind to us and they’re making sure that sports overlap so you can seamlessly transition from one sport to the next. And as I speak you’ve probably wrapped up baseball and you’ve switched over to football or more accurately you have been juggling viewing the two sports for several months now. But I really want to know, Diamonds, are you into sports or are you a sports widow?

Either you’re celebrating the fact that the football season is in high gear and it’s up and running, and you’re excited about the games or possibly you’re gearing up to be a football widow, especially now that there’s football on Monday nights, and Thursday nights, and then all through the weekend long. Many of us have become football widows.

So if you’re not so much into the sport then this is a perfect opportunity to explore your sexuality with yourself because let’s face it, you’re going to be having a lot of nights alone unless you’re into ethical non-monogamy. Then I might suggest that you have at least one partner that is not an avid sports fan. That way it’s better for calendaring overall.

So right now you might be wondering why I’m spending so much time talking about sports and why sports is on my mind and specifically what that has to do with sex and sexuality. Well, let me tell you, actually quite a bit. I found myself asking this question today. What if women initiating sex was similar to batting averages? Okay, okay, just stay with me for this one, just give me a little leeway here.

In softball and baseball a good batting average is considered to be 240 to 280 out of 1,000. So that’s approximately one in four times that they actually hit the ball, one in four times, 25% here. So a great batting average is a batting average of 300, so 300 out of 1,000 and anything above that, which is basically hitting the ball once in three times. I like to look at these averages and think about them as it relates to sex. What if 30% of the time getting a yes rate was considered great?

Think about this. What if we didn’t make it mean so much about ourselves or about our partner if one of us says no. If we look along gender lines about initiating sex, in heterosexual relationships society says that it’s the man that does the initiating. So from a relatively young age men are socialized that they’re going to have to go for it. They’re going to have to try and that they’re going to get a no. They’re going to get turned down at some time. So they’re going to try initiating sex and maybe it’s going to happen or maybe it’s not going to happen.

But the chance increases with each time they try to initiate sex. So if they end up with a batting average of 300 that’s a one in three chance that they’re actually going to have sex. But if they don’t initiate at all, that’s a zero out of 1,000, it’s 0%. So hey, 30% starts looking pretty good. So basically the more times you try to initiate, the more chances that you have to have fun.

So when I bring up this concept of initiating sex with women, I hear a completely different story. Most of the time women are like they need to have a perfect batting average. They need to be batting 1,000 or they’re not even going to try. And if they get turned down, they’re often internalizing it and make it mean so much more than just not tonight. I find that the person that normally initiates more often than not in the relationship usually has some sort of protective system in place in terms of the thoughts that they’re thinking to deal with this no, not tonight.

They’ve figured it out so that they have a system down and a thought process down so that they can initiate again and again. So some might interpret this no as rejection, but that’s relatively few. If you’re the person that’s used to initiating then the majority are more likely to have a list of reasons why it’s not going to work for tonight which may include, my partner’s tired. The partner’s not in the mood. The kids are running around in the house. Nobody’s going to sleep tonight.

So the more a person initiates the easier it can get. And you really start to really see it as a numbers game and not make it mean so much more. But then there’s the partner that sees it as a reflection upon them. And they are the ones that are having more difficulty initiating. So if they see it as a reflection, if their thought process is there’s something wrong with them and that’s why the partner said no then they’re less likely to initiate and then after a while they don’t even try.

I find that women want their batting average to be 1,000 and feel that they must be in control of the entire situation and be assured of a yes at every time or they won’t even try. And God forbid that they get a no at some point, it might be years before they try it again. They’re like, “I’m not doing that again.” And what is up with that? Why are we not willing to try? No one bats 1,000. But in our society, there is an underlying belief that men want sex all the time and they should be ready. And that men are incapable of saying no.

Well, let me be clear about this. Men are allowed to have headaches too and men are allowed to say no. So I decided to go to the source. I decided to talk to one of those penis owners, one of my friends and asked them some reasons that they might consider saying no if their partner were to initiate sex. And here’s some interesting answers that I got. So thank you very much for these responses.

I might say no if I’m feeling kind of sick or tired. I might say no if it’s been a long day at work. I might say if we recently had a fight. I might say no if I feel that I might not perform as well as I want to. Maybe I’m worried that my erection may not be hard enough or that I may not be able to sustain it long enough, then I’m likely to say no. But I’m also probably not likely to share the reason behind that. This one I thought was an interesting one. I might say no if it’s more likely to be a quicky now versus later on in the week, having a longer intimate session with my partner.

If I know my partner is on average once a week kind of person and the odds are if I have something now that it might end up being a 20 minute quickly. But if I wait till they’re more in the mood and everything is relaxed then at that point in time it might end up being a beautiful hour long session of touch, and intimacy, and exchanging pleasure, and enjoying myself. Then I would opt for that later so I might say no.

So I just want to make it clear that we say no for many different reasons. Our partners say no for many different reasons. But when women hear this no, they interpret it as something wrong with them. And maybe it’s because our society has trained us to be the problem, no matter what the situation is we are the problem.

So, so often I ask women what they think, if they initiate and they get a no, instead of just thinking my partner’s tired tonight, it’s not going to be a good time, there’s a big report due tomorrow, something like that. They often say, “If I’m rejected then I feel like they think that I’m ugly. Then I think that I’m fat. Then I’m thinking I’m not attractive anymore. They don’t find me sexy anymore. And I’m also thinking I’m never going to try this again.”

First of all, let me just let you know that we don’t have any idea what our partner is thinking. And so when these thoughts come up and we’re attributing them to our partner, it’s not actually our partner, these are thoughts that we have in our own head. And our partner’s not over there thinking, the odds are, our partner’s not over there thinking she’s ugly. No, she’s not sexy anymore. They’re busy thinking, I’m not sure if I can get an erection or I may not be able to please her the way I’d like to please her or whatever it is.

They have their own thought  process going on. But be aware that whatever thought process that you have that you’re attributing to somebody else are your own thoughts. And as such as they’re your own thoughts that means that you have the ability to change those thoughts. Congratulations. Yes, your thoughts are your own and you have the power to change them.

Let’s take this scenario out. So if we get to this place where our partner says, we ask the partner, “Hey, would you like a little sex?” And our partner’s like, “Yeah. No, not tonight, I don’t think so.” And then we start thinking, they think that I’m ugly, unattractive and not sexy anymore. Where are we going to end up? Then we start thinking, oh, well, I’m not doing this again. And then you kind of shut it all down, you don’t initiate anything. Maybe you don’t touch. Maybe you’re just so focused on rejection that you separate from your partner.

And so look at this whole scenario that your thinking is getting you, and then decide, is this thinking helping you?

Another reason why we might shy away from initiating sex is that we believe, and this is an old belief, but we may still have this belief tucked somewhere in a room, in the attic of our brain, is that good girls don’t initiate or ask for sex. And if they do, they’re going to be labeled a slut. So slut shaming is coming up here. Ask yourself, is this what’s happening with you. Do you have thoughts that good girls or women don’t initiate? What exactly is stopping you from initiating? But this good girl, bad girl thing, I’m not into it.

And because you are my Diamond, let me just tell you, you are a rule breaker and you are a myth stomper. And it’s just time to stomp on that myth and get rid of it. This is kind of ridiculous, this good girl, bad girl thing. There’s only women wanting to enjoy sex. And part of enjoying sex is getting to initiate it on your terms when you are interested. So how can we empower ourselves in order to become better sex initiators? What can we do in order to give ourselves the power to initiate?

I know everybody likes a step-by-step process so I’m going to break it down for you. You can decide if this works for you. You can change it up the way you want to but let’s start where I always like to start, which is your zone of sexual safety. What is it that you need to be in place to work on this initiating sex? That’s my question for you. And this initiating sex, I’m talking about it in the context of a partner. But often if we’re solo partnered, we also need to initiate sex with ourselves. So let’s be very clear about that.

So whether you’re partnered or not partnered, you still need to initiate sex and in fact I’d probably say even more if you’re solo partnered you need to initiate sex because you need to be able to express your sexuality, it’s part of who you are. And if you’re not able to express your sexuality you’re kind of shutting it down. And very often single women might think, well, I don’t have a partner so I’m not really going to engage in sexual intimacy, I’m just going to wait. This is the time to explore and really enjoy your body, not waiting for a partner. So these steps of initiating, it’s for you as well.

Okay, so getting back to the steps. So go to your zone of sexual safety. What is it that you need in place emotionally or physically in order for you to engage in initiating? What is it that you need in order to allow yourself to be vulnerable or uncomfortable while you’re doing this initiating process? Consent, consent with yourself, consent with your partner, making sure, I always have the basics there, making sure that you’re emotionally and physically safe and having self-compassion and self-love.

Those are the basis for the zone of sexual safety and you can add whatever else you would like to. So you have your zone of sexual safety, then spend some time with yourself to see what the subtle and the not so subtle cues are in your body that mean that you’re interested in sexual intimacy. So what does it look like? What does it feel like when you just starting getting that little spark?

Sometimes that spark is so quiet that we don’t even recognize it. We’re like, “What, what is that?” And it’s subtle and may have changed whereas before you’re just maybe in your 20s or something, you woke up and you’re like, “I need to get laid today.” Maybe now it doesn’t feel that way. But spend some time because it’s there, it’s just a subtle different kind of feeling.

Three. You may need to have an open discussion with your partner about the fact that you’d like to try to start initiating sex. Make sure that there’s consent involved in this. And then also you might want to talk to him about what you would like to know what they’re thinking and what their thoughts are about the process in general. You can also have an open discussion about your feelings of rejection. Make sure you recognize that you are responsible for your feelings of rejections because they’re based on your thoughts and not specifically anything that your partner has done.

But you can have an open conversation about that just so that you feel more comfortable in the situation. You might also want to have a conversation about what ‘no, not tonight’ actually means from your partner. Are they tired? Have they had a long day? Maybe they’re concerned about their performance. But it might be a good conversation to have back and forth to have an understanding of what each person is thinking about.

And once you get the list, write it down because you’re going to forget it. And you’re going to go back to blaming yourself if they say no, which this has nothing to do with you. So write down their list and write down any thoughts that you need in order to initiate. So ask yourself, what do I need to be thinking and feeling? You know me, what do I need to be thinking and feeling in order to initiate sex? So this is a good question to ask yourself. What do you need in order to initiate sex? What do you need to be thinking? Do you need to think, hey, this is going to be fun?

Or do you want to borrow my thought which is, hey, if I have a batting average of 300, that is excellent. Let me have some fun and initiate and see what I get out of this. Yeah, I think this is important. Make a list of your thoughts when it comes to initiating. Make a list of thoughts that may not be serving you. And if you’d like to switch those around, make a list of the thoughts that are serving you. And make a list of possible reasons why your partner would not necessarily want to engage in sex when you ask them.

And make sure, Diamonds, that you do your thought work. Find those old thoughts that are not serving you and remind yourself that your partner saying no is just a neutral situation, it is not a problem unless you decide to make it a problem. And remind yourself that it’s not about you. Remind yourself that your partner can say no and that is not about you, it’s not a problem that they’ve said no. And then once again, remind yourself that initiating sex is just kind of like a batting average. You have one yes out of three ask, hey, that is an amazing initiation average if you decide.

Celebrate the yeses and celebrate the no’s. Celebrate just the asking, I bet your sex life is going to be much more fun. And remember, when you are doing the asking, when you are listening to your body, when you’re figuring out what your signals are, then you are getting the sexual intimacy that you want on your terms, not specifically just when your partner is interested in having sex. It becomes about you and you’re engaging differently in sexual intimacy, in the relationship and with your partner overall and it’s a wonderful thing.

So just think about that, do you want sexual intimacy on your terms? If you want it on your terms, it’s going to involve initiating sex. Because you’re going to get used to what your body’s telling you, you’re going to be able to interpret the signals when your body is like, hey, I think I’m interested in a little sex here. And you don’t have to wait. And you don’t have to do some weird subtle type of signals, like blowing smoke or something like that so that they know that you might be interested or waving flags up in the air.

You could just go over to your partner and say, “Hey, you want to get it on? You’re looking kind of hot. Ooh, yes.” And then you are my Diamonds, you have that spirit within you. You can do this work. You have the courage to do this work or you wouldn’t even be listening to this podcast.

Okay, Diamonds, that’s all for this week. Dr. Sonia out. Go ahead and initiate and then tell me how it’s going. I’d love to hear.  And remember about your batting averages. Alright, I’ll talk to you next week.

Diamonds, how is your sex life? No, really, how is your sex life? On a scale of one to ten how would you rate it? You know I’m all about the intimacy for women in midlife. If you rated the passion in your life as less than an eight then we need to talk, sister. I’m personally inviting you to check out my new program, Your Empowered Sexuality 30 day kick starter. I am so excited about this program. Most of you know that I have an impossible goal to positively impact the sex lives of over a million women. And I am just getting started.

Come work with me for 30 days to kick start that intimacy in your life. Let’s create that amazing, satisfying, intimacy that you deserve. Let’s face it, if you’re in your 40s, 50s or 60s, you could have 30 to 50 more years of intimacy ahead of you. What do you want that intimacy to look like? Let’s get real and talk about what’s going on with your body, your libido, let’s see what we can do to kickstart this intimacy. This program is for you whether or not you have a partner.

If you are a woman who wants to enjoy all aspects of her life then this is the program for you. It finally gets to be your time. So, click on the link in the show notes or on my website at soniawrightmd.com and come join me for Your Empowered Sexuality aka YES, Your Empowered Sexuality 30 day kick starter. I cannot wait to see you Diamond, talk to you soon. Take care.

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Sonia Wright MD

Hi, I’m Dr. Sonia Wright and I’m YOUR SEX COACH! I’m on a mission to end the pain and isolation associated with sexual difficulties and to help women create satisfying sex lives.

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