7 Tips For Initiating Sex With Dignity

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Let me tell you about a thing that happened to me once: It was 2004. and I was 25 and out to dinner with a guy I’d been casually seeing for awhile. I was under the impression that, following our post-dinner drinks, we’d be going back to his place so we could … pick your euphemism why don’t you: Do the horizontal mambo, do it, bone. But then, as we exited the bar, he was all, “Well, I should really be getting home.” 

I took this as an indication that he was shy – unsure of whether or not I was in the mood – and so I took it upon myself to throw my arms around his neck and say, “Whaaaaat? Nooooo! Don’t you want to have sex with me tonight? It’ll be … fun!” 

Then I burped accidentally. I’m talking, like, right in his face.

Suffice it to say, I did not get laid this fateful night. I might have been a wee bit tipsy, and this might have caused the winning grovel/burping combo. However, I wasn’t so tipsy that I forgot what happened. It’s been burned in my mind ever since, and I promised myself, never again. I will never again attempt to get laid in so embarrassing a way. Below, a list of methods you can try that will spare you my same humiliating bout of rejection. 

1. Clear the skedge. If you plan to initiate sex in a manner that is dignified, you’re going to need time; a good, healthy window of time. I know, I know, I know, you’ve got work from 9 to 6. You’ve got to get to the gym before work. And then after work … where even to begin? On Mondays, you have your class on the history of sheep’s milk cheese. On Wednesdays, you’ve got your class on how to self-publish your memoir. All that’s fine, but bear in mind, nothing says “I’m embarrassing myself” quite like a poorly pursued quickie.  “Hey: I feel like I’ve got a good 20 minutes before I head to work/ fall asleep/want to watch my favorite show. Wanna, you know, do it?” “No thank you, good sir. I think I’d rather masturbate.” 

2. A good straddle. Sometimes you just gotta yee-haw-it, you know? Wait for that listless look to spread across your date/boyfriend/husband’s face (i.e. don’t practice this move if he’s transfixed by the television) and hop on board! Move gracefully, but also decisively. You’re not a stripper, remember, you’re just you. So straddle and say, “I’d like to have sex. Are you up for such a thing?” and then, should the mood strike, laugh at your terribly amusing pun.

3. Display the desire. Hear me out on this next one. My boyfriend has been known to waddle down the stairs without any pants on. He will sit down on a chair across from where I’m sitting in the living room. He will be – how do you say it? – aroused. Yes. He’ll be visibly aroused. Lest I fail to notice said arousal, he will point to it and say, “Just sayin’, lady. I am just sayin’.” Is this method ridiculous? Of course. The thing is, though, it’s also quite charming in its way, demonstrative of a good sense of humor and directness. And this makes it oddly effective. 

4. Watch a decent sex scene. I don’t mean porn necessarily. If that’s what you’re into, go for it. For me personally, though, I can’t enjoy it. It’s not that I’m too prudish, I don’t think, it’s just that it’s all too … violently exploitative for my taste, and fails to turn me on. A decent, well-shot sex scene though? Those can be helpful. “Mulholland Drive” has got some good business in it. “Unfaithful.” “8 Mile.” The bits with Justin Timberlake in “Black Snake Moan.”  So you and yours should snuggle up on the couch and indulge. With a bowl of popcorn, of course, provided you haven’t indulged in any Mexican or Indian take-out. 

5. Buy new undies. Go and buy new undies. Whatever suits you that’s flattering. Perhaps there are ruffles involved, perhaps it’s more boy-short-y. Now choose a moment to cavalierly parade around. Not in a manner that’s too high-pressure, mind you. Not like, “I AM IN NEW UNDERPANTS LET’S HAVE SEX NOW!” Rather like, you throw on your new wares and wander casually into the kitchen and say, “Sweetheart, have you by chance seen that … oh, what? Why, yes: They’re new.” A variation on the classic “This old thing?” shtick, it says “let’s do this,” in a manner that is clear but not embarrassingly explicit. 

6. Bottom-line it. This tactic, I think, is often under-rated.  The key is owning your feelings in lieu of appearing in any way unsure/unconcerned. The urge will strike you to do the deed, and you will articulate that urge. You will text if you’re apart, talk in person if you’re together. You’ll say, “I am dying to have sex with you. That’s the deal. What do you say?” This is an infinitely more alluring presentation than, whilst watching TV, whilst scratching mindlessly at your genitals, turning to your partner and saying, “You don’t want to have sex by any chance do you? I’m just … well, I’d be into it. If you’d be into it.” 

7. Regulate: Nothing makes initiating sex harder than if you haven’t done so in awhile. The longer you and your S.O. go without sex, the weirder it is to ask him/her if he/she wants to have it now, the more belabored a project it becomes. To initiate sex with dignity, one needs to be initiating sex with regularity. 

Sara Barron is the author of People Are Unappealing and the forthcoming book Eating While Peeing (And Other Adventures) For more info, visit her website.

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