“My SO [30M] and I [25F] have an awesome relationship. Although things have been getting stale in the bedroom after a few years. Part of it is his low libido which he is working on by going to the gym. I do think some of it is me though too. He admitted me to awhile ago that I don’t really act sexy. It hurt a little but it’s true. He says he thinks I am sexy looking but I essentially don’t make active attempts seduce him. Sex is usually followed by a “Wanna do it?” “Sure.”
The thing is I’m really more of a “cute” girl. He calls me cute and adorable all the time. This works well with me being the submissive one. I don’t know how to mix cute and sexy together, they seem like two different things. When I think sexy I think confident, and charming. I’m more sweet, shy even goofy. I have a hard time taking myself seriously. I probably make one to many jokes when we’re trying to set the mood. Sometimes I’ll do something “sexy” as a joke and when I stop he’ll say “why did you stop that was great!” I’m just clueless I guess.
I am objectively the more attractive one but he is way more sexy than I am. He’s has a lot more experience and he great at what he does. We’re open to a lot, and let me clarify when I mean shy I don’t mean prude. I know I need to be more confident and I’m trying to work on that but does anyone have any other advice? What works for you guys? What do you or your SO do to be sexy?”
Dear Cyber Slacker 7,
You are going to receive a thousand different answers to this question because different people love differently. One of the best things about human experiences is that there are no definitive laws in attraction; one person’s cute is another person’s sexy. For some folks, “Wanna do it?” is a perfectly sexy way of initiating sex. The bluntness of its request is so unassuming. For others, they need extensive verbal foreplay to get in the mood to engage in erotic activities.
Maybe the first place to start is to get a bit more visibility into his headspace about how he defines sexy characteristics and behaviors. What kind of behaviors and mentality does he find sexy outside of his relationship with you? If there is a particular actress or character he finds sexy, have him elaborate to you what he finds so sexy and alluring about those actresses and characters. If there is a particular porn video he likes to watch, ask him to tell you what he likes about what the actors and actresses are doing on screen that does it for him.
Once you get a better idea of what he personally finds seductive, figure out how you can incorporate those attributes into the way you initiate with and engage with him. If there is a particular style of women he finds himself attracted to, see if there is a common theme you can borrow before you commit to wholly adopting their personas and aesthetics. If you only have sex in one place, switch it up by having sex in different places. If you can’t afford hotels, then erotically engage with each other at different times of day. And if you can’t even afford to engage at different times of play, pretend to be someone else by roleplaying.
You say that you are more submissive in your sexual relationship with your boyfriend. But submissive does not mean passive. I’ve met many shy subs/bottoms who actively tease and playfully engage with their doms/tops to initiate erotic contact. You definitely have a role to play that isn’t just sitting idly by. Sexually successful subs I’ve seen leaned heavily into that coy seduction to bait their dominant partners to pursue.
You also say that you are generally pretty shy. But I don’t imagine that you’re shy everywhere. And there must’ve been something that he was attracted to – in your shyness – that made you alluring in the first place. Based on his response, he clearly sees that you can be sexy. But you might not see that in yourself. So maybe it is time to lean into that a little. Like any other adjustment, leaning into something that doesn’t quite feel like you is going to feel awkward and difficult. But part of being confidently sexy is owning that you are capable of radiating sexual energy. It doesn’t even have to be anything you actively put your mind to. Sometimes, that intense, smoldering look that says you know what you’re doing is enough.
Another vector you can pursue is to engage in proactive consent as foreplay.
Proactive consent is defined as a preemptive permission to engage sexually with someone by outlining what is expected. The concept of scheduling sex is looked down upon in western culture because we are taught as a society that the only form of sex we should be enthralled by is the spontaneous kind. But people don’t realize how difficult it is to have spontaneous sex, especially if there are mismatching libidos like in your case. Practice of proactive consent could look a lot like discussing what you would like to do to each other and how you would each like to accomplish that. If either of you are kinky, this would be a good place to hash out what kind of scene you’d like to participate in.
Proactive consent does a couple things really well. It makes you anticipate what you’ve discussed. Proactive consent also takes a lot of pressure off of initiating since both of you are on the same page about what is to happen. So use proactive consent to set the mood ahead of time, to engage in long-form foreplay with each other, and to involve each other in each other’s fantastical erotic headspaces.
Tea Time with Tomato is an informative relationship and sex advice column for both monogamous and polyamorous folks. By submitting your post, you agree to let me use your story in part or in full. You also agree to let me edit or elaborate for clarity.
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