I’m A Strong, Confident Woman But I Still Feel Awkward About Initiating Sex

I’ve always been a bit weird about sex. Maybe it’s just the way I was raised, but craving it has always felt wrong to me in some way. Even though I’m in my thirties now, I still feel awkward as hell when it comes to taking charge in the bedroom.

  1. I can’t even talk about sex with my girlfriends. When one of my friends brings up the topic of sex, I cringe inside and go rigid. For me, it’s just so embarrassing to talk about. I’ve always seen myself as some kind of innocent girl who never talks about that kind of scandalous stuff. It’s no wonder I’m so awkward in the bedroom. I can’t even discuss sexual things with people I’m super comfortable with.
  2. I’m afraid of being rejected. I guess that’s what it’s all about deep down. I don’t know how guys have the balls to ask a girl for sex. I’m afraid that if I’m too forward, they’ll get weirded out or think I’m desperate and write me off… even though I’m sure most guys out there would jump at the chance to be with me if I put it out there. Logically I know it’s cool but the feeling overtakes me.
  3. I feel like the guy should be doing it. I’m seeing more and more women making the first move and that’s great, but for some reason when I do it, it just feels weird. In my mind, women have enough to worry about—we shouldn’t also be concerned with letting our partners know we’re available for sex. I feel pressure these days to be direct and super confident in my ability to initiate sex, but I just don’t think I have the skills for it.
  4. I don’t want him to lose respect for me. I wish this wasn’t a thing, but so many of my guy friends say they lose respect for a woman when she tries to initiate sex. I have that in the back of my mind whenever I’m getting intimate with a guy; I’m always hyper-aware of what he thinks of me. I figure it’s probably safer to just hang back and let him steer the ship, but I mean, I’m a grown woman. I should be able to at least make a move, right?
  5. It just doesn’t feel right on a primal level. It might have to do with our primal instinct to pick a man who’s going to stay around in case we get pregnant. That’s why we’re so naturally wary about having sex with someone—we want to make sure he’s the right one. This could be the reason I’m so apprehensive about initiating sex with someone.
  6. I like to pretend that I got tricked into sex. Since I’m pretty awkward about sex in general, if anyone asks what I did last night, I usually just say that my guy really wanted to have sex so I said yes, as if I didn’t really want to do it. I have this shame around desiring sex as if I shouldn’t ever need it or want it and it’s kinda messed up. I need to start taking ownership of my sexuality.
  7. I was raised to see sex as something shameful. When my mom gave me “the talk,” it was clearly one of the most uncomfortable moments of her life. She was so nervous about it and I think I picked up on that and for the rest of my teens, I saw sex as something to be afraid of. She gave me the impression that we shouldn’t really be talking about it and even though I’m 30 now, I feel like a little girl who’s still so naive about all this sex stuff.
  8. I don’t know how to be sexy. I can wear sexy clothes and makeup, sure, but I don’t know how to be sexy. When a guy says he’s attracted to me, I seriously think he’s just messing around with me and isn’t for real. I see myself as a frumpy girl-thing, not a sexy woman—and I don’t think I’ll ever believe that I am one.
  9. I would feel weird if I overstepped. Imagine what a nightmare it would be if I was too forward and basically unknowingly harassed the guy I was with. I would be doing the exact same thing that so many women complain about these days. I’d be a hypocrite. This is why I tend to let the guy take the lead despite any urges I get to make a move.
  10. It’s better to let the guy take on that pressure. Honestly, guys have it easier in this world, so they should take on that pressure of initiating sex. Although history has shown us that they haven’t been doing a very good job of it, we shouldn’t have to swoop in and take over. They should learn their lesson and put in the effort it takes to initiate the proper way. For now, I’m totally fine with leaving that to them. Maybe when I’m in my forties I’ll be braver and do it myself.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.