The way you initiate sex can sometimes be a make-or-break moment as to whether it goes ahead or not. If you come on too strong and your partner isn’t feeling it, the mood could be shut down instantly. But if you're too casual with your advances, your partner might think you’re not bothered.
So, what’s the sweet spot? A new study has found that most Brits prefer physical touch as a way to initiate sex. Nearly half (49%) like romantic gestures instead, while 47% like non-verbal cues and 44% just want you to say it straight with direct communication.
The survey of 1,500 Brits from Lovehoney also found that 41% of people like sex to be mutually initiated, while 27% like their foreplay to begin via text message.
"There is the assumption that the mind is aroused first and then the body will follow, but it can totally work the other way around," says Elisabeth Neumann, Head of User Research at Lovehoney.
"Consensual touch, which feels teasing, tingling or otherwise erotic, might initiate mental and physical arousal," she explains. "Physical touch is an immediate and direct way of communication. I assume the 51% who prefer this way of initiating sex appreciate the directness and the immediate physical connection that's built up.
"A romantic gesture, on the other hand, is more of an indirect invite. A partner must put some thought into it and act on it. Even if it is ‘just’ a sticky note with some loving words, it requires someone to put effort in. It is a nice way of letting your partner feel appreciated as well as seduced."
Top 6 ways to initiate sex
Physical touch - 51%
Romantic gestures - 49%
Non-verbal cues - 47%
Direct communication - 44%
Mutual initiative - 41%
Communication via text - 27%
The study also found that different genders prefer different methods of initiation. Women prefer romantic gestures and physical intimacy, while men like direct communication.
Age can also play a factor in how people like to initiate sex, with 66% of 18 to 24-year-olds preferring romantic gestures, while 58% of 35 to 44-year-olds liking non-verbal cues like body language.
The study comes after recent research found that a quarter of Brits are having less sex than they used to, which is mainly down to the pandemic, the cost of living crisis and ‘global incidents’.
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