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Are there biblical/talmudic sources which note whether a husband or wife must initiate in their marital relations? There is a common conception that males must initiate because of their physicality as well as responsibility of fulfilling a mitzvah.

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I'm not aware of a requirement that one or the other must initiate relations. But it is brought in the Chesed L'Avraham that ideally the woman should.

וכן הענין בסוד התשמיש כשהתעוררות בא מהזכר אותו התשמיש אינו לשם שמים כי אם לשם תענוג, ואע"פ שאי אפשר להיות התחלת התשמיש שלא יהיה לשם תענוג מצד זה נולדה הערלה כנזכר לעיל, אבל הזוכה לאשה כשרה שכל תשמיש ותשמיש בא על ידי התעורותה...‏

  • hisorerasa does not mean initiate. this answer is wrong – michael Jun 22 '16 at 15:47
  • @m.r. He is talking about "התחלת התשמיש". I think this is the definition of the word "initiate" – Y K Jun 22 '16 at 15:54
  • התעורותה means she arouses it. i.e. hints to it. obviously doesnt mean she asks verbally as that is forbidden – michael Jun 22 '16 at 15:59
  • see rashi on Gen 3:16 - "And to your husband will be your desire": Rashi: for intimacy, but, nevertheless, you will not have the audacity to demand it of him with your mouth, but he will rule over you. Everything is from him and not from you – michael Jun 22 '16 at 16:11
  • Neither I nor the part I quoted said anything about "demanding verbally" and the passage is actually part of a passage talking about using signs. But the indication is that she should initiate through signing to her husband, rather than him to her. – Y K Jun 22 '16 at 16:28
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See Rashi on Gen 3:16 - "And to your husband will be your desire":

for intimacy, but, nevertheless, you will not have the audacity to demand it of him with your mouth, but he will rule over you. Everything is from him and not from you.

From here we see a woman can hint somehow but not initiate verbally.

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    How do you get "a woman can hint somehow" from "Everything is from him and not from you"? Seems like she can't. – msh210 Jun 22 '16 at 16:50
  • @msh210 she can't ask him directly – michael Jun 23 '16 at 12:28
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Tachat Hatapuach orarticha. See Shir Hashirim 8, 5 and see Rashi:

מִי זֹאת עֹלָה מִן הַמִּדְבָּר מִתְרַפֶּקֶת עַל דּוֹדָהּ תַּחַת הַתַּפּוּחַ עוֹרַרְתִּיךָ שָׁמָּה חִבְּלַתְךָ אִמֶּךָ שָׁמָּה חִבְּלָה יְלָדַתְךָ׃

Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved? Under the apple-tree I awakened thee; there thy mother was in travail with thee; there was she in travail and brought thee forth.

Rashi:

תחת התפוח עוררתיך. כך היא אומרת בבקשה חבת דודה תחת התפוח עוררתיך זכור כי בתחתית הר סיני העשוי על ראשי כמין תפוח שם עוררתיך והוא לשון חבת אשת נעורים המעוררת את דודה בלילות בתנומות עלי משכב מחבקתו ומנשקתו׃

Under the apple tree I wake you up... ..."I wake you up" is an allusion to the desire of his bride that wake her lover up in nocturnal sleep in bed, interlacing and kissing him.

It seems that it is allowed that the woman initiate. But it does not say this explicitly.

Mishna Ketubot 7, 6:

רַבִּי טַרְפוֹן אוֹמֵר, אַף הַקּוֹלָנִית. וְאֵיזוֹ הִיא קוֹלָנִית, לִכְשֶׁהִיא מְדַבֶּרֶת בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתָהּ וּשְׁכֵנֶיהָ שׁוֹמְעִין קוֹלָהּ׃

Gemara 72b:

Rabbi Tarfon said: also one who screams. what is meant by a screamer? - Rav Judah replied in the name of Samuel: one who speaks aloud on marital matters. in a baraitha it was taught: [by screams was meant a wife] whose voice during her intercourse in one court can be heard in another court. but should not this, then, have been taught in the mishnah among defects? - clearly we must revert to the original explanation.

See Bet Yosef Even Haezer 115 on the left top of the page.

See here chapter 2

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