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How to Keep Sex Alive in Lesbian Relationships

How to Keep Sex Alive in Lesbian Relationships

Dear Dr. Glenda: My partner and I are arguing a lot about our sex life. We don’t really have one, except maybe a couple times in the past year. She thinks we should work on this, but when I talk to my friends they aren’t having much sex either. Sex has never been that big a deal to me. Why should I have to change?

A:  You don’t HAVE to change—but if you want to stay with your partner, you may want to. Sounds like you’re asking her to change, to NOT be interested in sex just because you’re not. A conflict like this can end your relationship, often because someone else comes along who IS interested in sex. And BTW, you don’t have to try to work up a big “sex drive” in order to have sexual intimacy. You just need to be open to learning about female sexual desire, how to re-create feelings you had for her in the beginning, how to meet her halfway with this. It’s not as hard as you think! And I think you’ll like the bonding feeling that sexual intimacy brings.

78033315Dear Dr. Glenda: Can you re-light a passionate relationship after it’s already died down for awhile?  it’s been a couple years for us, and I wonder if it’s worth even trying.  Should we just accept that this is the next phase in long-term relationships?

A:  That’s a tough question, and No, I don’t think you should just accept this as the next inevitable phase. It’s true that it’s hard to re-kindle romance after a couple years of cold storage… but if you both want this it’s very possible.  For most couples, it helps to remember the early stages of your relationship, what you enjoyed doing together, what helped you feel more physical yourself.  That part is pretty straightforward.  The complication is that you probably need to talk with each other about how each of you really feels about this.  It definitely takes teamwork!

Glenda Corwin, Ph.D is a clinical psychologist who specializes in lesbian sexual issues. She is the author of Sexual Intimacy for Women: A Guide for Same Sex Couples (Seal Press, 2010). Dr. Corwin writes for the Huffington Post: Gay Voices,, as well as her own blog on She presents frequently at professional conferences, and is a regular guest on Barb Elgin’s LesbianLoveTalk radio program.

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One comment

  • Renate Stendhal says:

    Thank you, Glenda, I feel honored and tickled to find the sub-title of my book “rue Secrets of Lesbian Desire” in the headline of your article. You are so right: women “need to talk with each other about how each of you really feels about this.” The truth about sex is the hardest truth for many women to speak…
    My latest thought on the question is that often we jump the gun talking about keeping sex alive. We may first have to ask how to BE sexually alive to begin with. I have a suspicion, and would love to hear from others if they agree or disagree: The fear and dread of hetero sex has scarred and marred many women in their coming of age and throughout their lives, and for many women and lesbians this resulted in a certain reluctance toward sex, and even an inclination to stay away from the dangerous zone of sex as much as possible, opting for tenderness rather than sex.