Dear Lesbian Life:I am a woman in a relationship with another woman. We have been together for about two years and are very happy together. However, we have disparate sex drives. She wants sex more often than I do and feels rejected when I do not respond to her advances. Part of the complication is that I seem to forget how much I enjoy sex with her except when we are having it.
I know that my non-responsiveness hurts her and she has recently mentioned that it has made her think of seeking out other lovers that will reaffirm her desirability. Before we became partners, she had polyamorous relationships. While we have talked about opening up the relationship, particularly as I fear that monogamy is somewhat stifling for her, I also do not imagine that I am noble enough to fight off the jealously that I might experience.
Should I Initiate Sex?I have thought of initiating sex or responding to her advances despite not being in the mood for it but she says that I should not, as such would be insincere. We have both agreed that she could pleasure herself in moments when I do not want sex but she is not able to climax through masturbation and so masturbating only makes her feel defeated. Sex is important to my partner; I know this situation hurts her very deeply and makes her feel less desired. I love and desire her very much but do not want to be insincere in our sexual life. Do you have any advice?
Dear InsincereLet’s pretend for a moment that it wasn’t sex that your girlfriend was interested in, but baseball. She was a big fan when you met her and you never really gave much thought to the game. She dragged you to a game and after you were there, you had a good time. Even though you would probably never go to a game by yourself, you enjoyed sharing the experience with your girlfriend, you loved seeing how happy it makes her and you even got into the game a little, liking the crack sound of the bat hitting the ball, seeing the outfielders dive for pop flies and drinking beer outside on a warm summer night. Hell, after going to a few games, you may even end up with a favorite player and looking forward to the next game.
Let’s say you surprise your girlfriend for her birthday with tickets to the Red Sox. Would she think you insincere for giving her this gift? No, she would be happy that you were paying attention to her desires and attempting to fulfill them.
Should You Initiate Sex?It’s the same with your sex life. If you read the letters from other lesbians, then you know that many couples have differing sex drives. It’s not insincere to initiate sex with your partner or to respond to her advances, even if you’re not always in the mood. It’s what we do for each other. As a matter of fact, one of the things I recommend for any couple who is suffering from lack sexual intimacy is to make regular sex dates. Couples do all kinds of things for each other to make the other partner happy. It’s not insincere. It’s part of being in a relationship.
What I suspect is really going on here is that your partner wants to open things up and have multiple lovers. And in some ways I can understand. Having sex with someone who is only participating for your benefit is wildly different than having sex with someone who is as hot and excited as you are.
This is where you need and your partner need to make a decision. Are you willing to give non-monogamy a try and let her sleep with other women? Is she will to risk losing you and your relationship to have a more fulfilling sex life? No one can answer these questions but the two of you. The most important thing is that you are both able to be honest about your needs and desires. There are costs and benefits to any decision. An experienced couples counselor may be able to help.