Recently I was enjoying a summer afternoon alone, happy in my solitude reading a book “Sexual Intimacy for Women: A Guide for Same-Sex Couples.” It was in my happiness that I learned that lesbians are far more likely than any gay or heterosexual relationship to go for years without sex. I did not stay happy nor for that matter very relaxed. I was unaware that statistically when lesbians say they have not had sex in a while with their partner they could mean years!
This is such a sad fact. Now I will be the first to admit that sex is really important to me, perhaps making me shallow in that department. I just could not imagine being with someone I love and not feeling their naked skin pressed up against mine, smelling her as we feel each others warmth.
Now of course there are some exceptions, were sexual intimacy is interrupted by physical illness or emotional difficulties. Those situations are understandable, but this statistic is not including individuals struggling with physical or emotional issues, its two healthy individuals who have stop having sex. After the first year, and all the chemistry that encourages passion and attraction stabilize, it’s common to find differences in desire level and needs, high-desire vs. low-desire individuals.
I have been judged in the past for putting too much emphasis on sex, that my expectations have been too high (what wrong with wanting sex five times a week… minimum). In my defense, while you catch your breath and stop cursing me out or praying for my girlfriend’s sanity and vagina, I am also a firm believer in compromise and other forms of intimacy.
A healthy relationship starts with good communication, and giving attention to all departments of a relationship, equally. If you think sex is not important you will need to find someone with the same belief to make the journey easier. Some of us long for a companionship that does not rely on sexual intimacy. At the end, I do not think there is a wrong or right way to be with someone, if there is open safe communication, trust, and both partners are pursuing a happy healthy relationship.
However, if you and your partner find yourselves on polar opposites of the desire scale, here are some helpful hints:
- Communicate clearly who you are and what you want (e.g. how much sex you want or how often.)
- Be aware of each others feelings and talk openly about how you feel. Usually and naturally a partner who is high-desire will feel demanding, exposed, and deprived of physical intimacy whereas a low-desire individual could feel resentful of the demands being made, inadequate, and guilty for holding back sex.
- Do not lose yourself. While you are negotiating with you partner about the needs and wants, hold on to whom you are and your integrity.
- Do not expect your partner to take responsibility for your feelings, be responsible for your own feelings, and learn to stay calm and sooth yourself.
- Differences in sex roles and intimacy are a lifelong process, and allows the development of whom we are and our relation to others.
- Learning and communicating effectively who you are and your needs could be the key in rekindling desire and passion.
- No one in a relationship gets their way all the time.
- Sexual desire does not have to be something you wait for to build in order to respond with sexual contact; all you need is to be willing to be sexual.
- Maintain or increase the passion in your relationship: exercise your libido (e.g. masturbating); have getaways, bath and shower together, have sex in different places, break the routine, give each other massages, remind each other how special you are, have date nights, spend some time apart (so you can miss each other), have make-out sessions, be romantic (buy flowers), write poems or letters to one another, meet somewhere and pretend like you are strangers, talk about your sexual fantasies, and take risks together.
- Be an active participant in your relationship, mind that you do not become just part of the scenery.
Relationship evolve and change just as we do throughout our journey in this life, no matter what choices you make with your partner you will have to reevaluate ever so often those decisions and change what is not working. The art of love is a constant movement that requires and tests our patience, understanding of yourselves and others.
There was a time I would have said that this is all too much work, and really I am all about the passion stage, having as much sex as I can handle, and that I am better off on my own. However, I am slowly learning that intimacy comes in many shapes and that with negotiation, endurance and hardship that the passion can be even more exciting after having crossed life’s obstacles with someone I love- and it’s only the beginning.
Alex Karydi – The Lesbian Guru