Woman seeks to rekindle sexual spark with her wife
Updated: Jun 24
Dear Dr. Diana:
My wife and I have been together almost 10 years and long before the pandemic we had settled into a comfortable routine that didn’t include much sex. As a lesbian couple, we have bonded very strongly emotionally (we still tell each other “I love you” every day), but we have gradually drifted apart sexually speaking. This was pretty much OK with both of us, as we each had busy lives with work and social commitments.
We are now both working at home and are limiting our outside social activities, so we spend a lot of time together, which is increasing my appreciation for her. Lately I have been feeling some stirrings of sexual desire for her, and I have dropped some hints about becoming more sexual, but she seems oblivious to my innuendo. We are both somewhat shy talking about sex, and when it does happen, we enjoy it. But there is usually no discussion afterward and then it can be weeks or months before we have sex again.
Sometimes it seems like a standoff, but there is no anger or resentment, just unsure how to move forward. Do you have any suggestions about how to change this?
—Stuck in St. Louis
Changing an ingrained relationship pattern—especially one related to sex—can be a challenge. The key here is to take baby steps. I suggest you start with some non-sexual touching. You probably know some ways that your wife likes (and doesn’t like) to be touched. Offer a foot rub or a shoulder massage or a scalp tingle … whatever she would like. Encourage her to tell you how it feels. Use the time to also verbally express your affection for her.
As you establish new patterns of touch, I suggest that you next try some non-sexual body caressing. Ask to schedule a time for this so you each can focus on the tactile pleasure of the experience. In your first sessions, keep your clothes on and do some light caressing of the face and arms and hands. Take turns caressing each other’s body. See if you can both just sink into the sensual pleasure of light touching caresses. As you progress in future sessions, you each can remove some or all of your clothing and do more full body caressing, even some light genital touching, but no penetration or orgasms yet.
The idea is to use touch—both non-sexual and sexual—to gradually reconnect. Go slow. Don’t try to rush your partner into this. Pay attention to her responses and her openness to experiencing more touch with you. Make sure you talk to her as you do these caressing exercises. All you need to do is simply describe out loud what you are doing: “I am really enjoying stroking your thighs. How does it feel to you?” Continue talking like this as you move into more sexual touching. If you start getting aroused, say so. Don’t expect your wife to magically know how you feel. With some practice you can ease back into sensual contact and hopefully more sexual contact.