Dear Dr. Darcy:
My girlfriend and I are in the terrible throws of lesbian bed death. We’ve been through couple’s therapy and nothing is working. We get along fine, love each other and other than the fact that we’re not having sex it’s a very good relationship. It’s been almost 6 months without sex. My friend saw you as a therapist and said that you can fix this. I am DESPERATE to save my relationship. I promise I’ll do ANYTHING you tell me to do.
If my sessions began the way your question ended, my clients would spend a lot less time on my couch…
Lesbian bed death is not necessarily symptomatic of a doomed relationship and it’s certainly not a phenomena exclusive to the lesbian community. Pair any gender combination and most will report a decline in sexual activity over the course of a long-term relationship. Having said that, I hear loud and clear that regardless of how common it may be, you want an active sex life.
What I’ve found in my work with couples is that the more I focus on sex or the absence thereof, the more pressure the couple feels to fix the problem and the bigger the issue becomes. Consequently, I’m going to propose a rather unorthodox methodology that I want you to try for 30 days. Follow every step exactly as I describe and write back on April 3rd to give me a progress report on how the two of you are feeling. I will of course post your report.
1. No sex for 30 days. Nothing. That means no touching any body part that would normally be covered by underwear and bra.
I used to own a restaurant in the West Village. I had a killer menu with about 10 no-fail hits. Every month I’d take a handful of those hits off the menu. Why? Because no matter how good it tastes, if it’s always available, eventually it gets boring.
2. No discussing sex for 30 days. Lesbians can talk just about anything to death. Sex is now officially off the list of things to ‘process.’
3. Take care of your To-Do’s before you walk in the door at night. Do not discuss any domestic management tasks in person for 30 days. Do it via email, on the phone or through texting, but from the moment you walk through that door at night, no more talking business.
4. No-tech dinners for 30 days. That means no phones or computers. Dinner, by the way, lasts a minimum of 30 minutes. Daily.
5. Engage in 15 minutes of non-sexual touch daily. Clothing should be on and keep your hands on G-rated areas.
6. Begin sexting. You heard me. Send her the most descriptive texts you can think of at the most unexpected times of the day, explaining exactly what you wish you could do to her. Repeat this as often as you’d like, but do not discuss this in person.
7. Work out a minimum of 3 days weekly for a minimum of 30 minutes each time. As women, we become more sexual when we feel better about ourselves. At the very least, it will relieve some stress.
8. Engage in an extracurricular activity without each other 1 time weekly. The activity should last at least an hour. It will give you something new to discuss when you’re together.
9. No masturbating for 30 days. In case you can’t tell, I’m trying to build up some sexual tension between the two of you. If you’re taking care of your own business, you defeat my goal.
10. Institute Date Night on a weekly basis. Just the two of you. I don’t care what you do, but don’t invite anyone but her to attend, and take turns planning it to bring an element of surprise back into the relationship.
So there you have it. A recipe for reconnecting without the pressure of having sex. A new way of relating to one-another that includes dinners without distractions and dates to remind you how to court one-another. Good luck and don’t forget to report back.