Dear How to Do It: My girlfriend and I are two women in our early-20s, and we’ve been together for nearly two years. Our relationship is mostly great, except for one thing: Over the past six months, the quality of our sex life has dropped dramatically.
My girlfriend developed really bad tendonitis in both of her wrists very suddenly. It makes it difficult for her to do a lot of things she used to enjoy, including, well, me. My favorite parts about having sex have always been the hand stuff (I don’t really enjoy oral, and fingering has always been what does it for me). We’ve tried to substitute with sex toys, but it hasn’t been quite the same. [Our] sex life used to be a big part of our relationship, but it’s been really impacted. [Now] It usually goes like this: The sex is mediocre and ends too soon, I have a hard time hiding that I’m dissatisfied, and then my girlfriend feels like shit. It’s resulted in us hardly having sex at all.
We’re a really communicative couple and we’ve talked about this a lot! But we’re really not sure how to get through this one. It sucks to make my partner feel anxious or inadequate, and it also sucks to not know how to get me off. Any tips for ways we could move past this? We both really miss having fun sex, and we’re not sure what our options are. (We even tried scissoring! We’re young and fun—please help!)
[Question signed by] Premature Lesbian Bed Death
Dear Premature Lesbian Bed Death,
This is absolutely unfortunate, and your dissatisfaction is understandable. There’s nothing like real human fingers, curled up toward the best internal spots. No dildo I’ve ever encountered can replicate this feeling. First, practice some active acceptance. Your girlfriend can’t do you the way she used to. Y’all have to figure out new ways and new types of satisfaction.
So, is there anything you haven’t explored? Are there types of toys you haven’t tried? I would give the Magic Wand a shot, and also (I’ve done influencer work for them previously but paid for this one with my own money) Lelo’s Enigma Cruise. Can you do yourself while she holds you? Do her and get off on her getting off? What about psychological stuff, fantasy, erotic readings, watching porn, impact play, soft sensations that aren’t directly stimulating, teasing, and edging?
Worst case scenario, you look under several stones and can’t find a way to make this work. Then you’ll have to decide whether you want to remain in the relationship. There’s no shame in understanding that a relationship isn’t satisfying you and kindly and gently moving on.
(Adapted & reprinted from the ‘How to do It’ column in Slate)