Lesbians don’t look at sex in terms of male and heterosexual standards. They make their own. We are all socialized to be heterosexual. Because of not being main-stream, lesbian have some challenges in addition to the regular life challenges that everyone faces. We live in a culture where we are not always seen for who we are. Our changing culture still tells us we can get married but can still be fired from a job due to sexual orientation. We often hold the sacred part of ourselves, how we love and who we love, a secret. Sometimes, lesbians come to therapy for general life issues not related to their sexuality. But sometimes the issues are directly related.
Some of these individual issues may include:
Coming out, wanting to be out more but not being sure how to do it, exploring your sexual identity, overcoming shame about romantic/sexual feelings/ sexual fantasies, fear of being discovered even in situations where it’s safe to be out, getting tired of feeling like you have to overcompensate and work harder and be perfectionistic to be accepted, not being able to tell family, dealing with prejudice in your family, dealing with prejudice in your culture or religion, dealing with vicarious trauma and its impact on you (i.e.: Orlando shooting) , internalized homophobia, jealousy over heterosexual privilege, having to hide who you are because you’re a teacher or coach and work with minors and fear other’s projections on you, or that you’re in a profession where you minimize your personal life in fear of losing your position.
The main reason lesbians couples come to therapy is to improve communication and romantic/ sexual and emotional intimacy. Couple’s issues may include but are not limited to:
Blending families, parenting issues, dealing with lack of sexual desire, when one’s sex drive is higher than the other, menopause, monogamy (or not), lack of erotic awareness or bed death.
Therapy provides a safe space to work out these issues and strengthen your identity as an individual or couple. Where you feel completely self-accepting, self-affirming, complete and exuberant. Where you build a life of love and respect for yourself and live with loving support from others.
Gay men are members of a sub-culture. Although it is changing, our culture promotes discrimination for being gay. Patriarchy has power but mostly if your heterosexual. When men come out, there is not one to explain how and what to do. Boys still grow up taught not to feel or at least not to show it. Many gay men experience trauma from their families/ church/ place of worship/ culture and society. Straight men can rely on their “role” in society to give them direction and identity. Gay men often have different criteria than straight men regarding relationships and “Roles”. They have to create their own. Gay relationships often include porn and are sometimes open sexually. Decisions have to be made as to what the boundaries are and how to live and love within them.
Some therapy issues include but are not limited to are:
Coming out to family members, coming out at work, promiscuity vs monogamy, open relationships, the role of porn in your relationship, sexual versatility (or not), dealing with ex’s, dealing with alcohol or substance abuse, what healthy sex means to you and how to communicate this to your partner, dealing with S&M and B&D, fetishes, eroticism, whether to take PrEP (Truvada) or PEP, dealing with discrimination at our place or worship/ with your culture/ society in general. Coming out to your children, coming out to your wife, blending families.
Therapy is about overcoming oppression, any self-abuse patterns, overcoming the need to overcompensate, overcoming shame and replacing it with boundaries, developing healthy sexuality that you can be proud of that meets your needs and works for you. Therapy is about resolving the conflict you came to therapy with, while building a healthy and accurate sense of self. It’s about improving communication and intimacy so you can create the changes you want in your relationship.
How I Can Help
I have worked with the GLBT community for over 25 years and can provide a safe and confidential space where you can talk about your feelings and situation openly and honestly. My goal is to help you work through your issues and find solutions that work best for you.