Lesbianing with AE! This week: Sensitive vaginas and second-guessing a move

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Today on Lesbianing with AE! writer Lindsey Danis answers reader questions about moving out of a blue state in the Trump era and dealing with vaginal dryness during lesbian sex.

Last year, my partner decided she wanted to go back to school and get their Master’s in Social Work. She applied to several programs, including one in Boston where we live and two online-only programs. I told my partner I would move with her if she wanted to attend a program that’s in another state, if that’s what she thought was best for her. I meant it at the time. But after the election, I started feeling really blue (no pun intended). And I’m not sure anymore that I really do want to move – I’ve got a lot of family and friends near me and would be starting over from scratch if we move for my partner’s program. She also applied to a few programs in states that went to Trump, and I’m especially not sure if I want to move to those places. I’m having trouble sleeping, because I’m worried about what could happen to lesbian rights under Trump and to my partner and me specifically if we move to a red state. I know you’re probably going to tell me to talk it out but… any other advice?

-Fear of Moving On

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Getty Images

 

Hey FOMO,

Deep breaths, you’re gonna get through this.

First off: The election threw 86 percent of the gays into a tizzy (14 percent of LGBTs voted for Trump), so you aren’t alone in freaking out back then/right now/for the next four-or-less years. Your partner is probably freaked out too, and she might be having some of the same worries as you are.

When you talk to her, be honest about how the election has changed things for you. Your partner will be weighing a lot of variables in determining where to go to grad school, not least of all financial aid packages or LGBTQ hospitality or specific strengths and focuses of the programs. If you have a hard-and-fast list of places you aren’t willing to live, she deserves to know before she turns down a place at a good school.

BUT before you talk to her, it sounds like you need to spend a little more time reflecting so you can be clear when you have the conversation.

You say you aren’t sure whether you want to leave your supportive community. You say you also aren’t sure if you can subject yourself to life in a red state for the next two years. Can you get some more clarity on what you are and are not willing to do? Talk to a good friend, get a tarot card reading, meditate, do whatever it is you usually do when you are trying to tease apart difficult feelings.

Do this BEFORE you talk to your partner, even if it feels icky to keep your change-of-heart a secret (it’s not going to stay a secret for long).

Why? Well you’ve already put yourself in a pickle by telling her something you thought was true, and she went ahead and started making MAJOR LIFE PLANS based on what you told her. If you originally said you would not move, maybe she would have applied to more online master’s programs or more programs in Massachusetts. She can’t go back and do those things suddenly because you’ve had a change of heart.

You’re writing in a moment of panic, propelled by the turbulent fucking crappy stuff that’s gone down since January 21. And honestly? Who can say what the future will bring? You can’t predict what our tweeter in chief will do, but you can find clarity in charting your course. Once you get over the shock and get in touch with what you want, you need to go to your partner and say, “Remember when I told you I’d move for grad school with you? I’m not sure I can do that right now and here’s why.”

“Who can say what the future will bring? You can’t predict what our tweeter in chief will do, but you can find clarity in charting your course.”

Then you can explain using logic and not emotion (this is super-emotional me channeling my super-logical wife here) why you’re hesitating, what you think is the right move, and what you’re willing to do.

Are there some blue-bubble-in-a-red-state college towns on their list you might be willing to move to? Would you feel better if you took a road trip to check out those places? Are you no longer willing to leave Boston at all due to election fears/family/community/even just having a good job with actual health insurance because the ACA might go away? (Seriously, my home state had health care coverage for everyone before Obamacare was a thing, so if you’re freaked out about leaving Boston and quitting your job and then not having health care at all, that’s a totally legit worry.)

Then, allow your partner to take the information you provided and make the decisions that’s right for her – even if this means going anyway. Even if this means having a long-distance relationship for the next two years, or getting dumped because she (or you) can’t commit to doing the long-distance thing.

You’re allowed to change your mind. Your partner doesn’t have to change hers, and she might not. Prepare for all eventualities, then give yourself and your partner the time and space you each need to make the decision that’s right for each of you individually, if not also for you as a couple.

“You’re allowed to change your mind. Your partner doesn’t have to change hers, and she might not. Prepare for all eventualities, then give yourself and your partner the time and space you each need to make the decision that’s right for each of you individually, if not also for you as a couple.”

For the last couple of months, I’ve been super dry when having sex even though I feel turned on. This has never been a problem for me before, so the first time it happened I didn’t really think anything of it. I just assumed it was a fluke. Obviously I can go get some lube, but is there anything else I should be doing? I don’t want my girlfriend to think I’m not turned on by having sex with her, because I totally am.

-Dry

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Getty images

 

Dear Dry,

Vaginal dryness is a common problem that can occur at any age, even though it’s typically thought of as happening near menopause.

If you have low levels of estrogen, your vagina will be drier. Your doc can do a hormone check, and discuss solutions if it turns out you do have low estrogen.

Smokers tend to have lower estrogen (and also go through menopause earlier). Not to lecture, but quitting smoking will help your hormones balance out, and decrease the negative health consequences associated with smoking.

Prescription meds are a factor for some women. While it might not surprise you to know antidepressants cause dryness (and they can be a libido killer), did you know asthma meds could be to blame for your unfortunate lack of wetness?

While you’re troubleshooting, try to be extra kind to your snatch. Nix the perfumed lotions or body washes, wash your panties in unscented detergent, stop using those godawful scented laundry boost products (you’re killing the environment and a little bit of my soul), and don’t douche (which you shouldn’t be doing anyway). Drink plenty of water (dehydration can affect your nether regions).

Some people have sensitive vaginas, and yours could be reacting to a change in product or routine by being dry.

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Getty images

Lastly, relax. If you are super stressed about something, you’re going to be less interested in having sex and less wet when you do get it on. Banishing stress and anxiety will help you feel better and become more interested in sex. Likewise, if you’re constantly checking in with your vag during sex, you aren’t letting yourself enjoy the experience. You could be making the problem worse by focusing on the issue.

Maybe try touching your girlfriend without letting her touch you (hell, tie her up if you want) and see whether this helps you chill out and get wet again.

If you haven’t mentioned the matter to your girlfriend, maybe bring it up. It never hurts to reassure her how amazingly hot and/or good in bed you think she is, and breaking the silence around it could help your problem magically disappear.

Good luck!

Lindsey is indeed from Massachusetts. She has resting bitch face and a knack for knowing what you’re thinking but not saying. More emotional than logical, she is a freelance and creative writer taking a much-needed Caribbean vacation from DT this week. Find her at @wordhack or lindseydanis.com.

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