Take charge of your health. Sign up for HealthyWomen newsletters:
Sex & Relationships
Find out more about:

By Sheryl Kingsberg, Ph.D.

Professor Reproductive Biology and Psychiatry
Case Western Reserve University
Chief of Division of Behavioral Medicine
MacDonald Women's Hospital/University Hospitals
Cleveland Medical Center

Created: 11/23/2011
Last Updated: 07/19/2012

Share on:

Q: I am a lesbian and my partner and I are having some sexual problems. Are there therapists who specialize in same-sex relationships?

Yes, there certainly are. And it's a good thing that you're considering seeing a therapist for your sexual problems. Just because you're in a same-sex relationship doesn't mean you can't experience sexual dysfunction.

It's also good that you're asking about a therapist experienced in working with gay couples. Therapists who have knowledge of and experience with social, political and legal issues faced by sexual minorities may offer more specific and relevant guidance to same-sex couples. A therapist who treats same-sex couples may also have more access to community organizations that provide specific support for gays and lesbians.

Regardless of your therapist's sexual orientation, what's most important is that your therapist is familiar with issues specific to lesbian couples. For instance, research suggests that, lesbians tend to have sex less frequently than women in heterosexual relationships. The study also finds that lesbians in long-term relationships are more likely to experience low sexual desire than either homosexual men or heterosexual couples.

To find a therapist who treats gay couples, start by asking friends or contacting a local gay or lesbian organization for recommendations. Also check with any health care professionals you know who specialize in treating lesbian health issues.

You can also find information on certified sexual therapists through the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists.