Fighting the Myth of Lesbian Bed Death
Lesbian bed death- (n.) when sexual relations between a lesbian couple have virtually ceased, yet the companionship remains.
Lesbian Bed Death a.k.a LBD.
We have all heard about it. How it affects all couples. How it is going to be the end of that crazy sexy passion. How its coming for our…coming.
It is something that has become deeply entrenched in our communities and the idea has spread like a bad rash in both the WSW community and the world at large.
This rubbish was first brought about by a study done in 1982 by sociologists Pepper Schwartz and Philip Blumstein called American Couples: Money, Work, Sex. It was the first major study to compare gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples on issues such as sex, communication and money. Among other things this study showed that lesbian couples apparently had less sex than other couples.
Good thing was, people who later reviewed the study called bulls*it.
These reviewers, (as well as women with good sex lives) criticised the methodology as well as the actual results. Some of the problems people had with the study was that the sample size was too small and the focus was on penetration when we all know that there are so many other things that can be done in bed. There was also the point that frequency should not be the main focus either because there should be more of focus on quality over quantity. Later research showed that lesbians may not have sex as frequently but they did have sex for longer periods of time and were happier with their sex lives than heterosexual women.
One sex therapist wrote that if the focus was on how long rather than how frequently people have sex, lesbians would win hands down. Not only did lesbians have sex for longer, they got more out of it. A study done in 2014 showed that lesbians have more orgasms than straight or bisexual women. Basically science called out straight guys on not getting their mess together. ‘Lesbian Bed Death is the greatest disservice we ever did to our community. We really screwed ourselves with that one, but not in a good way,’ said Felice Newman, sex coach and author of The Whole Lesbian Sex Book. She went on to say ‘in fact the statistics don’t vary that much. If you’re straight or you’re gay, long term relationships can be challenging when it comes to sex.’
The study, done by Autostraddle, also had some really interesting results about the sex lives of lesbian women that dispelled ‘Lesbian Bed Death’ rumours.
For example it showed that people in monogamous relationships were having as much sex as their single homies.
However, despite the fact that people have tried to crush this rumour, there seem to be more effort put into furthering this mess.
So the problem becomes that people whose sex life has dried out now have something to blame it on. Which then means that they do little to fix it. You haven’t had your kitty stroked in a long time and you just say to yourself ‘hey, it’s just LBD, what can I really do about it?’ For one you can refuse to believe that LBD is a thing and talk to your partner(s) about getting your freak on.
This LBD myth has allowed couples to simply give up or has allowed partners with lower a libido to pressurise partners with a higher sex drive to turn down. The fact that people have accepted LBD as a real thing sometimes allows one partner to make the other one agree to have lower amounts of sex, using the myth that ‘eventually lesbians just stop having sex’. Thus the myth of LBD can actually allow one partner to shame another out of wanting to have sex.
Do not be shamed. Sex is awesome and there is nothing wrong with wanting it.
There is no ‘time mark’ when the sex will die. It is all about the relationship. Some couples are still wetting the sheets and disturbing the neighbours with moans of ‘I’m coming…I’m coming’ five years in. Yes. We are speaking from in house experience.
Note: Do not, in all this, side-line masturbation. It is a great way of levelling the libido field as well as learning your own body. It can teach you a thing or two about pleasing yourself and even your partner(s).
Communication, communication, communication
What is key here is communication. Being able to talk about it. We picked this up from Autostraddle on how to bring up the matter:
Always talk about sex at a time and in a place where you’re not having sex, or intending to immediately have sex after the conversation.
Ask permission to talk about sex and give that other person a chance to reschedule the conversation.
Assume positive intent. Assume your girlfriend wants to make you happy. Assume that she is not mismatching y’all’s libidos on purpose.
Be prepared to compromise on one of those above solutions. Be prepared to make an actual change in the way you’re doing things, and not expecting her to be the only one changing.
Make sure to include this question: “How would you prefer me to express my want for sex in the future?”
Communication is key here. We always push for that round the HOLAA camp.
Talk it out.
Make sure that you are speaking about everything and be OK with being honest and also having honesty given back to you. Some things may hurt to hear and not all the conversations will be calm and cheerful but you need to speak. The lack of sex may not even be just about sex but some other deep rooted issue.
But you can only find out if you talk and listen.
And accept whatever comes out of it even if it is difficult. You may find it hurtful, you may realise you aren’t compatible anymore. You may realise something has changed that you did not think had changed. You may realise there were deep problems brewing and manage to fix them in time. But you won’t know until you talk openly and frankly about it.
If you are willing to work at it and be open to it then you can fix it.
Talking about it also extends to your friends. Now that you are settled down don’t be shy about talking about sex. Do not feed the old married couple vibe because then the sex will shrivel up. You are still a sexy thing even if you are in a long term relationship so speak about it. Get sex toys. Try new things.
Hot sex and long term relationships are a real thing. What isn’t is lesbian bed death.
Lots of Love,
Check out this piece about types of lesbian it sucks to have sex with and also check out this post about lesbian rules that people need to break! There is also this one about turning up the heat on your sex life. There is also this article on why it is important to talk about sex.
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