“Lesbian Bed Death”

Dear DSO:

I’m a gay woman who really enjoyed your book (The Dead Bedroom Fix). I know it wasn’t written for me, but there was A LOT in the book that I could relate to. I think you could rewrite this and focus on lesbian couples and sell a million copies. Dead Bedrooms in long-term lesbian relationships is the norm. We even have a term for it: Lesbian Bed Death. Keep up the great work and let me know if you need help writing that next book!

D.

Thanks for reading, D. Yes, I am familiar with the phrase “lesbian bed death”, and what it entails. I think it’s an incredibly interesting topic and a somewhat controversial one for me, a straight male, to discuss. But here goes nothing… Here is my take on the subject, from my own admittedly limited perspective.

For those that aren’t aware, the concept of the “dead bedroom” isn’t unique to hetero relationships … you know, where the man is the “high libido” partner and the wife is no longer interested in sex (this is the subject of my book). In fact, one of the biggest growing online dead bedroom communities are hetero women who just can’t figure out how to get their men turned on again. Yes, seriously. But that’s for another post.

So, let’s talk about lesbian relationships. Just how common is it for two women to get together, have a passionate intimacy, and then soon die out in the form of the familiar “dead bedroom”? Apparently, it is VERY common. Yes, we have studies to back this up. According to one study done by St. Francis Xavier University, about 15% of lesbian couples report engaging in sex more than twice per week… compared to 50% or more of hetero and gay male couples.  Big difference.

I bluntly say in the book, us men and women are very different creatures when it comes to how we get turned on and ready for sex. In my book “NOW WHAT?”, I talk about the time I had horrible food poisoning which led to eight hours of continuous vomiting and explosive diarrhea… but I was still turned on enough to have sex with my wife the next morning… All because she laid down naked next to me in bed. That’s it. Nudity. Naked woman. Yes… time for sex.

For many women, on the other hand… they require a perfect recipe for their sexual souffle. All conditions have to be juuuuuust right, or the whole thing collapses. Yes, there are shortcut methods to getting her in the right headspace for sex (a new relationship, for example), but overall, we are just wired differently. The good news is that once you figure out the combination for the woman in your life, their sexuality will run laps around you. But… back to lesbian relationships. Let’s try to break down and understand exactly what’s happening here. Here are a couple of big points that I think get in the way:

1.    Lesbian couples get attached VERY quickly. There’s an old joke: “What does the lesbian woman bring on her second date? A U-Haul.” In other words, she is ready to commit and move right in with her new partner. There’s not a long courting process. They are very hot and heavy to start… and quickly convinced that this person is THE person for them for the rest of their life. That is until the newness wears off…  As I have stated in The Dead Bedroom Fix, it’s the scarcity, uncertainty and new relationship anxiety that are crucial components of igniting the female libido. When two women get together and say, “Let’s just drop all this DATING stuff and go right to life as a committed couple living together”… well, of course the sex dries up!

2.    Women overthink. They ruminate. It’s a manifestation of their anxiety. Now, put two women together as a couple… you have double the anxiety, double the overthinking. As we all know, anxiety gets in the way of sexuality. Sexuality is primal. You need to just “ride the wave” and not overthink things. Well… easier said than done for some of us! Here’s another joke: “How many lesbians does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Well.. what kind of lightbulb? Where do you buy the lightbulb? But… what if they lightbulbs are made in China? Do they even make lightbulbs in America? Are the lightbulbs recyclable? I don’t want to do things bad for the environment. Maybe we should just let natural light in. But, what about when it gets dark? Wait, isn’t that the purpose of the lightbulb? This is too much right now. Can you just take care of the lightbulb for me??”

So, is it as simple as saying their biology (mental framework) gets in the way? Are they unknowingly putting up roadblocks in the way of their sexuality? Are women just NOT as sexual as guys, so… duh, of course two women together will quickly become a dead bedroom?

I think, yes… they get in their own way. Their very female desire to be safe, secure and cohabitate with other person is paramount… and it gets in the way of the much-needed dating phase of the relationship. But, here’s what is interesting, and let’s go back to the concept of “once you push their buttons, their sexuality runs laps around a man’s”. From my somewhat limited research on the topic, one thing came up again and again:

Lesbian couples are more likely to identify as “kinky” and “adventurous” in bed. When they ARE in the sexual phase of their relationship, they will have all kinds of healthy fun together. Their sexual sessions are FAR longer than that of hetero couples (the absence of the male orgasm and subsequent snoring may have something to do with that). They feel far more connected and bonded together and safe to explore their sexuality.

Is all of this just a nice, politically-correct way of saying, “Women aren’t engineered to stay sexual in long-term monogamous relationships”? Perhaps. I’ve often said that this entire “keeping your relationship sexy” thing is a big game. You must know the parameters and the rules of the game… and just get out of your own damn way. Perhaps “lesbian bed death” is the perfect illustration of this.

 

Dead Bedroom Fix
Now What?