A few weeks ago, a man attempted to insult me by telling me I suffer from “lesbian bed death.” Rather than get upset, I just laughed. Hard. The dude about whom we are speaking doesn’t know me. He has no idea if I have a girlfriend or how often I get down. I thought about how amazing and freaky life between the sheets is for me these days. I pictured my girlfriend wearing those thigh-high fishnets that I adore so much, tying my hands together with a black robe. I pictured staying up all night and not getting out of bed until 6 in the evening. Then, what this guy’s face would look like if he knew what I was thinking and I laughed harder than I have in a long time. If you don’t know what lesbian bed death is, you aren’t alone. When I decided to write this article, I mentioned the phrase to a few people and all of them looked at me like I’d told them I killed my girl and dumped her body in the river. I hastily said, “It’s not what it sounds like!” Lesbian bed death has nothing to do with homicide or jealous rage or anything like that. OK, enough beating around the bush (pun!). I’ll tell you what it is.
Basically, lesbian bed death means that gay gals don’t have a lot of sex. The idea is that the longer two women are together, the less they screw. After about a year or so, that hot lesbian action that so many fantasize about just isn’t happening. Long-term lesbian couples aren’t sexy vixens who groan loudly, own a battalion of colorful sex toys and eat vajayjay like their lives depend on it. No! They have about as much desire to have sex as that bulletin board in your kitchen. In fact, your 80-year-old grandfather probably sees more poon than they do.
We have a sociologist from the ’80s named Pepper Schwartz to thank for this enlightening discovery. She did a study that asked a variety of couples: “About how often during the last year have you and your partner had sex relations?” A German study later confirmed the findings and, alas, the stereotype stuck. Widespread fear ensued.
There are websites and people all over the place that claim they can cure your lesbian bed death. Most of them offer cliché advice—watch porn, be spontaneous, fantasize, etc. Some claim that it’s a real phenomenon. However, those are the same peeps who say women tend to fall in love on the first date. Some even attribute lesbian bed death to the fact that no one really likes eating vag anyway. Thanks, but I’m not buying any information from anyone who hangs out with homophobic notions like that.
But, really, I’m a skeptic for other reasons as well. First, there’s the day-to-day evidence. I’ve never heard a lesbian complain about or lend any credence to lesbian bed death. I know a lot of women who have been in long-term, serious relationships and they’ve never had a problem. Believe me, we talk about these things quite a bit. In fact, the only people I’ve ever heard make a serious reference to it are men, which leads me to believe something is amiss.
Also, there is no Viagra for women. If lesbian bed death were as big a problem as some would lead you to believe, don’t you think pharmaceutical companies would have jumped on it already? If you can make a man hard for 10 hours, you can invent something to make a woman feel frisky. But, wait, if there’s no need, why do it? Exactly.
Next there is the methodology of the actual study. Many have criticized Pepper’s test because they think that the question is too vague. Back then, sex pretty much meant penis in vagina. Even now, some people—including lesbians—question whether gay women can have actual sex. In the ’80s, that notion was much more hardcore. Also, many were closeted or uncomfortable with their sexuality so there was probably a lot of denial going on.
Oh yeah, and the experts disagree too. Patt Geier, a couples counselor, said:
“Diminished sexual activity is an issue lesbian couples discuss in treatment, gay and heterosexual couples do so with the same frequency … One difference I have experienced between these three groups [lesbian,gay and straight] is that male couples have been more likely to suggest opening the relationship to include sex with other men. I have not yet seen lesbian or heterosexual couples who have proposed this as an option.”
I’m pretty sure we can kick this obnoxious stereotype to the curb. Lesbians don’t experience it, the study may be bogus and is almost 30 years old and the experts are calling BS. Lesbian bed death is probably only sticking around so peeps have an insult to hurl at gay chicks when they can’t think of anything better. Too bad it just makes us laugh.