Lesbian Bed Death : The decrease in sexual drive of two women in a long term relationship.
Coined by University of Washington
professor Pepper Schwartz, in her 1983
book, American Couples
and lately popularized by Queer as Folk
, the term has taken roots in the gestalt
of the lesbian
community. Anybody who has ever been together in a couple for any period of time, can attest to the fact that there is, aside from those few at the shallow ends of the bell curve
, a significant decrease in bedroom activity after the honeymoon
or if you want to get technical, limerence
, period (whatever that happens to be, days
) is over. It does not matter if you are gay
or anywhere in between on the scale, it happens
. The levels of phenylethylamine
plummet and you are left scratching your head as to why it's been a month since you had any intimacy
There is of course, no specific physiological reason for lesbians to experience this more than gay men or heterosexual couples unless you believe that women are just less interested in sex in general than men (which I do). There is however a real, quantifiable health issue that all women are subject to that decreases libido: menopause. The falling levels of testosterone production in menopausal women is responsible for the drop-off in sexual desire for many women of a certain age. This effect can even be felt years before the actual onset of menopause. With men, this is all different obviously. We don't go through big hormonal changes but we do get to the point where the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak hence all the plumbing related medications such as Viagra, Cialis and I am sure countless others waiting in the wings. If you put all this together, you do come up with a combo that is unique for lesbian couples: a long term relationship (I am talking in the 10 to 20-year range) is almost by definition more likely to be older women and if they are close in age they would be experiencing the decrease at the same time and hence be caught in a self reinforcing loop of non-desire.
Of course, I only know about this third hand at best, so it could all be a crock of shit. Many lesbians feel that this is a male propagated myth.
avalyn comments "BTW, this condition is discussed (though not very thoroughly) on Showtime's The L Word"
APPROPRIATE LESBIAN BED DEATH
CPR for bed death,http://www.ipgcounseling.com/cpr_for_bed_death.html, 7/27/2004
Sex and Love Addiction http://cms.psychologytoday.com/conditions/sexandlove.html, 7/28/2004
THE BIG LIE - LESBIAN BED DEATH http://www.pinklemonz.com/articles/bed_death.htm, 7/29/2004