Lesbian Bed Death: Where Myth Obscured Truth

NOTE: Please read Dirt‘s companion post on the same topic:  Lesbian Bed Death: Unstraightening the Lies

Back in 1983, a sociologist flake named Pepper Schwartz wrote a book called American Couples, which reported that Lesbian couples have less sex/intimacy than heterosexual and gay male couples.

Thus, a hypersexualized STRAIGHT academic  dillweed single-handedly brought the damaging concept of “Lesbian Bed Death” into the public’s consciousness, where it persists, even among Lesbians ourselves, like a demented stalker steadfastly ignoring a restraining order.

Schwartz’s assertions and methodology have been challenged repeatedly ever since. One fatally flawed study about the sex lives of “queer” (ugh!!!) women  even claimed to have completely debunked this myth. [That 2015 study, although well-meaning and well-received by all of us hoping to invalidate the myth once and for all, is sadly not valid because conducting a self-reported “queer” (ugh!!!) survey which was “open to all women who have sex with womendoes NOT equal Lesbian].

So, what is the truth?

Lesbians can’t trust Schwartz, and we certainly can’t trust people who think a self-report survey of  so-called “queer” (ugh!!!) women would in any way be valid for actual Lesbian experience.

In many conversations with Lesbians over the years, I have found it shocking how many of us simply accept “Lesbian Bed Death” as truth, even when conflicting experience and information is presented.

In some cases, the myth even seems to become a self-fulfilling prophecy; whereby the natural/normal decreases in sexual frequency that often typically accompany long-term relationships are misinterpreted as the death of passion, which, then, in turn, is often misinterpreted as the beginning of the end of the relationship.

I don’t have any formal research to prove it ~ (and, quite frankly, no self-report research could ever truly prove nor disprove anything anyway, and self-report is the only  way to ethically conduct sex-related research) ~ but, regardless, based on much anecdotal data from numerous friends and acquaintances, as well as many online conversations, I am confident in saying that “Lesbian Bed Death” is indeed a myth.

There are several important factors, however, that I feel contribute to the longevity and tenacity of this nonsense, and I wanted to address some of those factors in this post:

1).  Lesbians are vulnerable to the very same issues that can cause sexual desire decreases in everybody…but the difference is that we attribute these universal issues to “Lesbian Bed Death” due to Schwartz’s ridiculous fiction. These factors could include, but are not limited to: aging, chronic pain/illness, stress, grief, menopause, surgeries, injuries, relationship issues, mental health concerns, body image issues, overwhelming work or personal responsibilities, boredom, schedule conflicts, unresolved trauma, etc. etc. etc.

2).  People in general tend to believe so-called “experts” and take what they say as fact, when we all should be questioning everything that we are being spoon-fed. “Lesbian Bed Death” was reported over and over and OVER until it became generally accepted. But just because something is often-repeated does not make it true. (Earth is not actually flat, but for centuries people were TOLD it was; therefore, until someone challenged that myth, people actually believed that if they walked too far they would fall off the planet!).

3). As Dirt and I have repeatedly discussed, Straightbians perpetually wreak havoc on Lesbian lives, and sex is one of the many ways Straightbians are harmful to Lesbians. As related to the “Lesbian Bed Death” mythology: if one of the partners is NOT A LESBIAN, she is never going to share true sexual attraction/interest with a Lesbian partner…and particularly not over a long period of time. So, while a Straightbian may initially have sex with a Lesbian (due to curiosity or novelty or commitment-seeking or manipulation, etc.), once the relationship is established, it is highly likely that the frequency of sex will decrease significantly (or may even disappear totally). Note that when this happens, it is NOTLesbian Bed Death“….because one of the partners is NOT A LESBIAN!  Instead, this is a simple case of 2 people not sharing a sexual orientation, which negates true attraction.

Moral of this post: Lesbians: please forget you ever heard the term “Lesbian Bed Death“! Schwartz was wrong, but in true Straight-privileged fashion, she felt free to DICKtate and hetsplain Lesbian sex lives, and her lies have haunted us ever since.

It is time for Lesbians to tell our own stories, listen to our own intuitions, and focus on our own Lesbian selves for a change.

Our sex lives are our own, to do with as we please, and what we do, how we do it, and how often we do it is our business and within our control. We don’t have to be victims of a fictional syndrome perpetuated by a straight woman. Lesbian love is so far outside heterosexuality that what occurs emotionally/sexually between two Lesbians remains inconceivable to hets. Hets cannot and should not speak for us…we can, and should, speak for ourselves, thank you very much.

Hetsplanations for Lesbian sex consist of outright fiction and damaging myths ~ so hetsplanations need to go STRAIGHT to where they belong:


UPDATE: August 2018: I’ve learned a few thing since this original post which have caused me to reconsider my thoughts on this topic. Most of what is in the above post is still what I believe, but I have a few tweaks/additions I would like to make. Will write an updated post on this topic as soon as possible.  ~ S.B. AKA Mrs. Dirt

24 thoughts on “Lesbian Bed Death: Where Myth Obscured Truth

  1. Good post Dr. Bennett.

    Let’s see now, gay males in a relationship equals (usually) LOTS and LOTS of sex. Why? because they are men! As a puppy Butch, I had in the course of a few years 2 gay male roommates. One was a single flight attendant who was a horn dog. When he would be home, there was a revolving door to his bedroom. The other roommate was coupled and they had sex ALL over the townhouse. It got to the point where I had to call in advance before I came home. Sex between themselves wasn’t even enough, they had third party encounters at least twice a month. Eeeeeegads!

    Hetero couples involve one man in the relationship. Naturally, for the most part, he initiates intimacy and things go really well at the beginning. Maybe a kid or two comes along, she is tired with the housework, changing diapers etc……HE probably does not see her nearly as fuckable, so in numerous cases he will have an affair, or two. Sometimes the wife doesn’t even care if he does.

    Now the good stuff. Two females. (true lesbians)

    With a few relationships behind me, the following is solely anecdotal. The sexual aspect burns super hot at first, levels out and then has spurts of melting lava in between. (assuming all else is well in relationship)

    Being intimate is integral in a long standing relationship, it is necessary. Women tend to be more touchy-feely. Even during a longer hiatus from sex per se, we cuddle, we snuggle, we kiss, we ‘pet’ each other, we flirt. You ladies know, right?

    So, I completely disavow the notion of a Lesbian Death Bed. In my opinion and experiences, the sexual deathbed ‘winner’ would be a heterosexual woman.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Thanks for your comment! I agree with what you said about the sexual aspect being “super hot” at first between Lesbians (assuming, of course, that the couple has chemistry and is sexually compatible; as Dirt said in her post, all Lesbians aren’t attracted to each other — a common misperception of straight people). Then, it typically settles into something perhaps less intense (but still hot!!) in long-term relationships.

      Liked by 5 people

  2. Hi Chonky!

    I read Saye’s post with interest and little bit of second-hand knowledge, but never intended to comment on it. However, since you raise a direct comparison with gay men, I think I should, after all.

    Of course, I recognize your account of the behaviour of young gay men, in or out of a relationship. But for older gay men in long relationships, based on our (T.’s and my) experience and that of our coupled-up friends, I find much more to relate to in your description of lesbian ‘coupledom’: “The sexual aspect burns super hot at first, levels out and then has spurts of melting lava in between.”

    Sex is VERY important in the early stages of a relationship, not just because we’re horny for each other, but as a way of cementing our love, care, commitment, engagement, intimacy, all that kinda malarky. As time goes on, we develop other ways of expressing those things (some of which may be invisible to outsiders, including ‘sexologists’), which are not substitutes for sex, but complementary to it.

    To pre-empt (but not invalidate) criticism, YES, T. and I may be exceptional in many ways: we are both seen by the outside world as ‘fem’, T. has kids, well beyond diapers when I met him, but they still impose (even now) a different structure on our life than the childless enjoy, and I (singularly now) find it worthwhile to comment on a lesbian blog. What gay man does that? I don’t claim any superior or prior right over Chonky to comment on gay male stuff, just take us both together.

    As for Saye’s original post, Pepper Schwartz is on my spice-rack, right between Pepper Gruen and Pepper Weiss, where she belongs. I’m not a big fan of social ‘science’ in general (sorry, Saye), but Schwartz’s ‘research’ is the epitome/zenith/nadir of pseudo-scientific sociology: poorly formulated hypotheses backed by dodgy sampling to produce the result you wanted to achieve.

    Oy, ve voy, ve voy, a (Pepper-)schwortze tag !

    BTW Chonky, you write “Lesbian Death Bed”, though the topic was “Lesbian Bed Death”. Though Saye may seize upon your ‘parapraxis’, I interpret it more kindly as a simple typo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the apology, but, to be honest, after a long, tough week at work, reading your comment, I found myself feeling slapped in the face…again…because this is not the first time you have acted this way about my profession — it is just the firsr time I have published it.

      I said that most RESEARCH is nonsense; not my entire profession.

      If you think that working with disabled and abused children is worthless, then I guess my profession is “drippy” and meaningless to you. It is difficult, stressful, hectic, and taxing work, and often thankless.

      Especially tonight, apparently.

      Liked by 5 people

      • My cousin is a school psych and got burned out after only 7 years. From what she told me, I guarantee most people couldn’t handle the stress and problems. Including me. Hang in there.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Thanks! Feeling rather burned out myself at the moment; rough few weeks; hopefully, a good night’s sleep will restore my normal stoicness.

          Grad school often does not do a good job of preparing school psychs for the harsh realities of the real world outside of academia. There is a lot of burnout. Sorry it happened to your cousin! I hope she found a job she likes.

          Liked by 3 people

      • Sometimes one apology is not enough, so here’s another one. I crossed a line this time and genuinely regret it. My own academic training as a linguist is not a million miles away from psychology, and some of my bad-mouthing of your discipline is undoubtedly self-referential.

        I have no beef at all with you and your colleagues working at the ‘coal-face’ bringing much-needed support to people in their lives, but rather with the Grand Theorists who seek, with weak theories and flimsy evidence, to explain me to myself and you to yourself.

        I admire what you do, and know I certainly could not do it myself.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for your generous response. I hope we’re still buddies.

    When I was in college, I signed up (misguidedly) for a course in “translation theory”. Of course, it was total bullshit, and the guy who taught it couldn’t be relied upon to accurately translate the back of a cereal packet.

    So when I speak dismissively of psychologists, or indeed linguists, it’s those pontificating academics I have in my gun-sight, not real working people.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You’re a better psychologist than you can imagine, even on your day off. My recent rudeness and your reaction made me think quite hard, and here’s what I thunk:

    Faggots find it quite hard to imagine that anybody could take our words seriously enough to be hurt or offended by them. Even at my advanced age, being taken seriously is kind of a new experience for me, and a bit scary.

    It’s not a world-shattering thought, now that I see it written down, but it was big for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You mean I’m not just the class clown? I don’t see any other faggots commenting here. Among fellow-faggots, the little contact I retain with lesbians is itself regarded as a joke: “You wanna know what the dykes are up to? Go ask Roman.”

    Since self-pity is a dish best appreciated alone, I won’t share any more of it with you.

    Be happy! (-: If I can’t be, it’s still nice to know that somebody is.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The comments about happy couples still having sex after years worry me. I am a 45 year old lesbian. My girlfriend of 3 years never wants to have sex. Well, maybe not never, but hardly ever. Maybe like once every 3 months if I am lucky. I have been assuming it was lesbian bed death, but now I am worried. Does this mean my girlfriend is a Straightbian?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi! Don’t worry, there’s no “right” frequency to have sex; and this issue doesn’t necessarily mean your girlfriend is a Straightbian either. But this topic can be a very tricky issue for couples.

      In fact, your comment made me realize that I need to do a separate post on it since others may have the same question/concern, because there is just too much information to go into in a reply. So stay tuned. 🙂


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