Monday, September 6, 2010

Death Becomes Her

[via -infinitemoments] 
Hiya, finger-artists!

I have five days off work, and I'm using them to do important shit.  
[via fuckyeahgreatshit]
Five whole days at home!  
I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish, and it looks like this:

*Find new job
*Clean house
*Laundry (involves laundromat)
*Fix that one fucking dress that's been in my mend-y pile for over a year
*Make Effing Dykes t-shirts
*Call everybody back
*Get CJ to make those muffins again
*See The Kids Are All Right

It's Day 4.
[via wallofbooks]
I've accomplished nothing.
Except!  I finally saw The Kids Are All Right.

Waaaay after everybody else already saw it, and now I want to talk about it.  

Because it scared the bejeezus out of me.

Did you see it?

Mmkay, if you didn't:

1) Not a date movie; and

2) It's about two lesbians, played by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening, who have two teenage kids and are getting ready to send one of them to college.  
One of the lesbians has an affair, it's fucked up, and they all try to sort through their shit.

The teenage daughter is also inappropriately hot.  

But!  That's not what we're talking about. 

Not today, you horndogs.

We're not talking about the plot of the movie, we're not talking about some of the "interesting" choices the director made, and we're not talking about how Julianne Moore had a perfect lesbian ear-cuff or how Annette Bening was wearing dyke jeans like a pro.  (Btw, who are the fagettes behind the scenes of this movie in the costume department??  Nice job, laydayz.)

We're talking about the really scary part of this movie:

The lesbian couple in The Kids Are All Right was extremely believable.  
They were in their mid-40's.  They were middle-class.  They had kids.   

And they were suffering from Lesbian Bed Death.

Ach du Lieber!!

Q:  But what is Lesbian Bed Death?

A:  Lesbian Bed Death is a jokey/ok-not-always-so-jokey term for a lack of sex happening when two dykes have been together for a long time.  
The term was coined in 1983 by a sociologist named Pepper Schwartz when she wrote a book called American Couples.

Pepper Schwartz is the creator of nightmares.

You guys, I am terrified of Lesbian Bed Death

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "least scary" and 10 being "It's 2012 and the Mayans were fucking right"...

I rank Lesbian Bed Death as at least a 9.  

Scarier than when I had to give a toast at my sister's wedding.  

Scarier than the Ebola virus.

Scarier, even, than the time I was driving through an endless mountain tunnel at night in the Swiss Alps with my then-boyfriend and he turned to me, smiled weirdly, and said, "You know, baby, no one knows we're here.  How well do you really know me?"

Howwwwleeee sheeeeit.

Lesbian Bed Death, to me, is scarier than all of these things.  


I mean, I get it.  
You get older.  Maybe you have kids.  (Fuckno.)  You both have careers. You're tired as hell.  Sex seems like...something you could do tomorrow.  

Let's put it off.  Maybe we could just snuggle.  
Does snuggling naked count?  
[via auroralice] 
You see?  I get it.  

You don't want to picture your parents having sex. 

Someday, maybe someday soon, you'll be the person a teenager is shuddering about. 
[via mentalstability]
But I'm absolutely paranoid about it happening.

Every time CJ and I are exhausted and just kind of fall asleep;

every time I stay up late reading after she's been sleeping for hours; 

every time it's a Sunday morning and I bolt out of bed at 7 a.m. 
because Sunday means the farmer's market and I want to beat all the Ukrainian housewives...

I worry.

Shouldn't I, a homosexual woman in my prime (and I tend to think of "your prime" as ages 18 - 70ish), with a very hot girlfriend and a work-free Sunday morning be using said Sunday morning to fuck?
[by _amandasmith]
Don't you think?

I get guilty about it.  
[via universalpeace]

Me: (poking CJ at 2 a.m.)  Hey.

CJ:  Mmph.

Me:  Heeeeeey.

CJ:  Baby, I'm sleeping.

Me:  Do you think this is Lesbian Bed Death?

CJ:  You are not doing this now.

Me:  'Cause I just really didn't feel like doin' it before.  

CJ:  That's ok.

Me:  It's not ok!  What if this is the beginning??

CJ:  Do you want to do it right now?

Me:  No.

CJ:  Ok then.  (kisses me, falls asleep instantly)

Cut to me, clutching the covers, staring wild-eyed into the darkness.

This shit actually keeps me awake.

I'm asking y'all, because you seem to have all the answers, and your advice really helps me:

*Is Lesbian Bed Death real?

*If so, is there a cure?

*Should I actually be losing sleep in anticipation of the moment when I no longer want to fuck on a regular basis?

*Has anyone out there experienced it?

*How can we avoid the fate of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore?


  1. 1. Only as real as Boring Hetero Bed Death.

    2. Yes. Cures include but are not limited to: having sex, playing dress-up, sharing fantasies, watching/reading porn, fixing other problems in your relationship, and breaking up.

    3. No. Unless it has been two months or more and you haven't had sex with your partner (but you're otherwise healthy), in which case talk about it and/or consider breaking up. Otherwise, NO.

    4. Bed death? Yes. It was directly caused by Relationship Death, which was caused by us not being right for each other and by bad relationship habits and poor communication. It was cured by us ending the relationship and me finding a new partner who is right for me. (BTW, I have now been with said partner for much longer than with the previous one, and there is no sign of bed death.)

    5. By choosing a partner who's sexually compatible with you, talking about your feelings, being attentive to your partner, knowing what you want, experimenting, and above all by making a conscious decision to have a good sex life.

  2. I agree with the previous poster. In every single case where I have experienced the End of Sex, it was a matter of weeks before we broke up. Other lesbians hang in there despite the lack of sex - which to me always indicates something much bigger and even less tolerable is going on - but my experience is, when the sex stops, the relationship is ending.

    If it helps, one of my married sisters "suffers" sex once a month. So while lesbians perhaps stop having sex (right before breaking up) straight people are also good at stopping sex but hanging in there anyway. Why? Who the fuck knows.

  3. Whoa, Brigid has it covered.

    And are you really worried about LBD in general, or LBD with CJ? Because the way you're relationship works you can keep on truckin'.

  4. Have you seen this?

    I apologize in advance if this only contributes to your nightmares.

    This is pretty much EXACTLY the relationship one of my friends has with her girlfriend, except they've dragged it out for TEN YEARS. Looking at them makes me never want to date anyone again.

  5. OMG! I have had this EXACT conversation with my girlfriend. Both of us are busy, work, stay up late etc and will hit the point where we just pass out, to which I poke her and say, "Should I feel bad? We aren't having sex." Her, "We had sex yesterday, I think we're ok, unless you want to have sex". Me, "I'm just soooo tired. I'm a terrible girlfriend! OMG, it's begun!" This situation is made worse by the fact that my roomate is a sex addict. I mean ALWAYS wants and needs to have sex...could have sex 3 times a day for the rest of her life and be extremely happy. Me? This could last for a week and then I need some personal space complete with a trashy magazine and America's Next Top Model.

    So the point is, why do we freak out about this? Do lots of people feel this way? It's like, my secret massive paranoid freak out issue that I can't talk to any of by gay friends about because then they would think it was HAPPENING to me.

    Also, I want a t-shirt.

  6. I think that if anyone was to have lesbian bed death, it would not be you. I don't actually know you, but it seems like you have sex a lot, and wanting to sleep once in awhile is probably a good thing. You'll probably be the overly-stimulated old lesbian that sends inappropriate texts and pictures to her partner. Don't worry, this is good.

    I want a t-shirt also. Like, real bad.

  7. T-shirt, please!

    I, uh, worry about this frequently. Moreso because I only seem to attract any potential sex-interest when one or both of us is too busy to sleep.

  8. Pretty much this is all true.

    Also: You should write a post that is a showcase of your artwork with Sharpies.

  9. I would also buy a shirt!

  10. I saw this movie with a friend, and when it was over all we could do was sit on a bench in emotionally-drained, that-was-entirely-too-real, I-can't-even-move shock.

    Then I asked a friend who is straight if she feels that way when she sees movies about hetero couples who almost break up, and she does! We're being mainstreamed!

  11. hmmm... scary for me too... BUT, i can say that in my case it's cyclical. me and my better half have been together a long time (10+) and have periods where sex is great & frequent... then other times where it's no so much either due to stress (70+ hour work weeks suck) or brief periods of collective crankiness. if it lasts too long, you talk and fix it. and by talking it generally goes something along the lines of "is this what we want?", the answer is always "nope", followed quickly by "i still think you're sexy as hell."

  12. some of my polyamorous friends are the happiest couples i know. when you can elicit hot and steamy sex - even if it's just in your head - with new people, it keeps sex with your primary partner hot. as long as you are open and honest - i have always imagined the jealous overly protective dykes who claim you should only ever be attracted to one another and thus cannot even check out a pair of nice tits at the mall without getting into an argument - are the ones who get boring in the bedroom.

    i also tend to agree with what everyone else is saying - sex is the last thing to go in a relationship - so as long as you are nourishing the other parts.

    also, i once read in a dyke book never to fart in the bed because it leads to LDB.

  13. Yes to the above - sharpie art pretty pretty please and what about undies for BOIS mayhaps white ones? I am fairly confident you could presell and suddenly your new job would be taking care of the insane number of orders from all over the country. You have quite the SF following think about that the next time you stroll through Dolores Park

  14. YES. white Cotton Effing Dykes undies. I would prepay for these. They would satisfy my defiant soul whilst working with a bunch of conservative straight people.
    As for LBD, after 10+ years, it comes and goes as do the issues that come and go with the relationship. If I am experiencing it and feeling bummed about it, I usually only have to ask myself "what is going on with me?" There is a lot of love and a lot of work and memories and breakthroughs and closeness here and a little LBD here and there when we get exhausted living life, working, taking care of parents, supporting the kids, while not preferable is not enough of a reason to go look for something else. It is easily fixable because we have something SO worth keeping. And when it gets fixed......Hot!

  15. Can i just say i'am now frightened about Lesbian Bed Death!!!!!
    Granted i'm only 17 and far from settling down...the thought of not being interested in very scary!
    something i would definitely lose sleep over. But i'm sure you and CJ have a great relationship and will not be losing sex drive any time soon.

  16. do not worry, fair maiden! honestly, i think i might live in a perpetual cycle of LBD. first off, it took me almost 2 years of being out to get me some lesbian sex. that was 2 or 3 weeks ago. have i seen my girlfriend since? yes. but we haven't had sex again. i'm going to blame my current lack of interest in sexing on my preparing for the GRE. but really, it's always something. she shows up at 10 am, i've been thinking about sexing since 2 days before that. but...but...i just woke up...but, but...i'm tired. or we have to go somewhere. or we get home and have something to eat and now i just feel too fat for it. will we sex again? yes. probably soon. but i guess as long as it isn't months upon months with no sex whatsoever, it isn't the horrible LBD. don't worry! just keep sexing :D

  17. Woooooooahhh, woooooahhhhh..Right, stop freaking out!! Your ruining my heated up, yesterdays,chili dinner...fuck....!! What do you mean NO SEX??? Hey, WELL!!!! Thats just rude!!
    The thing is, as long as your willing to get down an' duurty with your girl, someone else's guuuurl, or that duuurty slut at the bar, your sorted, no need to to worry! As long as your vajayjay is tingling, your good to go!!
    HAVE SEX ALWAYS!!! Fuck, it works for me, and I'm from Ireland where there is many bitches, but mostly livestock, and I havnt reverted to bestiality yet...!
    Know what I'm saying?...keep shagging the bitches!!! Then no LBD!! Sorted!! Now, let me get back to munching my chili!!!

  18. isn't cj kind of a printmaker? cant she make the shirt? Or send the design to UT knoxville and the girls here will screen print you some. All i'm saying is less tee's to make yourself= more energy to do it. :)

  19. i want to read the aforementioned dyke book about farting in bed. i think that's what killed my last relationship. that and every time we had sex, i imagined she was kate moennig/angelina jolie/this girl i work with.

  20. First off, I want a t-shirt. Ferserious.

    Second, I haven't read the sociologist's definition/description of lesbian bed death, but it sounds like a totally insulting way to describe something that happens a lot, but even in het relationships gets attributed to the woman. So, extrapolating from "it's the woman's lack of sex drive that causes problems in het relationships" to "there are two women in a lesbian relationship" there is HORROR.

    It's homophobic, is what I'm saying. It's saying that unless you have a man on the scene to spice things up, sexually, or at least to insist until you give in (a lovely thought, dontchathink?) - then you're doomed.

    Don't give in when people say stuff like this. First off, they're defining lesbian relationships solely in terms of frequency of sex. Second, they're obliquely condemning lesbians for not having men around to prod them into unwilling sex every so often. Third, they're saying that since lesbian relationships MUST be all about sex, and since sex CAN'T continue between two women since women won't consent to sex willingly long-term, then lesbians will, essentially, die in bed.

    It's hugely, hugely, hugely insulting. Don't get scared darlin. They ain't really talkin' about you. Or any real person, gay or straight. They jes' talkin' pure SHIT.


  21. some people haven't had sex in years and are perfectly happy; some feel pressured into having sex constantly and feel crappy. most people occupy a space in the middle. i think the more emphasis you place on the sex, the more difficult it becomes to enjoy. ie - if you are awake all night freaking about LBD then you will be too tired to have any sex in the morning/tomorrow night/any other time. make sense?

  22. Burton...I WANT A SHIRT!!!! pronto!

  23. Thanks to Making Space. well said.

  24. Sixteen, almost seventeen years with the same woman and no LBD. I think my wife is hot, and it makes me even hotter to know that she thinks I am hot. There are bumps in the road of life. Parents die, jobs lost, illness, and a boy to raise, but it is possible to have great long term sex. The secret may be not farting in bed, or put another way treat your lover with kindness.

  25. I must have effin dyke undies. I will die without them. t shirt too, so I can go pick up chicks at Dolores Park. I won't be wierd and wear them at the same time, promise.

    but the bed death thing... I agree that to some extent it's a hetrosentric idea. Straight relationships die in the sack too. As long as you still WANT to bonk the bejesus outta your sweetie, have no fear.

    I think the death happens because once too often, the partners ignore the "i need you" signals. Because you forget that your sweetie is hot, and you let her forget too. And as fabulous as nekkid snuggling is, it's not a SUBSTITUTE for screaming orgasms. And you're killing your relationship if you let it be.

  26. LBD happens in a long term relationship when SAFTY WORDS STOP WORKING.

    oh, and I want T SHIRTS!!!!!

  27. So the general consensus, after I've read the comments again, is:
    1. Fuck with abandon.
    2. SELL US ALL T-SHIRTS!!!!!!!

  28. Sorry, but that video someone up top posted scared the shit out of me. It scared me because that described my last long term relationship almost to a T. dUggh....No wonder why I don't date anymore.

  29. Is Lesbian Bed Death real? No, but Bed Death (BD) is. 15 to 20% of married couples, and we know that the vast, vast majority are hets, have sex less than 10 times per year – aka sexless marriage. BTW, the research by Pepper Schwartz has been called into question over the years, so take it with a grain of salt.

    If so, is there a cure? Yes. However depriving CJ of sleep because you're worried about not having sex could lead to BD, while inducing sleep deprivation in CJ because you are having sex with her would be good preventative medicine.

    Should I actually be losing sleep in anticipation of the moment when I no longer want to fuck on a regular basis? Yes, be vigilant, but again better to lose sleep because you are fucking. Make time to fuck. Make time for each other. Even if you think you don't want to have sex, just be naked together — great things will happen. You can talk to0, but I prefer naked communication.

    Has anyone out there experienced it? Yes, but more like a coma than death. It didn't mean the end of our sex life as a couple — we bounced back in a big way, nor the end of our long relationship. I always try to remember that sex isn't just about a good time, though I can't remember a time when it wasn't a good time, but it's also an important piece of the fabric of a relationship, and needs to take priority in my day to day life.

    How can we avoid the fate of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore? Don't be straight girls pretending to be lesbians — it always kills the sex.

  30. Hey girls ... fantastic post and comments. My suggestion of the day is to not to make sex the primary focus of each and every day. My girlfriend mentions sex at least once a day and then it becomes stressful and like an obligation. Unsexy.

    If it's been a few weeks, it's been a few weeks. The world doesn't actually end. Do something to create a spark - don't just talk about how long it's been! Sex should be something that is inspired, not scheduled and tracked...

  31. if you're not fucking, you're (just) friends.

    how often you have sex is really only TBD by the involved parties. however, see point 1.

    if companionship takes precedence over sexual connection, so be it - but it better be "it" for both of you.

    otherwise you end up on a couch - usually a therapists.

  32. Fuck yeah Effing Dykes tshirts!!

    And DO NOT WORRY because if lesbian bed death happens you won't feel like doing it anyway so you won't feel like you're missing out. Right?

  33. Some great advice here. I've had it happen. Sucks... especially when you still love the person.. just can't GET IT ON for some unknown reason!!!
    Love your blog girl! Makes my day whenever I see a new one up. :)

  34. Krista.... Have you ever thought about doing like an advice blog? Have dykes send you questions about sex and relationships and you answer them?? With your kick ass sardonic humor and frankness... I think you would be great at that! I would most definitely read that... Just a thought. ;)


  36. It occurs to me that my comment above this one (with the url) looks like spam, but it isn't, it's a link to Ivan E. Coyote's article about the "Boner Preservation Society." about lesbian bed death...

  37. First things first:
    "On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being "least scary" and 10 being "It's 2012 and the Mayans were fucking right"...I rank Lesbian Bed Death as at least a 9."

    That is comedic genius. Just FYI.

    Now to the topic at hand:

    I DO THE VERY SAME THING AS YOU. It'll be like, the third night in a row we haven't had sex and I'll be like OMG IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF THE END?????????? Only then, unlike CJ, ML will be all OMG WHAT IF YOU'RE RIGHT?????? and then we both lie awake in panic. And then we usually fuck, to prove to The Universe that WE ARE NOT BED-DYING. And then we feel better. (Both because we've proven something to The Universe, AND because we've just had orgasms.) And this method works, until after a few cycles of it and I'm like OMG DO WE HAVE BED DEATH BECAUSE WE ONLY FUCK WHEN WE'RE AFRAID WE HAVE BED DEATH???? and she's all OMG WHAT IF YOU'RE RIGHT???????? and then we fuck (prove to The Universe, etc.) AND then we schedule a weekend of non-scheduled activities. (Is it possible to schedule a non-scheduled weekend?) Because generally, if we spend enough time alone together without other things distracting us from each other, we get super horny and lustful and actually manage to fuck organically. Which appeases our fears of bed death.

    ...Until the cycle begins again.

    All I can say is: it seems to work! Though I sure could deal with a little less panic and a little more sleep.

  38. Having fantasies of reading m'book in Dolores Park sporting my FUCKING AWESOME EFFING DYKES T-SHIRT. Please make???

  39. Brigid was spot on. Plus, Schwarz had a really narrow definition of sex, it turns out.
    subjtodebate, have sex before dinner! Then you and your food baby and your girlfriend (and prob her's too) can fall asleep cuddling.
    Yes to undies.

  40. I want the shirt and I'll give the undies to my boifriend <3 please make 'em soon! Holiday gifts!

  41. I'm ready for another post!!! =)

  42. Maybe this will make you feel better?

    Autostraddle did a post on this a while back......tsk, tsk :) jk


    Sorry. A blip. Loving the comments from marrieds, sad for the poor, poor straights, nod of recognition for the poly-crew and CRACKING UP at the "WE ARE NOT BED-DYING, UNIVERSE!!!" post above.

    I'm sorry about your porn issues. That blows. Porn is so happy!

  44. Don't worry about it. Just keep talking about your stuff with your girl and listening to her stuff. Keep touching and kissing her and all will be right with the world. My Partner and I have been together for 28 years ... have 2 kids and three cats and a home and jobs and so far we are still crazy about each other and the sex just keeps getting better ... not as often, 2-3 times a day, like it used to be but 2-3 time a week of great sex with all we've got going on is OK with me.

  45. Bed Death seems to either come right before or directly following Relationship Death. Once my girlfriend stopped having sex with me, I knew it wasn't going to last very long. For awhile, I played the I'll-have-sex-with-you-and-be-satisfied-with-not-getting-off game. Lemme tell you -- that is the worst game I've ever played. Don't do it! Bed Death is a very scary and very real thing. If I'm not having sex at *least* once a week (and that's the bare minimum for me, ladies), I know something is very, very wrong. Bed Death actually helped me to step back and evaluate my last relationship, though, which turned out to be completely wrong for us. I can thank Bed Death for that, I guess!

  46. 9 years together and still kickin' it every other night or so. Spontaneous quickies are still a go. Long, steamy sessions too. Your libido is only as strong as your communication.

  47. Lesbians sometimes have difficulty with losing themselves entirely in the other person and years down the road have lost their original identity. Especially if part of that identity is a sport or hobby which falls by the wayside during "nesting relationship time" where instead of going to your recreational soccer team or weekly yoga, you watch independent films together on the couch and eat ridiculous comfort food. Over a year of this, and you will look at your partner and try to visualize who she was when you met her. It is important to maintain your own identity, to maintain interest in things you love even if they do not involve your girlfriend. I think the butch / femme line is so attractive when it is clear cut. i have no problem when my girlfriend wants to go shoot hoops and drink beer with a bunch of other dykes, that is sexy to me. Now, when her hair reaches my length and she stop killing bugs in the house, then I feel my overwhelming sexual pull towards her start to wane. I think part of being in a butch/femm relationship is the intrigue the other one holds being mostly opposite from yourself. She could be eighty and it would still be sexy for her to rock her tomboy clothes and install a new faucet. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but what screams "bed death" to me about that movie is that they look too much alike. I've tried to date girls like me and I was bored out of my mind.

  48. I'm so late to the party, girlfriend and I have that conversation all the time.

    Except she started calling it Lesbian Death Bed, which I suspect is something else entirely...

  49. But seriously... why would you ever stop having sex with Julianne Moore? Why??


  50. LBD is a term made up to scare us into "acting right." It's like if we don't have constant sex we're not queer enough. I think that's bullshit. I don't have that much sex with my girlfriend and I'm very happy. I've had other girlfriends I had a lot of sex with and the relationship was shitty. How about we just use happiness and joy and fun and excitement and being yourself as measurements of a good relationship, and not just sex?

  51. Ok, so me and my soon to be wifey have been together for a year and a half. A year and a half is not a long time, and we're only 23 and 24. Around the 1 year marker, we noticed (but kept to ourselves) that we just weren't having as much sex as we used to. Now, we both understood that this was not week one, and we are probably going to do some other things, rather than having sex 3 or four times a day. But.... All of the sudden, Jenna starting crying and sobbing, about how it had been 10 days since we had sex. REALLY!!! 10 WHOLE DAYS!!! I sincerely didn't think it had been that long. Now I know that 10 days does not qualify as LBD. Its a dry spell. But if its only been a year, and we can go 10 days without batting and eyelash, what about year 2? And year 5? Are we on our way to a sexless relationship? Now thankfully, we seemed to have cured our little problem. Conversation. And I mean sterotypical lesbo talk, talk about it until you want to rip your ears off, or die because of all the conflict resolution that seems to never end kind of talking. And you know what? We figured out that we were stressed out, and had a brand new puppy, and we're tired, and not saying anything about the LBD only made it worse. So its easy. Be open and honest, and it'll be okay.

  52. I took a sociology of relationships class from Pepper Schwartz last quarter. How can somebody as cool as she is coin the phrase for something so scary?

  53. but this is nuuurrmal! once i didn't have sex with my boyfriend for A MONTH! dundundunnn! and it's perfectly fine. i mean we were working nonstop basically and you know.. stressay! we were still lovey but just not getting it on.
    luckily we decided to actually do it again and turns out we forgot how awesome it is. i think not having sex is fine and whatever floats your boat and stuff, but the real danger is you might actually forget how good it is and then you kinda slip into the spiral.
    lovely amazing blog you gots here!

  54. When I first heard of it, I thought it meant that lesbians died in their sleep all the time.