G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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Clinical psychologist Glenda Corwin looks for the silver lining in what’s known as lesbian bed death. Insofar as feminists hem and haw at the suggestion that the absence of a more highly sex-minded man would lead to a lower incidence of sexy time in a relationship, this passage is a stunning admission:
At first I was overwhelmed, and a little depressed, about how many of my lesbian clients and friends were rarely — if ever — having sex with their partners. But when I started doing research on this subject, I found reason to hope. There’s some evidence that a minority (maybe 20 percent) of long-term lesbian partners sustain sexual intimacy after 10 or 20 or more years together. Through surveys and interviews, I’m finding the secret of their success.
Despite this, Corwin still aims to blame pesky social constructs:
I guess it all stems from how we first learned about sex. We learned that men initiate, women respond, and we all get carried away by waves of testosterone (for men) and romantic passion (for women). We didn’t learn about initiating sex, intentionally making time, and paying attention to details that make us feel more sexual. Some of us may have been told that sexual intimacy is a wonderful part of marriage. But that conversation wasn’t about same-sex marriage. It was about “saving yourself for the man you love.”
No, it couldn’t be that evolution has plans for us humans – plans which we can sometimes veto or derail – but general frameworks for propagation of the species which rely on a certain type of division of labor. And those plans also imparted us with certain instincts and desires which compel us to act towards certain goals. The term ‘lesbian bed death’ implies passivity – action is not occurring. Two off switches paired up. Two individuals on the left hand side of the “action” bell curve, when put together, will have a relationship in which sparks rarely fly.