Where did “lesbian bed death” come from?It all started in 1982 when sociologists Pepper Schwartz and Philip Blumstein published a study called American Couples: Money, Work, Sex. Among other things, this study compared the sex lives of heterosexual, gay, and lesbian couples. In this study, they found that lesbians had sex less frequently compared to other couples. Looking back, though, there were huge problems with the study. It included only a very small population size, and the researchers’ definition of sex only included penetration. In reality, many vulva-havers require external stimulation of the clitoris in order to orgasm. Studies have shown that around 75 to 80% of women cannot orgasm from penetration alone, so it makes sense that the women in the 1982 study probably engaged in a lot of sex that wasn’t penetration. Another aspect to consider is whether the lesbian couples during that time believed that the sexual activites they were engaging in even counted as sex at all because there was no penis-in-vagina penetration. The biggest problem with the study? It measured sexual satisfaction by only assessing the frequency of sex that the couples had. In reality, satisfying sex happens as a result of lots of factors.
Frequency of sex ≠ better sexual satisfactionFrequency of sex is only one way to measure sexual satisfaction or how sexual a couple is. In order to get a better picture, you can measure the duration and quality of sex, the number of orgasms, the feelings of happiness and well-being, and how satisifed the couple is with each other and their sex lives.
Lesbians may have less sex precisely because their sex is longer than the typical heterosexual couple.Further studies have shown that lesbian couples do, in fact, have sex less frequently than heterosexual couples do. But they also found that lesbians often have sex for much longer, upwards of 30 minutes to an hour compared to heterosexual women, whose average sex session is 8 to 30 minutes. When lesbians do have sex, both partners have orgasms more often than women in heterosexual couples do, and they’re generally more sexually satisfied. Studies have shown this time and time again. Imagine if you had to add all the minutes lesbians had sex in a year and compared it to heterosexual couples. You may find that they have equal to or even more sex minutes in total than heterosexual couples do.