"I feel like I die more every day": The "bed death" of sexless marriage is real, and it's heartbreaking

Whether it's been months or years, people in sexless marriages go online to commiserate -- and plot their escape

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Published April 16, 2015 11:00PM (EDT)

    (<a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/profile/annebaek'>annebaek</a> via <a href='http://www.istockphoto.com/'>iStock</a>)
(annebaek via iStock)

"The mistake was getting married." That's how the post begins. Under the handle forever monkey, the 40-year-old woman continues, "It took almost a month to consummate the marriage," she writes. "We went from twice a month, to once a month, to twice a year, to once a year." Eventually, she resorted to an affair. "We've had sex maybe 4 times since then, over a year and a half ago," she says. "Here's the thing: we are close. He holds my hand, he loves me, he does nice things for me. We have the same interests, we talk all the time. But i'm just sad, there's this huge part that's missing. The kids are almost grown. What do I do?"

All over the Internet, there are thousands of posts just like this from men and women in sexless marriages. Generally, a sexless marriage is defined as one in which sex happens 10 or fewer times a year, which applies to a whopping 15 to 20 percent of married couples, according to a Newsweek estimate. Despite the popular mythology around "lesbian bed death," it's predominantly heterosexual couples that are flocking online to count the days, months and years since they last had sex.

The social networking site Yuku has a popular sexless marriage community. There’s a section to rant, to talk divorce, to get advice on finding romance outside of marriage (that particular board comes with the caveat, “REMINDER: THIS IS NOT A DATING SERVICE SITE”) and to share fantasies. There’s even a forum for users to arrange to meet in person to talk about their sexless marriages. Reddit, of course, has a thriving community, DeadBedrooms, with more than 24,000 subscribers. As with most Reddit communities, it has its own language and shorthand. There’s “DB,” short for dead bedroom, “LL” for low libido and HL for high libido. Even general relationship forums, like LoveShack.org, are filled with threads on sexless marriages. Subject lines are fraught with desperation and resignation: “Sexless marriage driving me crazy!!!,” “So sad - sexless marriage” and “Yet another guy stuck in a sexless marriag...

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