Whether it’s been months or years, people in sexless marriages go online to commiserate — and plot their escape
“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 marriage,” for example.
That’s to say nothing of the angst found in the posts themselves. Consider this one from a Yuku community board: “”I feel … like I die more everyday. I have so much love and real passion to give and it’s not wanted, appreciated, or returned. …The man that loved me is dead. He is like a zombie. … I know my husband is a porn addict and is on sex hook up sites yet doesn’t want me. I have men flirt with me everywhere.
He makes me feel like an ugly old woman just sitting out in the country waiting to die.” Rejection is a common theme: “But even when I think the mood is right and I try to initiate, she just brushes me off like I’m a dog trying to hump her leg,” writes one man. So too is low self-esteem as a result of the rejection: “I guess since I have gained a few stretch marks and dimples along with my pudginess, I am no longer attractive to him.”
Some admit to turning to infidelity: “I have sought the physical and emotional intimacy I require outside of my marriage. Please do not condemn me for this.”
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