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Lesbian Bed Death isn't a thing for me, but it is for my wife.

I'm happily married to my wife. We've been together for almost eight years and have a ten-month-old baby together. We get along great and have an easy ying/yang partnership. Sex has been an issue — it's been our only issue — from the get go though (four months into our relationship), and it's actually better now than it ever has been, even despite the addition to the family. However, I'm super sexual and she is not. I love to fantasize, incorporate games, try new things in the bedroom, watch porn, etc. She could have sex three times a year and be happy. She tells me she doesn't really fantasize and sex is not really that important to her. She also doesn't like to add new stuff to the bedroom activities, prefers to always do it in bed because anywhere else is too dirty or cold or takes too much energy, etc...

We've had a lot of discussions (and fights) on it and have found that scheduling sex once a week on the weekends down to the time is the only compromise that works for us both. The problem is that six out of the seven days in the week I am left to contend with my own sex drive, imagination, and desires. I try to talk to her about my fantasies but she rarely finds them sexy and is quick to tell me that she is turned off by the things I find sexy. I feel like I have all of this sexual energy and no where for it to go. I miss flirting, I miss feeling sexual energy between two people that intensifies with certain talk or activities or play. I miss feeling like someone craves my body. I'm super attracted to my wife. I don't want to sleep with anyone else but I'm just not sure how to manage my own sexual energy without her being part of it. I touch myself regularly but, although that fills a sexual physical need, it does little to quell the need I have to exchange sexual energy with someone. I usually fantasize about the chemistry I had with all of my exes.

I've read a bunch about this and all of the article say to use that energy in other ways like exercising and art. But I feel like that's just putting a band aid on something that I have a deep need for in my core. And unless that art is writing erotic fiction or drawing naked women fucking, I'm just out of ideas! I would appreciate any advice you have on this.

Basic Erotic Desires

There's a lot of bad advice out rattling around out there—frequently occasionally rarely it can be found right here — but whoever told you jumping jacks can replace sex should retire their advice column. (It wasn't me, was it? If so, send the link and I'll delete that column.) Painting will not satisfy your basic erotic desires either, BED. You know what will? Fucking. Or, to a lesser extent, masturbating.

That said, BED, there's a long, sad history of queer people being forced to sublimate ("to divert the energy of a sexual or other biological impulse from its immediate goal to one of a more acceptable social, moral, or aesthetic nature or use their sexual desires") their erotic impulses and desires — including their desires for loving partnerships — and pouring all their energies into painting ceilings or wearing red hats or destroying other queers. Personally, BED, I'm happy to live in a world where more queers are — depending on what part of the world they're in — free to express their sexual desires and seek out partners who share them. (Congrats to Austria and Australia, both of which achieved marriage equality this week!)

You didn't do that — you married a woman who wasn't as sexual as you were, a woman who has waged a kind of low-frequency sex-shaming campaign against you for the last eight years. And that's fine, that can be a rationale choice, you can pick someone who brings everything else you want to the table — all that getting along great and yinging and yanging — and, hey, things are better now, you say, with weekly scheduled sex, BED, and I believe you. Scheduled sex, as the kinksters and swingers will tell you, can be great sex.

But... you're not satisfied and you're going out of your mind and you need an outlet — an approved outlet — for your erotic energies, one that doesn't threaten your marriage or your new baby's home. (Congrats on the kid!) So what do you do? Well... there's a lot of bad advice out there about Lesbian Bed Death (LBD), just as there's a lot of bad advice out there about everything else. I've heard people say you should give up sex/masturbating/even DISCUSSING your horniness for a month in an effort to jumpstart your sex life. That would only frustrate you further, BED, and probably do nothing to make your wife wanna watch porn or bust out the toys or try new things/anything in the bedroom. The problem here, BED, is that you and your wife have mismatching libidos.... and you always have... and you most likely always will. (Un-fun fact: Listening to a higher-libido partner beg rarely induces desire in the lower-libido partner.)

So what do you do, BED? You can pick up the six-day-a-week slack with solo sex until bed death is replaced by literal deathbeds, or you can open your relationship (you can open it a crack, you can open it wide), or you can cheat. My vote would be for the second option: open things up a bit. As Dr. Pepper Schwartz, the University of Washington sociologist who coined the phrase "Lesbian Bed Death" advised a reader of mine seventeen years ago, "It's not fair to have one year [day a week] of hot sex and then say that's enough for a lifetime." And, as I said seventeen years ago, "Your girlfriend [wife] can't just plead low sex drive and expect to be let off the hook — not if her low sex drive is making you, the woman she loves, absolutely miserable."

Tell your wife the once-a-week compromise isn't working for you. Ask her if looking elsewhere — and by "elsewhere" I don't mean the gym or an art gallery — might not provide you with the sexual relief you need while simultaneously relieving her of the responsibility/burden to meet your needs. Opening up won't mean no more fights, but they'll be new fights. And who knows? Maybe it will spark something between you two. Tell her you want to have this discussion now, before there's a crisis, not after you've cheated. Assure her that you don't want another partner — she's all the wife you need — but you need an outlet. What form that outlet takes is now up for discussion.

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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