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Are You Victim To ‘Marital Bed Death’?

Are You Victim To ‘Marital Bed Death’?

Are You Victim To ‘Marital Bed Death’?

What is a 'marital bed death?' A 'Marital bed death' is a term in marriage, couple life, or long-term relationships where sex becomes non-existent, either permanently or temporarily. This phenomenon was traditionally referred to as 'lesbian bed death.' Due to the fact that it could happen across the gender and sexuality spectrum, it has recently been coined 'Marital bed death.' It generally describes the prolapse in sex life where couples are either having sex less frequently or none at all. If the former is the case, the sex is less pleasurable, or couples are making conscious decisions to avoid physical contact.

This phenomenon is quite common in marriage life, and sex experts have classified it as a phase in the marriage's lifespan. Read on to find out what can be termed as 'Marital bed death,' its causes, and how to fix it.

What Can be Considered a Dead Bedroom?

A dead bedroom is a phenomenon that can be experienced by all couples, regardless of sexuality or orientation. Clinically, we still don't have any diagnostic criteria to base on regarding what and what not to call a dead bedroom. However, experts say a dead bedroom couple or marriage life involves little or no sex for a prolonged period, usually six months maximum. Others suggest a much longer time than that, meaning this topic is quite subjective. Nonetheless, four key features characterize a dead bedroom marriage. They include:

Having sex more infrequently than before.

Making conscious decisions to steer away from sex or any form of physical contact.

Engaging in sex that both partners would classify as less pleasurable.

When either or both partners complain about the regularity of your sex.

The features mentioned above are the key markers of a 'Marital bed death.' However, what can be termed as a dead bedroom can vary from couple to couple. Some couples can have sex four times a week at the onset of marriage, then reduce the frequency to two times a week, but still fell victim to marital bed death.

On the contrary, others can schedule sex on major calendar events such as birthdays and anniversaries and still feel their bedroom isn't dead yet. The bottom line is what one terms as a dead bedroom might not apply to the other. Nonetheless, marriage experts classify couple sex life in three phases, namely:

The Everywhere Phase

This is the time when a couple engages in sex anywhere, anytime which usually lasts for months or up to a year maximum.

The Bedroom Phase

It is much longer and refers to the stage when couples restrict their sex life to the bedroom.

The Hallway Phase

This is the stage when all matters sex seems to be crumbling, with physical contact at its all-time low and the sex virtually nonexistent.

Causes of ‘Marital Bed Death’

There are limitless reasons why couples can stop having sex or have their sex life turned for the worst. These reasons range from physiological and mental to physical, but the most common drivers of dead bedrooms include:

Having Children

The main driver of bedroom death is bringing kids into the picture. Kids become the focal point in the marriage, and are prioritized at the expense of the relationship.


Stress can impede virtually everything. On the top of the list is work-related stress. Stress inhibits one's physiological well-being, whose effects can trickle down to bedroom non-performance. When we get stressed, the body responds by releasing hormones that can interfere with our natural ability to respond to sexual arousal and libido. Besides, when confronted with stressful situations like lack of work or financial security, sex is often the last thing on your mind.

Age and the Subsequent Body Changes

Aging is inevitable, so does body changes like menopause and impotence. The two are marked by a drop in sex drive, vaginal dryness, hormonal and mood changes. During this phase, men may have to endure issues like erectile dysfunction, weight gain, and susceptibility to injury – all reasons that could potentially alter their sex life.

Lack of Sexual Satisfaction

Most couples veer away from sex because of lack of enjoyment. If you are not getting the thrill between the sheets, you wouldn't want to keep doing it.

Are You a Victim of a Dead Bedroom? How do you fix it?

Statistically, over 21 million Americans live in sexless marriages due to different reasons. Generally, couples enduring dead bedrooms blame this phenomenon on vaginal dryness, depression, chronic illness, kids, erectile dysfunction, spousal weight gain, over-dependence on pornography, menopause, and infidelity. These reasons are pretty common, but psychologists have suggested a solution if you are a victim of this phenomenon and are looking to fix things.

Experts offer a pathway out of this situation, but ultimately it lies upon the couples to decide how and what pathway would work for their specific scenario. Asking the questions listed below can be the starting point to fixing this:

Why did you stop having sex?

Does sexless couple life mean our marriage is broken?

Are you willing to fix this in the first place?

If fixable, can we fix it, or do we have to seek expert intervention?

One of the main challenges couples face is figuring out how to raise this topic without appearing defensive or assigning blame to their partners. Generally, how you bring up this topic depends on why you have a sexless marriage, but the key to clearing the air is to take a no-blame approach with your eyes on the prize. That is because your goal is to talk things through, restore your previous sexual connection, and keep things rejuvenated between the two of you.