The discussion of this month was about the relationship of a couple. I had heard about bed death but have never noticed that it was specific to gay women couples. As far as I know, anybody can suffer from bed death, straight or gay people, men or women. This is because one does care about the relationship. In small groups we had serious yet funny exchanges as it was about sex. To me bed death is linked to the duration of the relationship and how sex has been set up in the couple. When you are in a long-term relationship, it is obviously a normal process. The best way to sort it out is of course to communicate with the partner and make a strong and concerted effort. Sex does matter but it is not essential. If bed death does happen when the relationship is recent, that probably mean that something is wrong or the relationship is almost over. I say "almost over" because women might be more emotional and tend to give several tries in a relationship before admitting that it really is over. That may finally be the reason why we talk more about lesbian bed death.
I stumbled onto the Women's Nite website a couple of years back, when I was a little freer at work and had time to surf the net in the duller moments of the day. I was curious and have been meaning to attend, but there are always things to do, places to be on Saturday evenings. Attending Women's Nite wasn't among the top priorities.
What changed? A combination of reasons, I guess. A connection with a friend, which unfortunately both of us have no clue how to proceed further. Fear that time is running out. A realisation that it is more fun to go through life with someone you can call your own, and that it doesn't have to be a pipe-dream.
So I plucked up my courage and sent my full name and phone number to Women's Nite's email address to register for the March event. What did I think I'd get out of it? Well, I figured I could hear the experiences of the others and perhaps make a new friend or two. Years back, I had this idea of interviewing lesbian couples who've been together for some time on how they met, how their relatioinships developed, who made the first move, how they created a life together, and their dreams and aspirations. The ideas was to compile their stories into a book – I was sure the book would sell well! The project would also be an opportunity for me to learn and to know people who have the guts to live their lives on their own terms. Yes, I got side-tracked by other things.
So the last Saturday of March came. But something cropped up and I couldn't make it. So I emailed to say I'd come for the April session instead. I committed to coming without knowing what the topic would be. I was afraid I wouldn't be welcome anymore – who is this wimp who chickened out at the last minute? Well, my fear was unfounded. Then came the email: Does your sex drive really dip once you are in a secure relationship? How long does it take before "Lesbian Bed Death" creeps in? Is it even real?
Err..Not a topic that is quite up my alley. But I'd said I'd go, so off I went. The discussion turned out to be one about the sustainability of a gay relationship, at least that's what I get out of it. Are there less social penalties, less burden for a gay couple to go separate ways than a heterosexual couple? Yes, if you compare it to a married couple or a couple with kids. Arguably not that much different if you compare it to a heterosexual couple living together without a piece of paper to bind them together. Is sex the only thing that keeps gay couples together? If the sex dies, will the relationship die too? As the night went on, someone reduced the definition of lesbian sex to a hug, a stomach rub. :-)
I was, for most part of the night, an observer, a listener, agreeing with most of the things being said... Among the group was someone from France, someone from the US and someone from UK, if I'm not mistaken. Then of course there are the rest of us.
All in all, to use Swee Jean's word, a “stimming” (short for stimulating) night.
Finally, a big thanks to those who volunteered their time to run event. I read the brief intro on each one of you who are behind the scenes and I'm in awe of what you've done and your dedication. Thanks for keeping the event running until finally I found the time and courage to come. And I think it definitely won't be my last attendance at the Women's Nite. Keep up the good work, and keep the “stimming” discussions going!