I was recently interviewed on the topic of how social distancing will affect your sex drive and I’m happy to share my thoughts below.
1. How will staying home affect our sex drives?
This is a time of stress, uncertainty and transition and our responses to distress will vary greatly from person to person and from day to day. If you find that sex helps you to self-soothe, you might find that your sex drive is working overtime and you can’t get enough. If, on the other hand, sex is a source of stress or you’re experiencing tension in the relationship, you may have no interest in sex whatsoever.
All responses are perfectly valid.
This may not be a time to perform or achieve. Many of us are so emotionally drained that we’re just struggling to get by, so don’t feel pressure to have the hottest sex of your life. Instead, focus on your own well-being and look for ways to maintain connections aside from sex (e.g. physical affection, thoughtful conversations, acts of kindness). More below...
2. What does it mean if you’re just not feeling like yourself?
Nobody is feeling normal right now. Everything is disrupted from schedules to finances to our health and fitness. Despite having more time to rest, many people are not sleeping well. Despite having more time spend together, many of us are feeling disconnected from our bodies and our partners. The feelings we’re experiencing are intense — from loss and fear to grief and frustration, all emotional reactions are normal, but many of us don’t have the time or support to self-soothe.
This is a period of distress and it follows that you may have no interest in sex at this time and that’s okay.
3. How can you keep your sex drive healthy while social distancing?
Regardless of whether or not you’re in the mood for sex, look for ways to practice mindfulness and connection:
If you’re in the mood and your partner isn’t, take sex into your own hands. Solo sex offers many of the same benefits of partnered sex: lower stress levels, heightened relaxation, and feeling more in the moment or more present. It can also help you to enjoy a good night’s sleep, which is associated with a happier relationship, improved cognitive functioning, healthier digestion and boosted immunity.
If you’re not in the mood, but you want to get in the mood, work on responsive sexual desire. If you wait until you’re both spontaneously in the mood for sex, you may never had it. Cultivating responsive desire involves doing something to get yourself physically aroused before you experience sexual desire. Even if you’re not in the mood, touch yourself, fantasize, use a toy or ask your partner to go down on you — you’ll be surprised how responsive your desire is when you do something to get physically aroused first.
This blog's feature photo is from the Gender Spectrum Collection.
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