It’s ok if shelter-in-place has you feeling...less-than-stimulated.
Along with your social life, your travel plans, and probably your exercise regimen, it should come as no surprise if your sex drive right now feels...curiously absent. Sure, some of us are hornier than ever, but quarantine libido is a matter of unique complexity. We’re spending near obscene amounts of time either with our partners or well, practicing a mandated form of abstinence. We’re grappling with the anxiety of a global pandemic, and the emotional weight of a socio-political reckoning. There’s a lot to parse through emotionally. So, while you might have more time than ever before, that does not necessarily mean you’re feeling particularly stimulated.
In fact, if you’re feeling anything but turned on right now, you may even be in the majority. Our psyches have a lot to process at the moment. They’re working hard to recalibrate according to each day’s “new normal.” And in the meanwhile, that may mean there’s simply not enough energy left to keep you stimulated in the bedroom. So, before you beat yourself up for your reluctance to, you know, deliver (whether with a partner or on your own), remember: this is absolutely and entirely normal.
To help truly drive that ethos home, here are a handful of reasons you might feel a below-average sex drive right now—and what you can do about it.
You’re stressed out
As it turns out, stress is one of the most common causes for decreases in sex drive. So, naturally, as we confront the end of the world fresh daily, you’re feeling the effects in more ways than one. Whether it’s the fear of disease, the blatant acts of racism occurring across the country, economic anxiety, or added complications that come from adjusting to a new work scenario, know that it’d be alarming if you weren’t feeling stressed.
In order to help get back in touch with your body, it’s recommended that you engage in activities that will increase your levels of oxytocin. You’ll want to counter all the cortisol being released in your body by way of your stress levels with endorphins. Go for a run, dance, try yoga, take a walk. These are the sort of things that’ll help balance you out—and remind you to feel at home, once again, in your own body.
You and your partner are literally together all the time
At first thought, this might be the sort of thing that would stimulate more-than-regular sex. But after months of prolonged indoor time spent almost exclusively with your partner, this scenario can have the opposite effect. If you’ve ever paged through Esther Perel’s Mating In Captivity, you’ll know that desire, to some degree, comes from separation. Our impulse to engage of intimacy with our partners often is the result of bridging some kind of gap between us. So, spending near-constant time in the same space in one another’s company, of course, leaves a rather small gap to bridge.
To ameliorate this, do everything in your power to spend time apart. Make a point of working in separate rooms. Of exercising apart from one another. Of enjoying the occasional solo meal. If possible, even consider having one partner take some time away at a local Airbnb, just to give your and your person some breathing time. Odds are, when you make your triumphant return, there will be a few more sparks between you.
You’re not having sex...at all
The more you have sex, the more you crave sex. Counter-intuitively, that’s simply how the game is played. So, the longer you proceed without the option to engage in intercourse, the more likely it is that you’ll begin to lose some measure of the desire.
A healthy way to counter this is to, well, exercise the muscle. Masturbate with frequency. Be a little experimental—take some time focusing in on your pleasure. If orgasm becomes routine for you, you’ll likely have an easier time keeping that libido up.
Your lifestyle habits are entirely out of whack
Quarantine wasn’t exactly in your planner for 2020. In fact, far from it. So, naturally, your routines have taken a beating. Your eating habits are changing. Your sleeping habits are changing. Your work and fitness habits are changing. Your social calendar is, well...different. These utter breaks in normalcy can be difficult for your body to process. Any major shifts of the like, tend to give way to shift in hormone, which, in turn, will shift your libido.
In this sense, be patient. Do your best to regain what you can of your prior routines. Make a point of adjusting, slowly, to your—I’ll say it again—new normal. And as you do, your hormones, too, will begin to level out.