Long Lockdown Lowers Libido

Lockdown has lowered our sex drives.

For some of us that might be surprising; we might reasonably expect that being locked indoors with our significant other would have quite the opposite effect. But for a lot of us, we understand the truth of it all too well.

You might be one of the lucky few who has resisted the trend, but on the whole, Victorians have been having far less sex than in our pre-pandemic world.

But this is more than just an interesting factoid. It's an important issue we need to deal with. Because of the interconnectedness of sex and relationships, if our sexual intimacy is suffering, our regular intimacy probably is too.

So what we can do about it?

The first thing to do is work out exactly what's causing our lowered libidos so that we can confront the issues and reclaim our sex lives.

Why are our sex drives diminished?

To put it simply, it's because of stress.

The uncertainty and anxiety that has come alongside this pandemic has been a persistent factor throughout the entire ordeal. And because for a lot of people that anxiety has been of a financial nature, our bodies and brains elevate the issue from a mere discomfort to a problem of survival.

Being in survival mode means our bodies throw procreation to the wayside and focus entirely on the issue at hand. This means a heightened sensation of fight or flight and a lowered drive to have sex.

There are a number of other smaller factors which contribute to this as well. They include:

  • Seeing your partner too much. Time together becomes less valuable and more standard.

  • Different lockdown health habits. New patterns in sleep, eating and exercise (particularly unhealthy ones) can change our hormones and leave us feeling far from sexual.

  • Drinking too much. A lot of Australians have turned to drinking to deal with the lockdown. Aside from the innumerable health risks that come from excessive drinking, it also causes sexual dysfunction.

  • Having less sex. In a tragically ironic way, having less sex means our bodies want sex less.

How can we change things?

Luckily, a libido lost is not a libido lost forever. Given time and changing circumstances your sex drive will return. But there are still things you can be doing right now to speed it on its way.

  1. Spend time with your partner. Not just existing in the same space, but actively spending time with each other and talking about your days.

  2. Build healthy habits. If you're not exercising, start. If you're eating badly, change that habit. If you're drinking too much, cut out alcohol for a while. Being healthier helps.

  3. Do an activity together. Read a book. Watch a movie. Even if it doesn't lead directly to anything physical, it still creates an enjoyable shared experience that builds intimacy.

  4. Be physically affectionate in other ways. Try a massage. Cuddle more. Dance in the lounge. Non-sexual contact is still intimacy and intimacy is an essential element of our sexual lives.

Lowered sex drives might not be a consequence you'd expected from the pandemic, but the coronavirus has come alongside a range of surprising side effects.

But the pandemic will not be permanent. And neither will its repercussions.

Stay safe, and stay hopeful.

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