Unlocking Passion in a Lockdown
Just because you’re restricted doesn’t mean your libido has to be, too. If you were told in 2019 that you’d be spending time with your partner 24/7 (nearly 265), it may have sounded like a nice prospect. More quality time, no office stress, more time for sex!
Their innocent chewing or throat clearing has become like nails on a chalkboard. They forgot to put away their breakfast plate (again), and that damp towel is still lying on the bathroom floor. You both have interrupted each other on work calls and every day you have to set new “rules.”
Regardless of how madly in love you are with your partner, decreased desire during quarantine is just part and parcel of us living in the strangest times, ever.
In a study conducted by Justin Lehmiller and his team between March, and April, 2020, 44% of participants said their sex life had got worse since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s not all bad news though: 20% of people had tried something new, from sex positions, sending nudes, acting out fantasies, and filming themselves masturbating. Food for thought?
The good news is that you don’t have to say farewell to your sex life during the pandemic. In fact, sex may just be the secret to spicing up the monotony of everyday life.
Here are some practical steps you can try to rev up the passion:
Talk About It
It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s easier said than done! Let your partner know how you’re feeling about your sex life and most important-- what you want to do about it.
As much as you may wish your partner is a mind reader, they’re not. You might be expecting a lot from your unassuming partner. If you want to have more sex, or you wish the sex could be different, your silence only allows the issue to persist. Do your partner a favor by letting them in on what you want, using positive language.
Chances are, they’ll respond better to “Let’s get naked tonight” than “Why aren’t we having sex?”.
Practice Emotional Attunement
The Gottman Institute reports that couples who practice emotional attunement report higher levels of intimacy, and are better able to cope with conflict. Added bonus!
Emotional attunement means acting like a team.t means turning toward your partner instead of turning away, and showing empathy.
Just like you, your partner is probably not feeling their best during this unprecedented time. They deserve the same compassion that you’d want from them.. Are they stressed out with work? Struggling to get back into a routine? They might also need you to help them feel sexy or to get in the mood.
Empathy is putting yourself in their shoes, and opening up to what they are feeling. This alone can help to rebuild some of that intimacy before you dive right into sex.
Maintain Physical Affection
Have you ever heard of “skin hunger”? According to Dame Wellness, social distancing has left us humans craving physical affection more than ever. You're literally hardwired to need touch. It's a secret ingredient for both your mental and emotional health. It can even calm you down physically by lowering your blood pressure and heart rate. With the virus not showing signs of disappearing soon, be intentional about maintaining physical connectedness with your partner. It may bring some zen into your life...
Physical affection can also turn on your desire. Most people think of “desire” in black-and-white terms: you either have it or you don’t. Desire is more complex than that, and for many of us to feel turned-on, we need to be literally turned on.
Regular doses of physical affection go a long way; a lingering kiss, a suggestive hand graze, or a hug from behind can trigger the brain from thinking about deadlines to thinking about sexy times. Be intentional with yourself and your partner, and see what follows.
Schedule Time for Sex.
It might sound like a buzzkill, but blocking off some time for sex is a great way to reprioritize this activity. If you or your partner are turned off by making an official plan, take the pressure off by calling it “quality time” or keeping them guessing by saying, “Don’t schedule any calls after dinner tonight.” When you show them that this is a priority, you can give your partner an opportunity to meet you on the same page.
Besides, putting your partner on your “to-do” list can make sex feel more like something to look forward to instead of feeling like an extra chore. Don’t forget that sex can be the perfect relationship lubricant. When we have sex, the bonding hormone oxytocin is released. That’s why in the honeymoon stage of a relationship, couples can’t keep their hands off each other. Oxytocin released from sex creates a feedback loop of affection and connectedness.
In other words: if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. Yes, it might take a little nudge to kickstart you gears, but it’ll remind you why you have sex in the first place.
Plus, sex is fun! Nobody is thinking about that argument over spilled milk when they’re naked.
Take Healthy Space
If you haven't spent time away from your partner recently, create space by getting out of the house-- even for just an hour.
It can be as simple as taking a lunchtime walk, spending the day at a friend’s, or setting up a happy hour zoom call with your friends. Your sexual desire can improve by dedicating time to yourselves, then coming back together after being apart for a short time.
Doing this on a regular basis can also help you and your partner to give each other planned “alone time,” which can be just as important as planned quality time.
Switch It Up
It’s Groundhog Day for all of us. Take a break from monotony and work something different into your day-to-day. That might be creating a romantic date night at home, whipping up a new cocktail recipe or taking a hot bubble bath. The key is to focus on romance. Together, you can find small ways to rekindle the part of your relationship that’s been temporarily switched off.
Sex toy sales have also risen drastically, why not jump on the bandwagon? From smart sex toys to AI and body heat technology, the world of sextech is an exciting new frontier to explore with solutions you never thought you knew.
Trying something new doesn’t need to be complicated, either. Aside from date nights or sex toys, a change in your routine could be as simple assetting your alarm clocks that bit earlier to fit in a quickie before getting up. Morning sex does a body good!
Remember: This is All Normal
Tensions are high these days, and when we’re stressed, sex does tend to fall down our priorities list. Just remember to give you and your partner a break and be kind to each other. Getting your sex life back on track is easier than you think. All it takes is a little daily effort.
Struggling to keep the passion alive? Lover has courses designed by sexual therapists to get you back on track. Check out our courses Driving Up Desire and Passion For Your Partner for more information. Download it today.