Has the pandemic killed libido? the sexologue.ca

Mars 2020.

Quebec officially falls on alert. The start of a global pandemic that sinks us into a colorful period of uncertainty and pushes us to adapt to a new lifestyle, confinement. The perfect scenario for spending time as a couple. Many thought that we would see a “baby boom” 9 months later or simply an explosion of libido in couples. But what really happened? The many health rules, isolation and especially stress got the better of the sexual desire of many couples.

With the health rules that encouraged us to reduce our contacts, single people and partners who do not live under the same roof have had to find solutions to maintain their relationships and above all to avoid any risk of contamination. Indeed, public health proposed to opt for masturbation or for wearing a mask during sexual relations with partners, when these took place outside their social bubble. However, semen or vaginal fluids have been shown to be of extremely low risk for the virus to spread. We talk more about contact with the mouth, so partners were invited not to kiss during their sexual intercourse. This change in sexuality has led to a craze for sex toys, so several companies in the industry have seen their sales increase. While some rediscovered the pleasures of solitary sex, others saw the sexual desire within their union slowly fade away.

The confined bachelor

When you’re single, you protect yourself first and foremost from STBBIs (sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections), but now it’s Covid-19 that you worry about the most. Dating on websites or mobile applications is very popular, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. However, after a while, it can be difficult to evolve in the relationship with the person maintaining contact only behind their screen. The need to physically meet the person is therefore felt, but you still have to stay two meters away, so the physical connection is not really possible. So, many single people take the risk of getting closer, for the need of physical proximity with others. This need is felt intensely and becomes even more urgent when we notice that the confinement continues to expand. You should know that sexual health is just as important as physical and mental health, so it is normal that some singles choose to bypass the rules of social distancing to compensate for their lack of closeness.

Anxiety and libido, a bad mix?

The fear of contracting the virus or infecting others is now part of people’s daily lives. This can lead to psychological consequences, such as anxiety, depression, etc. But what is the connection with sex life? First of all, anxiety triggers an activation of the sympathetic system, which can be compared to the expression “fight or flight” which puts our body on alert. On the other hand, sexual arousal needs an activation of the parasympathetic system which puts our body in a state of relaxation. So, we understand that the two systems are totally opposite and that anxiety can affect the different stages of the sexual response. To be able to reach orgasm, one must be in a state of peace of mind so that the body can let itself go completely. In short, taking care of your mental health also means taking care of your sexual health. If the brain isn’t there, neither is the body!

What about couples in all of this?

You have to be bored to find yourself. Yes, you read that right. Being with your partner too often can decrease sexual desire. When we are used to leaving in the morning to go to work, the excitement can be created during the day and give way to sexual desire when we meet in the evening. However, in confinement and with work at home, this waiting to find the other is put on pause, because we are 100% or almost with our partner. This lack of excitement to find the other can lead to tension, conflict and boredom within the relationship. The difficulty of having new experiences and the subjects of conversation which are therefore limited by the same fact can weigh heavily on some couples. Also, being together all the time can make us realize some things that we previously missed. Many couples will notice that they get on each other’s nerves, that they have little in common, or even that the flaws in their partner that once didn’t bother become overwhelming. All of these reasons have an impact on sexual desire in a relationship.

How to get out of it?

It is important to try to keep in touch with our family and friends, whether through online conversations or in person, but while following the health rules applicable to your area. A healthy mind in a healthy body ! The best advice is to continue to feed the bubble of pleasure in your relationship. Whether it is through small attentions, the introduction of sex toys in the bedroom or simply to take a romantic moment of relaxation. Even if we are confined, we must know how to distinguish between work and life as a couple. Fluctuations in sexual desire are completely normal, whether during confinement or not. You just have to question yourself about your interest in sexuality. Is the desire gone? Has it decreased? If the answer is yes, it’s up to you to see if it suits your relationship and what you can do together to find it if that is the goal. Each couple experiences confinement in a different way, but to get through this particularly gloomy period, we must continue to communicate our desires and our lacks to our partner.

Finally, we notice a nice difference between singles and couples. On the one hand, singles need physical connection while on the other hand, couples need to be bored to get together because they are together too often. In both cases, confinement does not make everyone happy and even if it is a difficult period to go through, it is important to do everything in your power to keep yourself in good health, whether it is physically, mentally or sexual.

A healthy mind in a healthy body!

Article writer on our lesexologue blog

– Audrey Labelle

Undergraduate student in sexology

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Has the pandemic killed libido? the sexologue.ca

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