Surviving a second lockdown | COVID and sex
COVID and Sex | A second lockdown is looming and we have one question on our minds: how will our sex life survive COVID?
Let’s be completely honest: that is not exactly the only question we have on our minds. But sex is a quintessential part of our relationship and this is, after all, a sex blog. So, how are we going to make COVID and sex work together?
Truth is, sex is both the litmus test and the binding agent of an intimate relationship.
I can hear you groaning and complaining that there is so much more to a relationship: love, common projects and possibly even children. But before clicking the back button on your browser, let me explain.
The essentiality of sex
If you are a couple, I assume that you are in an amorous relationship with your partner. This means that the main difference between what you share with her/him and your other loved ones is hanky panky.
Your passion for one another is what cements your relationship together. It is, in fact, what makes your relationship romantic and, hopefully, lustful.
If you take away that passion, you will be left with profound love and possibly shared assets and offspring. But does that suffice?
Just love makes you close friends, shared projects make you partners and common children make you, well, parents. Your sexual desire for each other is what brings all these aspects together into the intimate relationship that makes you a couple.
I am aware that there are couples who, for several reasons, mostly medical, cannot have a fully-functional sexual relationship. It doesn’t matter for this argument. What counts is the passion and the desire that binds them.
For me, sex is also an indicator of a relationship’s performance. If things go South in bed, it often means that it is not all rosy between you and your partner.
I am not talking about forced abstinence or a short period of stress. I am referring to a systemic erosion of the desire for one another.
For Aliki and I, sex was a bit of a challenge lately. Ok, I should be more forthright and admit that the problem was with me.
I have been going through an arduous period at work (which, by the way, is the reason why it took me so long to publish this post). And working from home is not helping.
There seem to be no ethics for the new working conditions yet. I get messages late at night, emails over the weekend and virtual meetings during what is supposed to be my lunch break.
The result? By 20:00 I am thoroughly knackered and completely exhausted. Even the couch on which I slouch has more vitality than me.
I hardly feel like eating and I definitely can’t get myself in the mood for sex. Not of the slow kind and definitely not the more acrobatic version.
The moment my head hits the pillow, I am gone; lost in a coma rather than restorative sleep. If sex is the fuel gauge of our relationship, it’s squarely in the red zone.
Is it ok that our sex life suffers during a second lockdown?
Aliki has been a saint. Not only has she been understanding, but she has been completely reassuring.
“Don’t worry baby, it is just a period. I still find you sexy and I love you”, she has been repeating every time she registers the look of panic in my eyes.
Yet, with each passing day, I found myself more and more distant.
“Can’t wait to have you back!” Aliki told me one evening.
And it’s then that I realised that I had become an automaton. Worse, I was doing the one thing that I promised myself never to do: abandon our sex life.
One of the things that Aliki and I identified early in our relationship is that sex and passion do not automatically stay alive.
Our craving for each other welled- up instinctively in the beginning, but like every other part of the relationship, our sex life needs to be taken care of. And, as counter-intuitive as it may sound, that implies making the occasional effort. That means that during this COVID and sex have to coexist.
Protecting our sex life during a second lockdown
Under normal circumstances (when the world was still free of this pesky virus) we would have taken a couple of days off to recharge. Perhaps a short sea-side trip in Zeeland, or a sexy weekend to one of our favourite European capitals.
But COVID has put all that on hold. The epidemy keeps pushing the area where we live towards a full second lockdown. And this is why I’m writing this article about COVID and sex.
Already, we cannot cross borders, we have to keep distance from any breathing being (which make sexy play a tad complicated), bars and restaurants are closed and a curfew has been imposed. Yet, even in these circumstances we are determined to keep our sex life thriving!
The only option available was a one-night sleepover in a countryside SPA hotel a few kilometres away from home.
Not fancy, but we went for it and booked their suite, even though, courtesy of a 2nd lockdown, we had to order take-out food and our visit to the pool was limited to 30 minutes.
Still, it did wonders. We made love, we lazed in bed, we held each other and once again, as I held the love of my life in my arms, I could see why I fell for her so badly many years ago. More than ‘see’, I felt it again!
It is possible that this beneficial effect had something to do with the change in scenery, but I think that it had more to do with us making an effort. We did something specifically for our sex life, and the act in itself is the beginning of the process.
This is important, because it puts the focus on the journey, as it were, not the destination. During a period when one cannot possibly know what can or cannot be planned, it is important to keep in mind that what counts is the effort.
We probably still have months ahead of us of even tighter COVID lockdown measures. Let come what may, we are determined not to let a stupid virus undermine our love life!
Here are 4 basic things to do to keep your sex life healthy during a second lockdown:
Make an effort
In this case, the effort is what counts. It matters even more than the outcome. Who was it again who said: it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. You get the gist.
During a second lockdown, options will be very limited. Try and think outside the box and make use of all the possibilities that you have around you: a take-out meal, an erotic movie, a bubble bath, a shag in the park… You might find some ideas here to match covid and sex.
Don’t succumb to the fallacy that if you have to make an effort to keep your sex life alive, it might as well be dead. It’s not. As long as you don’t give up on it.
Don’t underestimate the deleterious effect that a second lockdown might have on your body and on your mood. To the extent that it’s available to you under the circumstances, you need to take care of your physical and mental health.
To keep your balance, keep exercising regularly. As much as we bad-mouth routines, they keep us sane and put a badly needed structure in our lives.
Oh, and by the way, endorphins help you with your libido. See it this way: if you let go of exercising, you might be less inclined to do any kind of exercising in bed too. And that’s a situation you might want to avoid.
Also, and you can quote me on this, whenever possible, try to keep clear cut-off times from work. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I’m talking from experience!
I am not talking about the new PS5 (at least not only). A second lockdown may not allow you to travel, visit swingers clubs, tantra parlours or invite couples over. But there is still a lot you can do.
You still have those boxes full of sex toys (if you don’t, buy some!) and your sexy underwear. Use them, even within the confines of your home.
Sexy is an attitude, but you can’t fake it until you make it, if you keep on your pyjamas all through the day, can you?
As for your sexy friends, keep in touch, exchange some messages and perhaps, why not, organise a virtual session, if that’s your thing.
Be kind to yourself
This might just be the most important piece of advice, coming from a self-avowed perfectionist.
I am often disappointed when things aren’t as they should be. I have high standards -I’ve been told- and I strive to keep them up.
Imperfection makes me want to tear things up and start over. This is not a conscious credo, it’s just who I am, as much as I might drive people around me crazy at times.
I am the strictest in my closest relationships. So it’s only to be expected that in my love life with Aliki, it has been difficult to learn to accept that, at times, passion is at a low ebb.
But that it is ok, too. Actually, you know what? It’s more than ok. It’s how it’s supposed to be. Hell, without the ebb, there’d be no flow. And how sad would that be?
As the love of my life told me: Don’t worry baby, it is just a period. This too will pass.
Photo credits: unsplash.com