Intimacy and Sex in Isolation
Sure. Pandemic doesn’t scream sexy—but you can still ignite the spark.
You’re bunkered in with your partner and it’s the perfect time to get sexy, right? Uh, right. A pandemic isn’t exactly the sexiest time. Stress and anxiety are some of the quickest ways to turn most people off, and even if you do feel like having sex under stress, it tends to be somewhat less pleasurable than when you’re feeling safe and comfortable.
When there’s no separation, it can be difficult to find an erotic spark. Desire generally arises from distance and separateness—from someone coming home after being gone for a while, having stories from their day, having other relationships, interests, and hobbies that they can share about. When you’re sharing the same reality day in and day out, it can be difficult to remember sexual desire.
The sexual aspect of a relationship, however, requires work and attention, just like the other aspects of a relationship. It’s worth setting intentions, cultivating space, and planning for sexual intimacy. Here are six ways to help (re)ignite the spark in lockdown.
Keep Space and Separation
Work or hang out in separate rooms if you can, and try to avoid each other during working hours. Allow yourself to have distance so you have something to talk about at the end of the day.
Set Routine and Healthy Habits
Indulging in sugary treats, alcohol, and smoking might be nice diversions, but they can have some unsexy effects—like mood swings, hangovers, nausea, and other uncomfortable effects. Regular exercise and a healthy diet are good for everything—including your sex drive, sexual stamina, and sense of sexual well-being.
Make a Date
Shower and dress for each other. Set aside time to focus on each other and talk about your day. Depending on your sensitivity to stress and the news, you may like to take certain topics off the table for date time—perhaps even ban screens altogether. Stress interferes with sex and intimacy, so reducing stress during these times is very important.
There are a few ways to meditate together that can help improve a sense of calm and closeness. Simply sitting together with eyes closed holding hands is one option. Another is eye-gazing, which can be very conducive to intimacy. A classic Tantric practice is to sit close together, with one partner on the other’s lap, legs wrapped around them (you could also sit back to back) and synchronize your breathing.
Mix It Up
Ensure that the time you set aside for intimacy isn’t only at the very end of the day when you are both exhausted (if you can—this is a little more challenging with kids in the mix!).
Enjoy the Sex Spectrum
The time you spend on intimacy shouldn’t be a time where you feel pressured to have sex— a quick way to turn a person off. Be open to the spectrum of sexual intimacy—anything from cuddling and talking to making out to full-on sex. Take it slow, be gentle with yourself and your partner, and show up to the sexual side of your relationship while allowing it to change and adjust in these challenging times.