We are approaching almost one year of quarantine. How are you feeling? The pandemic continues to deliver a plethora of emotions that can leave us feeling burnt out with a little left to fill our cup. I’m curious, how is your sex drive? With all of the stress in the world at our forefront, it can be easy to forget about sex, much less prioritize it…but fear not! As a sex and relationship coach, I am here to give you and your libido a boost.
If you’ve been quarantined with a significant other throughout the pandemic, you or your partner (or the both of you!) may have seen your sex drive fluctuate since March. That is completely normal. If you entered into a new relationship in 2020 and are exhibiting low sex drive symptoms, that is also completely valid. Even if you are single during this time, it is common to see a shift in your sexual desire.
So many changes have happened this year that can contribute to emotional and physical burnout — you may have moved, had a family member pass away, experienced anxiety from the presidential election, or been under constant duress from the ongoing quarantine — whatever you’ve survived this year, I’d like to champion you for making it this far. There is power in resilience, and I know it might sound like there’s no direct correlation, but trust me when I say there’s no better time than now to honor and celebrate your sexuality and all that it has to offer you and your relationship(s).
When clients complain about having a low sex drive, the first thing I have them examine is their sexual relationship with themselves. Whether you have a partner or not, it’s always important to maintain a healthy and consistent sexual relationship with yourself. When was the last time you masturbated? Taking 20 minutes out of your day to tap into your body, your pleasure, and your divine sexual nature is a practice that helps steady the libido. Think of it as a meditation. In those 20 minutes, you could touch yourself, watch ethical porn, take sexy selfies, or blast Rihanna’s “Sex With Me” on repeat to pump up your confidence. Showing up for ourselves (sexually) enables us to show up for our partner(s). You can’t pour from an empty cup!
As long as we’re on the topic of you, let’s talk about your mental, emotional, and physical health. On a scale of 1-10, where would you rate yourself in these three areas? Therapy, exercise, a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep all aid in regulating a healthy sex drive. Adding more natural aphrodisiac foods to your meals (like figs, bananas, chocolate, and avocados) and exercising (yoga or going for a run in your neighborhood) help usher your mind and body back into a libido-encouraging environment.
Stress is a huge wet blanket for our sex drive. For some people, sex is a means of relieving stress, while for others, stress reduces sexual desires dramatically. Check-in with your partner(s) to understand how stress directly affects both of you individually and as a couple. Processing stress with a trusted mental health professional, through meditation, or simply going for a long walk to clear your mind will do wonders for your sex life. You see, your sexuality intersects with all other parts of yourself. That’s why it’s important to create a balanced state of being.
Have you been sticking to the same boring routine during sex? Maybe it’s time to switch it up! Humans are creatures of habit, so don’t be surprised if you’ve noticed certain roles you and your partner might be stuck in. Shaking things up in the sexual sphere brings a sense of curiosity, wonder, and adventure to the situation. Make a list of your sex goals (sexual areas or activities you’re interested in exploring) and share them. You might be surprised at what you hear! Keep an open mind and heart. Watching erotica or ethical porn is another way to ignite a passion that may have dampened between you and your partner over the last few months. If your partner is the one who usually initiates sex, maybe it’s high time you take the reigns! Integrating fun and playfulness into your sex life will help foster a more energetic and healing space, which will help combat future burnout.
Lastly, to maintain sexual equilibrium in a relationship, it’s important to check-in with our partners. Communication, on all levels, is key! Practicing mindful connection with your partner can increase your sense of appreciation and gratitude for each other, and ultimately increases relationship connection and satisfaction. Mindfulness helps manage stress and regulate emotions. This practice promotes open hearts and minds in a relationship, making communication more intentional and less reactionary.
Adding intentionality to the relationship fosters an environment of intimacy and vulnerability. Some ways you can practice gratitude with your partner(s) include: writing a letter (or note) of appreciation, surprising your partner with an act of service (running an errand for them, doing a task that is helpful to them, etc.), or expressing verbal words of affirmation (thanking a partner for helping out, reminding them how much you love them, etc.) Affirming your partner how much you appreciate them and how sexy they are/how turned on they make you encourage lust and trust.