Every sexual health blog is currently preaching of the so-called incredible opportunity provided by quarantine: filling your newly free hours with partner sex or self-love. While we don’t necessarily disagree, at least if you’re in the mood, being in the middle of a pandemic isn’t exactly the recipe for stress-free sex.
If you’ve been following the news just a little too closely – the sex-ed news, that is – you’ll find that online sex toy sales are way up, and couples are Tweeting left and right about “quarantine sex.” For single folks, self-pleasure has become something of it’s own bragging right.
Of course we support sex, masturbation and all things pleasure-related, but these are weird times with plenty of stressors that can easily get in the way of arousing thoughts. Here’s why there’s literally nothing wrong with you if you’re way too nervous to think about orgasms when your career, finances and health are potentially in jeopardy.
Stress, Anxiety and Depression are HUGE Mood Killers
For starters, let’s look at a fact that’s undisputed by most relationship therapists: feeling stressed, anxious or depressed, whether temporarily or long-term, almost never has a positive impact on our arousal levels.
Though these uncomfortable feelings can cause certain types of people to launch into impulsive sexual behavior, or find the silver lining and use partner sex as a form of stress relief, you’re more likely to find your sex drive dead in the water when stressed out.
There’s a reason that raising kids or engaging in a time and energy-consuming career are commonly addressed in sex-ed blogs and by sex therapists. These activities, even when enjoyable, cause a lot of exhaustion and stress that take away sexual yearnings, or simply the energy to pursue them.
Take into account that the corona crisis doesn’t have too many silver linings – if any, depending on your situation – and it’s easy to see why you might not be up to the task of taking care of a partner’s needs, or even your own.
And you know what? That’s completely normal. All careers, relationships – both with partners and ourselves – and lifestyles ebb and flow, and you can never completely plan away the appearance of mental health stress. Take it in stride, and don’t feel guilty about feeling less than sexual until your anxiety or depression levels aren’t through the roof.
If you’re feeling too stressed or depressed to manage simple daily tasks, don’t hesitate to reach out for a doctor’s care or find unique therapy resources online. Many counselors and therapists have moved their services to Skype or other streaming sources to accommodate patients in their homes during corona-related business shut-downs.
Financial Problems Regularly Strain Relationships
Among the top reasons for breaks-ups and divorces, financial troubles and disagreements over money rank unsettlingly high. It’s no wonder that COVID’s heavy impact on our income and savings can make couples far too stressed to enjoy hanging out at home.
If you can’t even figure out how you’re going to pay bills next month, how can you be expected to think about donning lingerie or digging through your sex toy drawer? There is scarcely a human alive at this moment that isn’t worried about losing whatever savings they have or recovering the income lost from pay cuts, lay-offs and firings, and businesses shuttering.
Always know that you are far from alone in feeling truly terrified about your impending finances right now. Who could blame you for skipping sex or self-pleasure for the foreseeable future until you’ve got things figured out?
Equally, don’t feel ashamed to seek unemployment benefits or reach out to friends and family to ease your money worries. Utilize whatever support system is available to you, and understand that most everyone in middle and lower class income sectors are being hit hard by job losses right now.
After a long day of corona worries, just hit the sheets – without any obligation to do so in a sensual way.
Change the Way You Think About Pleasure
It’s still vital to lower your stress levels with pleasurable, mindful activities. You can partake in down-time play and exercise that’s intimate without pressuring yourself into an orgasm.
If you’ve got a wand-style vibrator or a smaller vibe made of a stiff material, you can use it as a pressure point massager. Your neck, shoulders, back and other tense spots can benefit from a good vibe massage just as much as your private parts. This is also a great remedy for period cramps.
Turn on the vibe of your choice, find a particularly crampy spot on your back, and try laying on top of it while resting on a soft spot, like a pillow or your bed.
For fans of those trendy crystal, ceramic, or glass, stone and steel insertable toys, warm up some body-safe massage oil and gently rub away at your temples, around your jaw and on the soft, fleshy parts of your face. You can also cool the toys down and use them to reduce facial inflammation and increase circulation.
This is also a great time to work on your Kegel exercises. Gently sliding in a Kegel exercise toy, like the KegelSmart or Laselle, keeps your pelvic floor strong, which has lots of health benefits both for your post-corona sex life and your overall pelvic wellness.
Concentrating on the squeeze-and-release routine of a Kegel workout is also a lot like meditation. It focuses your breathing and forces your mind off of daily stress while you hone in on contracting your PC muscles.