Intimacy Drought: Why We’re Having Less Sex Post-Lockdown
Is your libido low and you’re not sure why? If you’re nodding your head, chances are that you’re going through a “sex drought” and you’re definitely not alone, especially when stressors are high.
From stress and illness to social distancing rules, the ongoing pandemic has been a tricky time for all our sex lives.
The pseudo-scientific formula that explains most human bonding is basically time + affection + togetherness = relationship. So what happens to humans and their interconnectedness when two of the key elements—time and togetherness—are removed or increased? Can digital communication replace human to human contact?
Getting together via video took off during the early days of lockdown, with workplaces and families having to quickly adjust to meeting over Zoom, Google and Facebook. A Utah State university study found that those who had difficulty adjusting to this form of communication were more likely to violate social distancing protocols and pleas to avoid gatherings, in order to see other humans.
Was this the start of our bodies being forced into a state of fear, that ultimately puts our whole being in an unsexy mood?
After Lockdown 1 and 2 it was meant to be a Hot Girl Summer, full of fun and freedom… Instead the one-night stand is dead and every day I grow more resentful towards Tinder.
Have we just forgotten how to have sex? After two years of celibacy, I wrote about my experiences with porn, masturbation, loneliness and how Vanilla Cheesecake became BAE. You can read all about that here.
Anyway, let’s continue with this new found crisis “The Intimacy Drought”
Concerns about an “intimacy drought” have been circulating since the first lockdown began. But what does this really mean, a drought of intimacy? As we know, there are many different types of intimacy – physical, touching, sexual of course, but there is also the intimacy created by emotions, intellect and creative and spiritual connections, with friends and family as well as partners.
Instead of sexual physical intimacy have we subconsciously sought intimacy in these often overlooked areas?
Whether you’re single, in a relationship or somewhere in between, there’s a story of intimacy (or lack there of) to be told. Have we all experienced something that has made us aware of our intimate desires and woken us to the fact these desires need not be sexual at all?
Casual sex no longer has the same meaning it did before Covid-19. Although my sexual exploits post-lockdown have been by no means exciting, at all, but they have been different. I honestly don’t think my one sexual interaction even counts to be fair.
The surfacing effects of isolation and aftermath of these restrictions, both physical and emotional, have left us with limited capabilities for emotional and physical intimacy after such an extended period shut away for our own survival.
The one night stand, for example, took on a stressful meaning in 2020; It was no longer a decision you could make on a whim whilst on a night out. The one night stand had to now be fully vetted – Hello MI5, who is this person? Are they being Covid conscious? If they’re not, should I still sleep with them?
What about my nan though, one night stand and then spend the next 2 weeks in utter guilt?
It was a lot to contemplate.
Our defences have been laced with fear and put on red alert, so the sexiness of a one night stand – while still very appealing – didn’t quite have the care-free thrill it once did.
Whatever our relationship status, it seems we’re taking the disconnect from previous lockdowns (and the isolation we felt) into our relationships.
The question and the answer are both a struggle to understand when it comes to intimacy – but are you tending to the intimacy you truly desire and require?
It’s important to think about what kinds of intimacy you feel you are missing in your life. Maybe you have a brilliant romantic relationship with your partner but you neglect your spiritual life – With the physical body there are basic vital signs used to determine the inside condition: heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and body chemistry. There are also certain vital signs of the soul to measure spiritual health and symptoms of disease, are you busy but bored? Are you experiencing a resurgence of unhealthy habits? Maybe you are feeling restless and cannot find any satisfaction?
These may be signs of soul/spiritual neglect. Are you being true to your most authentic self? Are you spending time with people that allow you to just be you? Are you surrounding yourself with positive energy or negative energy? There are so many signs to look out for but I’m guessing if your here and have read this far on, you’re probably kind of aware what’s going on with your body and what kind of intimacy you are missing. Go you!
By taking the time to cultivate emotional intimacy with a friend, or perhaps spiritual intimacy with meditation, or personal intimacy with yourself through alone time, might help you to reconnect with yourself, discover inner truths and desires as well as increase your libido and sexual imagination.
Reconnecting with yourself will help you find the way back to how you enjoy communicating and spending time with others.
Stay safe, live in faith, not fear and take care,