They’re talking about a post-Corona baby boom. They’ve even named that impending generation the Coronenials which has absolutely no ring to it at all, right? Well, we don’t know about you but our vaginas are self-isolating right now. We are irritated, we are anxious and sex is the very last thing on our to-do list. Spontaneous sex? Ahahahahhahahahahahaha. But, we have to admit that, even though our sex drive is on the floor, we are curious as to how to re-engage them. In case this really is an opportunity to re-connect with our partners. Ahahahahahahaha. Sorry. So we asked someone wise and sensible, Dr Karen Gurney, AKA The Sex Doctor, for three ways to help us want to get on top of each other when we’re living under each other’s feet.
We find ourselves in seriously unusual times. So if you are stuck at home together for the foreseeable future, what can you do to stop bickering about whose turn it is to hide in the bedroom to make another ‘work call’, and make the most of the opportunities for your sex life? Now that we are only allowed outside once a day, don’t forget that sex can be a great form of exercise and a mood-booster to boot, even if it’s the last thing you’re thinking about as cabin fever well and truly sets in…
1. Make time to talk about shifts in your sex drive
In these anxious times it can be hard to think about anything other than the rolling 24-hour news cycle, and it may not surprise you to learn that our interest in sex can go up or down in times of stress. Do you know how your partner’s desire is usually affected? Do they know the same about you? How might you manage if one of you sees a rise and another a fall in the coming months? Sex science tells us it’s not wanting a different amount of sex with your partner that can reduce sexual satisfaction, but not being able to talk about it easily.
2. Take advantage of time
Many people haven’t spent this much time with their significant other in years, and you have an opportunity on your hands (pardon the pun) to use this time to benefit your sex life. Two barriers to desire are the expectation that desire should just be there (newsflash, it’s totally normal if it’s not), and that desire and frequent sex should be happening in the absence of any real quality time spent together to trigger it (it won’t!). Use this time to create the space needed to trigger desire. Instead of another night spent slumped in front of the television, schedule time to hang out in bed and talk, kiss like you did when you got together, or give each other a massage. It doesn’t have to be a huge chunk of time, and you might be surprised by the results.
3. Schedule opportunity for playful connection
Long term relationships can present challenges for maintaining desire. One reason is the dilution of our roles as sexual partners by the increased prevalence of other less sexy roles (i.e. housemates, co-parents). You are likely seeing an increase in these non-sexy roles plus potentially the addition of another brand new one – co-workers/teachers. Who knew that your partner spent so much of their day on the phone, and do they really have to type SO loudly? These changes are necessary and temporary, but risk squeezing any real fun or connection out of any time we do have left to relate to each other. Research tells us that couples who engage in challenging, exciting or fun activities together have more desire than couples who spend time together as usual (i.e. Netflix). Swapping out one of those TV evenings to try a new recipe, play a game or plan a post-isolation road trip could be just what your sex life needs.
Mind The Gap: The truth about desire and how to futureproof your sex life by Dr Karen Gurney (£14.99, Headline) is out now