Not only have stocks dropped due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it seems our libidos have tanked as well. A new study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found that 1 in 4 participants say they have experienced a decrease in sexual desire due to the COVID-19 spread.
Researchers surveyed around 500 people in China in order to find out how the pandemic has impacted their sex lives. They found that one in four people say that they have experienced a decline in sexual desire due to stress, financial concerns, health woes and other considerations caused by the spread of COVID-19.
No doubt we will soon find similar results in American couples as the pandemic continues to alter almost every aspect of our lives.
We already know that there has been an increase in calls to divorce attorneys in America, similar to how there was in China following their lockdown. And we can expect to also follow suit when it comes to recent findings regarding decreased sexual desire. During this time of financial and mental strain, it’s no surprise that many people are losing their interest in sexual activity.
This is especially true for men.
Men are often the initiators when it comes to intimacy between couples. However, it is not uncommon for men to struggle with sexual difficulties when they are struggling financially or concerned with their future. For many men, being a provider is inherently tied to their masculinity and to their feelings of self-worth. When this is threatened, it can make it very difficult for men to be in the mood for intimacy and to maintain a healthy, robust sexual response.
There are many ways couples can work to safeguard their intimacy during this time, and this pandemic actually offers a deep opportunity for couples to redefine their bond.
Here are some of my suggestions for couples who are struggling to find connection with their spouse and intimacy during quarantine:
- Create a list of quarantine fantasies. Right now, most of us are home indefinitely or at least finding that our social lives are greatly reduced. So, what would you like to achieve for your marriage in the upcoming weeks? What fantasies can you act out during quarantine to help improve your relationship both right now and in the long term? Create an intimate ‘to-do’ list that will help you be really intentional about your time together in quarantine.
- Spend your vacation money on therapy. Yes, many of us are feeling financial stress right now, but if you had to cancel an upcoming trip and suddenly have some extra cash, you can spend this on couples’ therapy online or working with life coaches or trainers from the comfort of your own home.
- Have a date night at home. Lay out the fancy china, put down a tablecloth, light some candles and play your favorite tunes. Spend time on your hair, makeup, and outfit, right down to the little black dress and heels! This is a special event, even if no one else but your partner will see you…that’s all the more reason to put effort into your appearance after weeks of nothing but sweatpants and tee shirts.
- Be naked more often. Ditch the sweats for a pretty bra and panties, or your favorite boxer-briefs and tank. Show more skin to help inspire feelings of desire and set a tone of attraction rather than treating each other like platonic roommates. Bonus: You will have less laundry to wash!
- Take baths together. Build more sensuality into your schedule by taking bubble baths together or even just a hot shower. This is especially a good idea if you have kids, and you need a private way to escape for a little bit of connection during the day. Just make sure to lock the door!
- Have a theme night. Whether it’s a tropical island theme, right down to a luau with coconut bras and yummy cocktails, or a theme night based on your favorite television show, go all out with the décor, menu, and costumes. It will give something to look forward to and help to break up the monotony of the days.