If your partner has approached you recently, with *that* glint in their eye and you felt, well, nothing at all — don’t worry, it’s not you. It’s not them either. It’s COVID.
The same goes for us singles. If the Government’s advice on mutual masturbation didn’t get you going (did it get anyone going?), or you can’t seem to rev your own engine no matter how hard you try — it’s not you.
Yes, the pandemic, which came for most elements of our lives, has even come for our libidos — this is the straw that broke the humps back. Wait, the camel’s hump. The camel’s back? Either way, just needed to get the word hump in a few times there.
The Science Behind Our Lack of Sex Drive
Either way, an actual study from last year found that, from an online survey, more than half of respondents reported a decline in their sex lives. Resident Lovehoney Ambassador and Sexologist, Cam Fraser, tells The Latch that a recent Lovehoney survey revealed a 25% decline in sexual activity from us Aussies. Nearly two-thirds of us state that heightened stress has impacted our sex lives.
The amount people are getting it on a week has gone down to 1.7 times a week from 2.3 times a week pre-lockdown era (how does one have sex .7 of a time, is the real question here).
It’s not just stress that affected our sex lives, but hormones like “testosterone, estrogen, estradiol, cortisol, dopamine” as well as “medications, pregnancy and breastfeeding” — and of course, mental and physical health.
Mental Block vs. Libido
If you’re one of those people who have a mental block around sex now — don’t worry, you’re not alone. As Fraser says, “Mental blocks are common, and often accentuated due to society’s stereotypes of both women and men’s sexual wellness, appetite, needs.”
And another thing not to worry about is the fact that these mental blocks can be overcome. Just be aware of the fact “it won’t happen overnight,” explains Fraser, and will take “time, dedication and complete investment.”
He suggests both “counselling and sex therapy” as they’re valuable for overcoming mental blocks reigniting your libido. More than this, these can help in terms of “improving relationships, moving through shame and anxiety surrounding your sexuality, empowerment, becoming a better lover and taking your sexual happiness and sex life to the next level.”
Sometimes, with a partner, change is the best sexual medicine. “It might be something as simple as changing your sexual routine or adding something new to your sexual menu, such as a sexual device, trying a new position or exploring new erogenous zones.”
Your Sex Drive: As a Single
If you’re a single looking to get your sex drive back, sometimes it’s as simple as getting out of your head. “Take time for self-care, what turns you on, what makes you horny.”
Also, look at the opposite — “What is making you hit the brakes and looking how you can make changes for the positive.” Some changes you can make include: eating better or known aphrodisiacs; getting more sleep; exercising; reducing alcohol intake; increasing positive thoughts and scheduling or making time for intimacy and being sensual.
Masturbation is a recommendation of Fraser’s, as it offers “a space to explore pleasure without any pressures.” The Lovehoney Lockdown Survey showed that 90% of Aussies said masturbation is a good stress reliever — and a self-pleasure session can put you to sleep (it’s science).
Your Sex Drive: As Part of a Couple
Couples also need to focus on their own individual needs and wants. As Fraser says, “Understanding what turns you on and gets you off will ultimately enhance your sex lives as a couple.”
Then with your partner, Fraser talks about open communication and broadening the ideas and notions of sex and pleasure, as it’ll help with “desire, sex drive and any mental blockages impacting libido.” This could include “opening up about fantasies, incorporating sex toys or role-play.”
The next step Type As will adore: scheduling in time for intimacy. “Exploring each other without expectation to allow desire to grow and focus on pleasure.” And as Fraser says, once you have the feeling of emotion and physical satisfaction and intimacy with your partner, “pleasure and sex will come” and as a result, so will “an increased desire and drive to want it more.”