The evolving coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic will cause most of us to spend a lot more time at home— unprecedented amounts of time at home. This is the most effective way to slow the spread of this highly contagious new illness.
Given the realities of self-isolation and social distancing, perhaps we can take advantage of sudden, unplanned confinement at home to make more time for the sex that most of us would like more of. Especially for busy, long-term couples, sex is often one of the first things to go, as is spending some quality time together that doesn’t involve cleaning the kitchen or discussing the business of family life. This mandated time at home may be a unique opportunity to have more of that time together and to emerge better connected and happier with each other.
Yes, there will still be laundry, meal prep, and perhaps work emails or even full-scale days of working from home. Not to mention helping your kids figure out how to suddenly do school from home—as the teachers also figure it out. And there will be worries about loved ones’ health, as well as the overall economy and its impact on your own finances, especially if you are one of the millions of families who won’t be getting a pay check during this time of disruption. These are difficult.
Despite all the upheaval and uncertainty, try to make a point of preserving some time for yourselves as a couple. The stress of the moment may make this harder, but being physically together will make it easier. There is a lot in this situation that we can’t control, so perhaps we are better off focusing on the things that we can.
The pleasure and intensity of sexual encounters can be a welcome respite from the demands of daily life. It takes us away from everything else and allows us to focus just on the experience of the moment, on what our partner is doing to us and what we are doing to them. When sex is at its best, it is a mindfully absorbing experience, where the world drops away to just the two of you. All other worries and concerns get put aside for a few blissful moments. And afterwards, when the rest of the world starts to slip back into awareness, you and your partner feel more connected, like you’re on the same team, standing together. The benefits of great sexual encounters go way beyond the encounter itself, which is why it is such an important part of long-term couples’ ongoing happiness.
We may not have much control over how the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, but we do have choices to make about how we respond to it. Try to invest this time in your relationship and sex life. If we have to be stuck at home, we might as well get some benefit.
Singles Can Benefit, Too
If you’re single, you shouldn’t be going out and getting together with other people while we’re all supposed to be hunkered down at home. Fortunately, you can still use this time to invest in your sex life. Use the extra time to think about what you want your sex life to be when you do get together with someone, whether for a night or a lifetime. Think about your favorite past sexual encounters and try to identify what made them so exciting, so you have some ideas for future encounters. Great sex lives are made, not found.
Make a point of spending some extra time on enjoying yourself. Take a long shower or bath. Maybe have a drink (but probably not more than one). Get comfortable. Get out your favorite lube or toy. Find something arousing to watch, read or listen to. Don’t rush to the end; take your time to really enjoy it, in a way that can be hard to do when we’re pressed for time and when sexual activities (solo or partnered) are the last thing that happens at night.
There are a lot of negatives associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, but perhaps we can benefit from some extra quality time, whether with our romantic partner or ourselves. And perhaps this makes it easier to tolerate staying at home which means fewer infected people which may make this whole mess go away more quickly. We’re supposed to stay in bed when we’re sick, but maybe now staying in bed will keep us from getting sick.
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