Lockdown libido loss is for real. Stress, fatigue and sorrow have run over our regular routines, and taken our emotional and physical health for a toss. Hashtag India explores the toll this has taken on the sex lives of people with inputs from Dr. Anubha Singh, Gynecologist.
Lockdown would have been an ideal opportunity to get close with your partner and spend some quality time, but it hasn’t been the case for a lot of people. But, between caring for your quarantined family members and trying not to catch COVID-19 yourself, sex might be the last thing on your mind. Let’s be real, the days since 2020 March have been plenty stressful. The uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, and the fact that no one really knows when this might end, has resulted in widespread panic. Between a global pandemic, anxieties have been skyrocketing unchecked. Will schools reopen in September? Will I still have a job come next month? Are my family members and loved ones safe enough? You have every reason to feel swamped.
Even apart from all the anxieties, most couples in India have also been facing the issue of considerably compromised privacy. Certainly, one of the frequent issues is no time, no energy, and no privacy. Intimacy is often a natural result of two individuals who desire a closeness, merging or fusion of themselves but for those who share their home with partners, family members or kids, intimacy is scarce. Shefali Arora, (name changed) a teacher, shares that very few boundaries delineate us while we eat, sleep, work and navigate the same space all day long. The more we are aware of the other members in the house, the less appealing is the idea of getting intimate with your partner. “There is also the added burden of physical work due to non availability of house maids,” says Shefali.
The pandemic and related concerns about health, income, work, children and the uncertainty of it all can leave us feeling overtaxed and under-resourced. You can’t be stressed and have great sex. You need to feel at ease, and safe. There are a lot of obvious reasons why people can’t relax right now.
When the body is stressed, it releases cortisol, a hormone that causes us to feel withdrawn and pressured. Our body will pull resources from anything that’s not essential to our basic life functions. It also decreases the release of testosterone in your body, making it hard to desire intimacy. When cortisol is raised for long periods of time, say, during a worldwide pandemic, it impacts everything from digestion, to immune function, to body fat storage, and the ability of your brain to process and react to sexual cues. So even people who typically have a high sex drive may experience a decrease in desire.
Treatment Unfortunately there is no simple pill that people can pop, forget about their problems and get to their normal sex life. The pandemic has been taxing on all our basic life functions, and sex is one of them. Eat healthy, exercise frequently, and work on maintaining a healthy emotional relationship with your partner. Acknowledging and discussing your sex life with your partner is always a healthy habit, and will help you stay on the same page, and be considerate of each other. Taking care of each other, and of your own physical, emotional, and mental well-being will keep you healthy in the long run, and once times get better, you can always find that spark in your relationships. Staying safe and sane are the most important requirements in the chaos that is the Covid-19 pandemic.
You can also take steps to boost your libido on your own. The following have the potential to increase your libido:
- Live a healthier lifestyle
- Get enough sleep
- Practice stress management
- Reduce alcohol intake
- You cannot be stressed and have great sex. You need to feel at ease and safe.
- Cortisol hormone released during stress causes a significant decrease in any possibility of arousal or desire, affecting even those who otherwise have a high sex drive.
- Stress and no physical activity are one of the major reasons for loss of libido.
- Acknowledging and discussing your sex life with your partner is always a healthy habit, and will help you stay on the same page, and be considerate of each other.
- Low sex drive tends to affect women more frequently than men due to significant hormonal changes. These are goaded by fatigue, stress, and other physiological factors.