Living in close quarters and not addressing the issue (even if it’s only an issue for one of you), will put unnecessary stress on your relationship. You don’t need this when you’re in quarantine.
Instead of looking at the potential negative effects of broaching the subject with your partner – try looking at the potential benefits (of which there are lots!).
You’ll be getting vulnerable with your partner. Vulnerability can increase emotional intimacy which in turn, can increase libido. And increased libido can lead to more and better sex.
You’ll be increasing the chances of sex that you actually want to have. Sex you crave. If you want your partner to touch you in a different way, to initiate sex more, to help you orgasm, or to stop doing that thing that makes you not want to have sex – talking about it is going to let them know. And when they know, they can make the necessary changes.
Tips on how to talk about sex
1. Let your partner know how you feel
If you’re nervous – tell them. If you’re worried, let them know that too. By telling your significant other how you feel about the topic, you’ll be giving them important information that also serves as an ice-breaker. This will likely increase the chances of a better conversation.
Once they know how you feel they can try and make it easier for you (or share your feelings).
Are you feeling a bit awkward talking about sex with your partner? Read 4 Things To Keep In Mind When Talking About Sex With Your Partner
2. Tell them you love them
When our partner doesn’t want to sleep with us anymore it can feel disheartening – like they’re not in love with us anymore. If you’re still in love, let them know!
This will help buffer against conflict while talking about sexual differences or sexual issues.
3. Try avoiding the words “you”, “never” and “always”
When we’re stressed or feel criticized it’s easy to start saying things like “you always want sex” or “you never want to have sleep with me”.
Instead – use “I” statements. “I don’t really feel like having sex right now – could we talk about this?” or “I know you want to have sex right now, but I’m not in the mood, even though I still love you and am attracted to you”.
When you move the focus from what your partner is doing wrong, to what you’re experiencing or feeling, the conversation is less likely to spark a conflict. And you’re more likely to solve your sexual problems.
4. Change what sex is.
When we haven’t had sex for a while, the mere idea of having it can turn us off.
It can feel like a chore. Like something we have to cross off of our to-do list, or performance we need to put on.
When sex feels impossible and sparks anxiety or worry it’s important to know that this isn’t abnormal and that there are ways of getting past it.
For one reason or another – your brain now equates sex with something negative. To turn it around you need to get your brain on board with sex again.
Are you and your partner facing relationship stress in the bedroom due to quarantine? Read Low Sexual Desire In Couples: 3 Ways To Deal With The Dilemma Of Intimacy
A few helpful ways of doing this are:
- Placing a playful ban on the thing that’s stressing you out. Even if it feels like everything about sex is a turn-off right now – try and work out if there are any specifics about sex that turn it into an ordeal. Perhaps it’s the idea of oral sex or the way your partner touches you during vaginal penetration that makes you want to avoid sex altogether. If this resonates with you – try removing it and see how you feel about having sex now you know it’s not going to happen. When we remove common staples from our sex lives – we force ourselves to get creative. And when we get creative, we’re more likely to increase our libido and actually feel like having sex. This gives our brain a chance to experience sex as something different – hopefully something exciting.
- Talking about those times together.
Even if your sex life is subpar at the moment, hopefully, you’ve created some positive sexual memories in the past. Talk about them! You’ll be surprised how quickly this kind of conversation can make sex go from a turn-off to a turn-on. For a lot of people, especially women, our libido is responsive in nature – not spontaneous. This means our brain needs to be reminded of how good sex can be. By having an open conversation about sex you’ll be giving your brain and body an incentive to spark your sex drive. And when you’re in quarantine together, sex can be a great way to pass the time.
- Turn sex into something small. Sex doesn’t have to be 45 minutes long with simultaneous orgasms – and once we remove that pressure by turning sex into something small – our libido can return. Try making out, getting aroused together by reading an erotic story or watching something sexy, or masturbating next to each other.
Being stuck in quarantine is stressful for many reasons; we worry about our health, the health of the planet, and where our next pay-check is going to come from. You don’t need to add worrying about your relationship to this list.
- If you’re annoyed with each other – focus on the positives and do an intimacy inventory.
- If you’re stressed and taking it out on each other – find other coping mechanisms, like mindfulness and realizing that this will pass.
- If your sexual problems are looming – talk about it. Try removing the things that make it stressful, talk about the good times together and turn sex into something small and do-able.
Signed, a sex therapist who’s currently in quarantine.