How I’m Honoring A Low Libido During The Pandemic
It’s Okay To Not Feel Sexy During A Pandemic
Many of us experience subtleties in everyday life that signal a sexual response. It may be a smell, touch, or visual that ignites a need for pleasure. These sensations are linked to our libido, or our emotional and physical desire for sex. Still, sexual desire and response vary from person to person.
Our nervous system plays a huge role in our libido’s function, namely our endocrine and sensory systems. When our hormones go through fluctuations, our libido goes along for the ride. These fluctuations are also affected by stress—and this has been especially true this year during COVID-19. We’re all experiencing internal and external stressors, which can impact our desire (or lack thereof) for sex. And while some of us may find sex soothing and helpful for easing this stress, others may discover they have low libido.
In realizing how my libido is being affected, I’m also noticing my mind’s need to focus on preserving my health, as well as the nourishment of my body. During this pandemic, I’ve been more concerned about ensuring we have food, checking in on loved ones, and caring for my emotional wellbeing. With such uncertainty swirling around us, there is a distinct tension within my body and my brain. As a result, I am hardly thinking about sex; I am more often turning to yoga and meditation to help release tension and reconnect to my body.
In honoring my body’s fluctuations, I’ve found a deeper understanding of what my body needs. I’m okay with sex not being a top priority right now; it allows me to give my body rest and nourishment instead.
Here are some of the practices I have been using to help with low libido during this time.
Releasing The Need To Control
There are many ways that we’re learning to release control right now. And this is important for our response to sex, as well. If sex is not what your body wants, that’s okay. When our libido is low, it’s good to give our bodies attention in other ways. Focus on what you can control by eating nutritious foods, listening to your favorite music, and allowing yourself to just be.
For me, listening to my favorite music and cooking are ways I can release control during this season. Music has been such a huge comfort, and whenever I find myself needing to relax, I turn on a soothing playlist. There’s also so much satisfaction in cooking, especially as it can calm anxiety and depression through practices like Ayurveda.
When our libido is low, we can experiment with self-touch. This practice can help with relieving stress, and the intimacy experienced with yourself can be profoundly comforting. Sensual touch also increases oxytocin, which reduces stress hormones in the body and helps to increase libido. If this is something you’d like to explore, consider investing in a sex toy to explore your own comforting touch.
Get Some Good Sleep
For many of us, our sleep schedules have changed during the pandemic. When we don’t get enough sleep or our sleep is inconsistent, we can experience a decrease in libido. Giving our bodies adequate rest helps regulate our hormones. Take note of how your sleep schedule has changed, and if you notice that your libido is low, consider getting more rest as a way to increase your sexual response.
Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
Exercising in any capacity is a wonderful and natural tool to increase libido, and dance gives the body the freedom to move at its own rhythm. Especially in times of low libido, dancing can reduce stress and help us reconnect with our bodies through movement.
My husband and I have been having date nights where we get dressed up, order food, and dance together. We have taken salsa classes in our living room, and we’ve put on our favorite playlists and just danced around. We are able to connect physically through dance, and it helps us to relax and have fun together. I also love dancing in the kitchen while cooking dinner. It’s such a beautiful way to connect to my body physically and even sensually.
Remember, everyone’s responses to stress looks different and we all experience our libido in unique ways. The key is finding what works for you. Sexual pleasure may not be something that gives you physical satisfaction and that’s okay, too. More than ever, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to listen to our bodies and honor what they need. It is in those practices that we can find comfort—and maybe even pleasure.
We would love to hear about your libido journey during this time! Share in the comments below.
Courtney Jay is a writer at The Good Trade. She is also a yoga instructor, health enthusiast, and sustainable fashion advocate. She believes the most powerful way to nurture the planet is to nurture ourselves. You can find more of her writing and take one of her online yoga classes on her website Coincide.