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“My sex drive and enjoyment has been way down since the pandemic. Is this normal and experienced by others? How do I go about it? I usually have a really high sex drive and am mourning its loss quite a lot.”

How does one qualify or define ‘normal?’ If you’re experiencing something, then it’s normal.

Short answer? Yes. I took the liberty of running an Instagram poll asking a variation of your question and let me tell you—an overwhelming majority said they’re experiencing loss of sex drive in the COVID-era. Hopefully that eases any concerns about your lack of sex drive being “normal.” But it’s also important to ask, what is normal, anyway? How does one qualify or define “normal?” If you’re experiencing something, then it’s normal. 💛

If my Scorpio necklace didn’t give it away, then I will right now: Pre-pandemic, I would have described myself as having quite a high sex drive, too. Since the start of COVID, it’s waxed and waned as often as the moon (that is to say, a lot). We’re living in some seriously traumatic times, and everyone’s body responds to that trauma differently. It’s something we’ve all had to learn to adapt to *adds “trauma response” to laundry list of things learned in COVID*. 

There are, of course, a lot of variables that play into this lack of sex drive (e.g., having a partner, living with said-partner, children, working outside of the home, etc). I don’t have the answers to any of them in your specific case, but I can speak to my own experiences here, and have looped some friends in to see how others are going about this feeling too! Here are my “top tips for feeling myself.”

Practice self-compassion. That’s it, that’s the tweet.
  1. Practice self-compassion. That’s it, that’s the tweet. (If you need a jumping off point, I suggest starting by thanking your body for all it has done for you throughout this pandemic, even if wanting to get down isn’t one of them! It has kept you alive in this time, and you can be proud of it for that alone.)

  2. Get in touch with yourself! 👀 If you live with your partner, maybe you haven’t had much alone time in the last year (we feel ya) and need to get in tune with yourself! That could mean treating yourself to a new toy or watching some ethical porn—whatever gets you in tune with remembering what feels good for your body.

  3. Move! Multiple friends said that movement, dance, and yoga all help them feel in their bodies. Put on a favorite song and don’t worry about looking silly, do some cat-cow stretches to start, or if you’re feeling up for it, join an online dance or yoga class. Movement helps me feel more like myself, too, although mine comes in the form of a long walk or hike, something that helps me feel empowered (I have about as much rhythm as a wooden plank, so that could be it).

  4. As a friend pointed out to me, spontaneous arousal is not happening as often with the lack of scenery changes and general stagnation of life right now. To combat, she’s creating little sensory moments for herself, by doing things like taking a hot bath with a great playlist and some incense, exfoliating in the shower, self-massage, or putting on something silky and soft (more importantly, something you feel good in).

  5. If you’re booed up, check in with your partner! Open communication is KEY 🔑 in any healthy relationship, and this is definitely something that needs to be discussed. If you’re feeling like your sex drive is low but your partner’s is not, you can gently remind them that we’re living through some really trying times. Look for ways to connect beyond sexual intimacy. Physical touch without sex, emotional intimacy, and intellectually stimulating conversations are all things that help me personally feel closer to my partner, even if I’m in a low sex drive phase.

Look for ways to connect beyond sexual intimacy.

Most importantly, my sweet angel, your libido will return! This moment is not permanent, though it may seem that way. It’s not, I promise. There is so much happening beyond our control, it’s okay to go easy on yourself! It is also valid to mourn this loss in this moment. But your sex drive won’t be gone forever—and you are most certainly not alone. 💛

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Alyssa Julian is the Social Media Lead at The Good Trade. She’s LA born and raised, and when she’s not scrolling her phone for the latest trends, she can be found at the farmers’ market, camping out of the back of her Subaru, or searching for adoptable dogs on Petfinder. If she’s not off-grid for the weekend, try looking for her at her home studio, where she’s probably making cups for a new coffee shop. Say hi on Instagram! 👋