From the Boxing Ring to the Bedroom: Couples and COVID-19

fighting couple angry marriage

There is no beating around the bush here. Being held hostage in your home with your partner is no walk in the park. And, if you’re like me, you also have kids to (pretend to) homeschool, all while working and trying to keep everyone alive. Nothing about this situation screams sexy. As a matter of fact, everything seems like ONE. BIG. LIBIDO. BLOCKER. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

When disaster happens in life, regardless of what it is, we tend to focus all of our energy on it, and neglect everything else…even our relationships. It’s sort of backwards, considering what we need MOST right now are our relationships – intimate, and platonic. So, how do we stay connected to our partners during a time of high stress and internal (and external) chaos? Here are a few tips.

  1. Carve out time for yourself, without your partner. I know it seems counterproductive, but living on top of each other is more of a desire smasher than you think. Absence makes the loins grow fonder…or is it heart? or both? Color, paint your nails, shave, take a hot bath, read, clean out your closet, watch Netflix, etc. If you have kids, take turns doing this.
  2. If you have children, keeping life as “normal” as possible will not only help them with their anxiety, but also you with yours. Getting them to sleep at the regular time gives you and your partner time alone. This leads me to my next tip…
  3. Make time to connect. To be honest, if your sex drive isn’t off the charts right now, (understandable) do something together that doesn’t necessarily involve sex. Maybe watch a movie together. Laugh at your favorite YouTube clips. Play a fun couples question game (there are thousands online). Set up an adult friend virtual hangout on Skype, Zoom, or Facebook messenger!
  4. Communicate. Holy hell, communicate. Everyone deals with anxiety and fear differently – especially within heterosexual relationships. What may come out as anger, might really be underlying anxiety, fear, or overwhelm. Sometimes just checking in with your partner is a nice opening to a vulnerable conversation. Something as easy as, “Hey – how are you holding up with all of this? I know we haven’t talked about our personal feelings much. Is there anything I can do to help you (and ultimately us) get through this with less anxiety?” Especially with kids, we tend to focus on how they are adjusting, and we forget that adults are just as impacted by the disruption in our “normal” life.
  5. If your sex drive is there but you require a bit more to get in the mood due to so many blockers, you can use this time to up your game! Buy a new toy! (Bellesa is having a 20% off sale right now, but when it’s over you can always use my code NINA15 for 15% off AND free shipping! Just sayin’…). Try out a new genre of porn together. Read erotica. Write your own erotica and share it with your partner (this can be super hot, by the way.) If you are both still working, or not together for any reason, sexting is a big YES in my book. Just make sure your partner is ok with receiving messages of that nature while at work (NSFW, anyone?).
  6. Try to get some exercise. Yes, sex is exercise, but beyond that, too! Go for a walk, do some fun YouTube dance fitness classes, hell – some of these TikTok fads I’m seeing are practically cardio!

Bottom line is this – give yourself a break, go easy on yourself, and go easy on your partner(s). It’s all one big cluster fu*% at the moment, and we may be here for a little bit before things settle. Anytime there is a disruption in our norm, our brain spazzes out a bit. It’s OK. It’s Friday – grab a drink with your partner tonight and do something after the kids go to sleep. If you’re sober, nix the drink and do the rest. After all, we really are all in this together.

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