I had hoped that being isolated with HL all day would allow us to ramp things up a bit sexually, but the current lockdown seems to have had the opposite effect and led to a loss in libido. I am not sure if I am alone in this, but it seems odd considering that there should be more opportunity to spark things between us and not less. The weird thing is that I don’t seem to mind. Although it feels like I should want the heat and spice, I wonder if my mind has just accepted that my libido has switched into dormant mode, along with some of the other aspects of my life.
We talked about this last night as I don’t think that HL has been feeling it either. We thought initially that it was about adjusting and had a lot of discussion around how to make us the focus in our newly changed situation. But actually, despite ideas and plans, nothing has really changed. We seem to be on a bit of a go slow and, although we are not doing anything which should be exhausting us, we seem to be lacking some of our usual energy and fire. We came to the conclusion there were a few things playing into this.
Lack of engagement with others
There is something about engagement with others that somehow reinforces your place in the world. I think that as people, so often we spark off others, and they way that we are viewed can often form part of our own identity. This can make us feel more confident and boost our self-esteem, so I suppose it stands to reason that without this, we might feel a little bit lost. Engagement with others can also feed into our own creative energy and so not having this can leave us feeling a bit stagnant or even numb.
Adapting to change
The parts of that brain where desire is located, also manage our emotional responses. Currently our brains will be focussed on survival and many of us are also dealing with high levels of anxiety. Adapting to these changes may mean that your brain is not just stimulated less by the interactions in the world around you, but also focussed on the more basic needs and on managing your own levels of stress. Although for some, this can increase their libido, for others it will feel as if it comes and goes, or may seem to drop away altogether.
Making an effort
Changes in routine, and not leaving the house for long periods of time may mean that you stop making the same effort or taking the same care over yourself that you used to. Dressing in a certain way to leave for work at the office may be replaced by comfortable or practical attire, better suited to working from home. While comfortable and practical can feel relaxing and comforting, it may not spark your libido in the same way as taking time over your appearance might do, and over time, this can affect the way that you feel.
For many of us, life on lockdown will be less active and more sedentary than our regular routine would be. In addition to exercising less, we may also be treating ourselves by eating and drinking differently than we usually would – a sort of holiday mood kicks in. While actual changes to our bodies tend to happen very gradually, psychologically we can get into the wrong mindset pretty fast. Feeling heavy or slow or bloated is definitely a passion killer, and although changes can easily be made, it requires considerable effort, particularly when a habit has formed.
Being in constant close contact with family members can be tricky and relationships can become strained. The pressure cooker effect doesn’t lead to feeling sexy, and while sex can be a great stress reliever, it isn’t always the first thing we think of. Struggling for privacy may be another issue and feeling like there is no space to engage with your partner means that the tender moments you often share which help to keep your spark, may suddenly have to be put on hold. You may also simply be exhausted from trying to juggle work and family commitments in a new way.
In times of stress, allowing yourself to feel less can be a coping mechanism
Although the part of my brain which has lost its libido is telling me just to sit it out and let it go, there is still a part of me that wants to make things better. There is a part that still sees this as an opportunity to make changes to the things we are doing now and get back on track by reversing a number of the causes above and switching them around. I know from that past that it is easy to fall into the trap of switching off a bit so that the bad stuff doesn’t feel as bad, but it also blocks us from getting the best from the good bits that are within out reach too.
Although I set out to write about being resigned to putting my libido on hold for the lockdown, thinking about why this has happened has actually made me feel more like I want to do something to change it. Hopefully with some effort and some thought we can make more of an effort, get more active and kick some of the bad habits that we have allowed to slip in. Being creative about the ways we engage and interact, and demonstrating the genuine love we have for each other will surely be a good place to start, but I will keep you posted.
I have written a few posts about how the lockdown has affected me, including a diary entry. The diary was part of a project I was invited to take part in by May More, where seven bloggers recorded their thoughts over seven days. I am excited to say that our book, Seven Days in April: The Lockdown Diaries, is now available on Amazon.