It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since we’ve been living with COVID-19 restrictions. Regardless of your home life, you are probably, like many women, finding it a little bit trickier to get some alone time or time for intimacy and sex. It can be easy to dismiss it, go to bed early or just act like it’s not bothering you. It is….
For me, I’m a married mother of 4 and my husband works midnights. My sex life was already “challenged” by a less than ideal work schedule. Now with 3 kids in the house ALL THE TIME, it’s even more challenging to carve out not only time but the interest some days.
My days are so flooded with cooking, cleaning, working from home, caring for the dogs, and a million other things that weigh on my mind, and some days, honestly, sex is the last thing on my mind. I often reflect on those pre-marital emotions and “tingles” you get. The make-out sessions and the intense passionate sex we would have on those nights where the kids were at grandma’s.
There is light at the end of the COVID tunnel and soon we will be back to life as we used to know it where our homes will include intimate quiet time. Until then, here are 5 ways I learned to improve my sexual journey during quarantine.
I don’t love scheduled sex. I feel like it’s harder for me to “get in the mood” when I try to plan for it. For us, there are little feet scurrying about us and teenagers coming in and out up until the time my husband leaves for work at night so even scheduling intimacy is challenging for us. We’ve found success in scheduling time over the past few months because the reality just is, if we want it to happen we have no choice but to plan for it.
So, get out your to-do list, ical, “Do” app, or whatever other tool you use to keep yourself together every day, pick the time that you can make work, and then put your effort into getting everything in order so that you can have that intimate connection that both of you are longing for. Trust me, it’s on his mind too and you may even find it a little more arousing as you explore the “how” and “where” you will be making it happen! We sure have.
Journey vs Destination
Sexual satisfaction does not have to end with sex to be satisfying. No matter how long you have been with your partner you will go through ups and downs with what intimacy looks like. I have been married 20 years and trust me, there have been peaks and valleys in our sexual journey, but it’s just that. It’s a sexual journey and some of the most fun we’ve had has been finding things out about each other’s pleasure point that we didn’t know existed.
Just like people change over time, so have our needs and our desires. Don’t be afraid to have that conversation. A night on the couch under a “BIG” blanket touching and rubbing and just trying to be discrete can satisfy both of us more than sex can sometimes because you can’t hide the emotions behind touching and rubbing like sex can sometimes do on one or both sides.
Take time to focus on your sexual self-esteem
For some it can come naturally however for others it may be a constant struggle. I struggle with this. I struggle because of my weight, I overthink my performance and then there are just days where mentally I can’t shut my mind off enough to even concentrate on sex.
Sexual self-esteem can have an impact on not only your ability to receive sexual pleasure but also on your partner. For a long time, I couldn’t have sex with any lights on. My husband eventually explained to me that he LOVES to see me and to look at my body. It was hard to hear because I am so self-conscious but then he further explained that it’s part of his pleasure too and I quickly realized that my lack of self-confidence in this area is taking away from our overall experience and that’s not fair.
If you find me the woman who loves every inch of her body then I’ll rebut this statement, but there will always be ways that we want to improve, that’s a natural emotion and as a woman, we just naturally want to always be better than we were the day before. Don’t let your quest for self-improvement interfere with your partner being able to enjoy you. They love you and your body and if your body is an issue then you should head to my next point to make that a priority for you and your partner.
Communication & Gratitude
It’s hard to see through some of the trauma that we have endured over the past year. Taking time with your partner to talk and show gratitude with your partner can not only be enlightening but that time together can be hauntingly intimate and bring back those “tingles” that you thought you may have lost.
Sex is a topic that we sometimes don’t feel free to discuss. I used to hold in all my emotions or thoughts about our sexual encounters until my husband came out and told me how much he loved when I rubbed his inner thigh. That conversation then evolved into the bedroom and after sex, before we get ready to roll over and fall asleep we spend a few minutes cuddling and thanking each other.
Yes, after 20 years we still thank each other for sex and acknowledge what we really enjoyed not for any other reason than we are grateful for being able to have that time together and we cherish how we make each other feel in these moments. Neither you nor your partner is a mind reader, and while I love the idea of body language, words are so much easier to interpret and tend to result in your expected results.
Don’t forego your self-care
Ladies – take time for self-care! We will often sacrifice self-care simply because we mask it with all the other important tasks, we are doing that makes us feel good. Going to watch my kids play sports makes me feel happy, but it’s not self-care. If I’m not at my best I can say with complete confidence that I can’t perform my best, and that doesn’t just apply in the bedroom.
A clear mind, a healthy body, and a feeling of control help me to feel invigorated. When I feel invigorated I can more easily feel relaxed and in turn, my husband and I more easily talk and have more natural sexual interactions.
Self-care is critical to keep you feeling your best. It doesn’t just mean going for a spa day either, it can be simple things. I like to get up and get a shower 30 minutes earlier than my kids because that gives me time to enjoy my coffee alone before the madness of the day begins. Lately, I’ve been committing to eating better. I work with a nutritionist and found foods that just make me feel good.
This change to my eating has given me more energy and I don’t find myself crashing around 8 pm with a stomach ache after a day of grazing. Going to the gym walks on your lunch break or even something simple like just putting your phone away and reading a book before you go to bed can be just enough time to focus on you.
Self-care for me is one of the few items in my life that I have complete control over. I control how much or how little and I am fully accountable when I succeed or even on the days I fail at it (which there definitely are). You can not care for anyone if you are not feeling your best so give yourself the attention that you give to everyone else.
I relearned there will be good days and bad ones as we move towards a brighter light at the end of the COVID tunnel, but rest assured, there are tons of resources. Don’t sacrifice your sex life and don’t put it on hold thinking that it’s easier to just wait until the conditions are better. Intimacy with your partner is a part of your relationship, and just like all the other parts of your relationship, intimacy needs to be nurtured, even if it looks a little bit different than it has in the past for you.
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