Sex In Times Of COVID-19: Does It Increase Desire In Quarantine?
Judging by the social media postings, many people are craving sex while confined to their homes. But what about in real life?
The COVID-19 pandemic has most of the world practicing strict hand hygiene and social distancing. This is a particular strain of the virus that has not been previously identified in humans.
For that reason, there is little information about its severity and clinical impact, and while fresh information is coming in at an incredible rate, one medical recommendation has remained constant: the need for social distancing.
So where does sex fall on that spectrum?
Depression and anxiety have a negative effect on libido. Some people are also out of work and unemployment can affect sexual desire.
The type of concern people experience crosses many domains: job security, health, the health of friends and family, retirement, and the ability to access health care, to name a few.
People are nurtured by social interaction, organized routines and hold freedom in high regard. Human beings are culture, interaction and exchange.
The limitation of these social activities causes us discomfort that, according to each person, will manifest itself in different ways.
For some it is irritation, boredom and anxiety, and for others it is lack of air, a feeling of being closed in and bodily discomfort.
Many are beginning to fear death, and psychologists have discovered that fear of death can provoke more sexual desire and behaviors as coping mechanisms.
For example, some studies have found that when people are forced to think about the prospect of their own mortality, they express more interest in casual sex.
We also know that sex is an activity that makes many of us feel more "alive," so it should not surprise us that a pandemic that confines people to their homes promotes more interest in activities that give them this powerful feeling.
The coronavirus epidemic is leading us to rethink many of the sexual practices, both in stable couples, in those who are just starting out, and in those who are alone.
The entire social spectrum is altered since the virus is spread by proximity, through the respiratory droplets that people produce when they cough, sneeze or speak.
In view of the knowledge that we are acquiring day by day, it is important to remember that social contact must be restricted, distance must be maintained and handshakes, hugs and kisses must be avoided.
The distance between people is the rule and precisely sex needs everything that can be dangerous to get infected.
For many, the prevailing anxiety produces widespread abstinence. We live a reality that has us isolated and where the other person becomes the one who can infect us, we find it difficult to connect with eroticism and we suffer a low libido as a result of fear, anguish and anxiety.
Three possible scenarios are presented in the context of relationships: living under the same roof with a quarantined partner, staying in separate houses, and being single. For everyone, it's a whole issue.
We have never spent so much time alone or with other people, we start to look at ourselves differently, we are afraid, panicked and angry, and at the same time we are bombarded with things that seem to need to be done: chatting with friends, exercising, meeting with oneself and thinking positively.
All this torments us and the psyche and the brain - which are used to always doing the same thing and thinking the same way - must suddenly be able to turn to a succession of finding oneself.
This rule does not happen, and it causes a lot of anguish. One finds oneself overflowing into nothingness. We can't concentrate on a book, on a piece of writing, we can't find any free time because we have to deal with new rules and adopt new roles.
Therefore, sex takes a back seat. Not because one does not want to, but because we cannot concentrate on the search for pleasure, with one another or with oneself.
For those who are "trapped" with their partners, the forced quarantine forces them to be more with the other and that situation almost forces them to seek more time to share sexually. To couples who have been together for years, I would say don't push yourself.
There will probably be an encounter, but we shouldn't think about what 'should happen'. You have to understand that there is not necessarily going to be more heat because there is going to be more time. After all, full sexuality is consistency in what I have and what I want to have.
For those who are living apart today, sex through social networks or instant messaging applications can be extremely erotic, exciting and beautiful, but you have to be careful.
The famous sexting is an excellent alternative. With today's technology, you can appeal to video images, audios and even play virtual games. As always, you have to be confident and respectful with the other. These photos are private and sharing them is a crime.
At the same time, if a person decides not to have sex and is happy with that, without a doubt he or she is living a full sexuality, living what he or she wants to live. It's a time of no effort. You have to find yourself on an intimate sexual and personal level.
It's a moment of a lot of self-knowledge. I always tell people to get to know each other, to explore themselves, to look in the mirror, to look at their bodies, to caress themselves, to look for fantasies, movies, stories or songs.
Because self-satisfaction does not make you pregnant or infected, it is healthy, it does good to the heart, the brain, the lungs, it decreases pain because it generates opiates, neurotransmitters that decrease pain, it is free and it is educational.
Prevention takes care of us and imagination frees us from confinement. In these times of isolate people - regardless of their marital status - will have to seek their own style of connection, it is a good challenge to shake up known sexual habits.
Masturbation, the safest sexual practice in times of pandemic?
To help New York City residents understand which sex acts are okay and who is safe to continue having sex with during the coronavirus, New York City health officials issued a memo with tips for enjoying safe sexual health.
Although the guide generated a lot of laughter on social networks, it also gained the respect of citizens, who praised the inclusion of the guide, whose title was "Sex and the Coronavirus (COVID-19)".
Although there is no evidence that the coronavirus can be spread through vaginal secretions or semen, health officials said masturbation is the safest way to stay sexually active during the coronavirus pandemic.
Masturbation is a safe bet, according to health officials. "You are your safest sexual partner," the guide said. "Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex.
Masturbation, the act of giving oneself pleasure through touch or stimulation of the genitals, is not a new concept.
It is the first of the sexual practices that appears in the development of men and women. Its function is the discovery of the erogenous body, the activation of sexual fantasies and favors the appearance of the orgasmic response.
This behavior is given by the most intimate connection with oneself: anxiety is reduced and there is no pressure to be 'synchronized' with another to reach an orgasm.
There is a big difference between how people explore their body and how others do it, especially if it is a different genital configuration.
If sexual pleasure is left in the hands of another, there is the possibility that ignorance will prevent sexual success. That can also mean that sex ends up being painful, uncomfortable or boring.
Masturbation, which usually leads to orgasm, increases endorphins, decreases pain perception, helps relaxation, burns calories, and improves mood, circulation, and sleep.
It brings the blood flow to the genitals, keeping the sexual organs of men and women healthy. Women will enjoy less vaginal atrophy and better lubrication, especially during menopause.
In men, masturbation that results in ejaculation helps keep their prostates healthy and decreases the risk of prostate cancer. In addition, frequent erections help maintain strong erections.
What will safe sex look like in the future?
Right now, the only safe sex is not having sex with partners outside the home. But what happens when we leave our homes again and start thinking about face-to-face dating?
No one knows if we will all have the need to have sex after this quasi-hibernation. One concern is a potential increase in risk-taking and STDs in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic.
For now, the new coronavirus will likely mean less partner sex overall, either due to the lack of a sexual partner at home for some or a decrease in desire for others. Or both.
Hopefully, though, this is only for now, because the more everyone engages in social distancing, the faster we can get back to "the courts.