When our in-person social lives dwindled (er, absolutely tanked), you’d think our libido would go up ten-fold. There literally is nothing else in the world to do than have sex or masturbate—you know, besides taking care of your kids all day long. But don’t fret; if your libido has seriously taken a hit since staying at home, you’re not alone.
Many of us are feeling an immense amount of stress right now: work, health, relationships, motherhood, current events—it’s no wonder we’re not excited to have sex! “During this time many people are affected by the quarantine in different ways,” said Board Certified Sex Therapist, Ieshai T. Bailey, CMHC, LMHC, CST. “Depending on the situation, stress levels are at an all time high. And stress isn’t sexy! Stress, specifically chronic stress, can have a significant impact on our sex lives. Chronic stress causes us to produce the hormone cortisol which in turn lowers our libido.”
So, how exactly do we slough off that stress and get busy? If you’re wondering how to boost your sex life right now, getting your libido back to where it was is the start, and it doesn’t have to be weird or awkward. Here, we’re discussing easy ways to get in the mood and get back to amazing sex right away.
1. Find healthy ways to cope with stress
“Getting back sexually after the pandemic can start with lowering our stress levels and finding other ways to cope,” Bailey said. Obviously, getting our stress levels down is a goal for any of us right now. But, as Bailey points out, it might be one of the most important things we do for our sex lives this year. “Our sex lives are not only affected by hormones, but other factors as well, such as psychological and social factors. Getting back to being close and intimate with others, and taking care of our mental health and physical well-being can be helpful.”
So, how do we start? Well, for starters, stress-reducing behaviors are pretty personal, so if you know what works for you (taking a bath, reading a book, having a dance party in the kitchen, going for a run, etc.), do that. But there are some other ways you have both reduce stress and purposefully get your mind in the gutter for once.
2. Get some sleep
If you’re not well-rested, you’re likely not going to be too excited to ruffle around in the covers. But how the heck do we get more sleep right now (or ever really)? Likely, this tip has to be performed in tandem with another way to relax so that you can sleep. Our editors love CBD (especially CBD baths!), staying off technology before bed, and exercising in the evening.
3. Talk about sex
Although it might seem awkward, the simple act of talking about sex with your friends and partner can get your head in the right space. Think about what makes sex fun and why you enjoy it; then, ask yourself what you want to have in your sex life. A fun way to do this without airing your sex life over the dinner table or talking in whispers while the kids bang on the door is via sexting.
Yeah, I get you—why the heck would I want to sext if I can’t get in the mood? But sexting doesn’t always have to be “put this here” and nude photos; it’s also simply talking about sex and your sex life. Tell your partner what you love about your sex life, or that you miss that one thing they do to you. Simply telling them that you appreciate how open-minded and adventurous they are in the bedroom might start a conversation. It doesn’t have to be X-rated to be sexy and inspiring!
4. Build intimacy
If you’re with a partner, do things that build intimacy without having sex. Communicate with each other beyond “how was work today?” when you sit down for dinner. Do activities that you enjoy together. Be vulnerable with each other. Appeal to each other’s Love Language. Do what you can to inspire intimacy and thoughtfulness between each other that don’t involve sex. This will might ultimately encourage the two of you to seek intimacy in other ways, *wink wink*.
5. Talk to your partner about your libido
If you’re finding that your partner’s libido is higher than yours at the moment, talk about it. Having a libido that’s lower than your partner happens often, and it’s not the end of your sex life. Talk about what’s going on with you and why you’re feeling the way you do. Can’t put your finger on the issue? That’s OK! Getting it out and telling your partner that you’re feeling a certain way is the perfect start.
6. Get touchy
Although you might not be ready to go full-blast into having sex, simply being touchy with your partner might inspire it later on. Touch their arm while you’re watching TV, or play with their hair. This also goes beyond having a partner. If you’re trying to boost your libido on your own, the act of getting comfortable with your body once again might do it. Don’t be afraid to touch yourself in the shower and enjoy it! Get naked even when you’re just sitting around. Being comfortable with yourself is an important part of boosting your libido, as your sex drive can plummet when you feel insecure or uncomfortable with yourself.
7. Engage in mutual masturbation
Sometimes, it can feel uncomfortable to have sex, but you feel OK masturbating on your own. If you have a partner, ask if they would be interested in mutual masturbation, or masturbating together. For one, it’s hot AF. But it’s also another way to build that magical intimacy between the two of you. Inspire that intimacy even further by getting sexual in a way that doesn’t seem uncomfortable or “too much” for you right now.
Not only does regular exercise reduce stress and relax the body, but it’s also a great way to feel confident and strong. Don’t tell me that you don’t feel at least a little sexy after completing a hard workout? Yes, you’re sweaty and maybe more than a little flushed, but maybe your arms look more defined than last week, or you lifted a heavier weight and feel stronger than ever. Being comfortable with yourself and your body is a great starting point to feeling better in the bedroom. Bailey recommended exercise as a way to reduce stress and get your libido back, so it’s totally sex therapist-approved.
If you want to exercise with your partner, have at it! Exercise alone is libido-boosting, but together, it’s like a whole form of foreplay.
9. Do things that make you feel sexy
Again, we’re all about making you feel hot and confident in the bedroom. Before you want to have sex with your partner or yourself, do those little things that make you feel like a million bucks. Take a bath with one of your expensive bath bombs, get in lingerie, walk around naked, dry brush—these are just a few examples of easy ways to get yourself in the zone.
10. Read (or listen to!) erotica
Erotica doesn’t have to be a book called something like “The Huntress’ Maiden” with an absolutely jarring image of two barely clothed individuals. Read these steamy romance novels that actually have a whole plot and storyline you’ll love, plus lots and lots of absolutely hot sex. We also love Dipsea, an app for audio erotica that will absolutely blow your socks off.