4 Reasons The Coronavirus Has Put My Sex Life On Life Support
For one thing, there's a third person in our marriage right now.
Just before I gave birth to our son, I remember one of my friends giving me a knowing smile. I had commented that my husband and I were getting ready for one last night on the town, wink wink, and I was excited at the prospect of a date night that took my mind off my swollen ankles.
“Enjoy it now,” she said. “Because having kids means sex becomes impossible.” I shrugged off her kill-joy attitude and vowed that it would not be the case for my husband and me. And it wasn’t, mostly.
Without telling tales out of school, we became pretty adept at making time for, well, sexy time. Frankly, looking back, nap time was practically a gift-wrapped opportunity for us to reconnect with each other. Sure, we were exhausted 90 percent of the time, but we had toddlers who, thankfully, went to bed early in the evening. It wasn’t all that hard, if I’m being honest.
Now that we are burgeoning empty nesters with two teens about to head to college, we have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. Having teens with busy social lives means Friday nights can be “clothing optional” evenings for the grownups. Well, at least until curfew. Ahem. We’ve become the ones waiting impatiently for the kids to head out for the evening so that we can sneak around our house like teens.
And it was blissful. Until coronavirus showed up and said, “Oh, you have all the time in the world to have sex? Here, hold my beer.” Since we’ve been quarantined, our sex life has taken a nosedive. And while there are many reasons we haven’t felt like getting it on in the last few weeks, there are a few obstacles that keep showing up.
There’s nowhere to hide. Literally.
With teens in the house, someone is up at pretty much all hours of the night. There’s never a time when our teens simultaneously announce that they are going to do their parents a solid and head to bed at 8 p.m. while wearing noise-canceling headphones. Between Netflix binge sessions, late night video games with friends, and gossipy FaceTime calls with loud girls, our house has basically become a teen free-for-all. And, unlike summer vacation, there’s no end in sight, no date on the calendar where we know things will be back to “normal.”
The news cycle is soul crushing and hard to process.
Let’s face it: It’s just hard to feel in the mood when the news is so constantly devastating. And, while quarantine living has definitely caused my husband and I to connect more often with long evening walks and cocktails on our patio, the 24/7 reminder that social distancing needs to be a way of life right now kills the romance of getting handsy with each other. The coronavirus has brought forth deep fears in both of us, and it has been tough on our mental health. Frankly, it feels a little selfish to miss sex amid these uncertain times.
The dog is a total tattletale.
Sure, the little shih tzu who rules this house usually keeps mum about the goings on around here when the kids aren’t home, but she’s not a fan of closed doors. Recently, my husband and I decided to “take a nap,” figuring that our pup would hang out with our teens who were obliviously engrossed in a movie. Not so much. In fact, not only did she sit in front of our door and scratch like crazy, but she barked her head off until one of our teens came up to investigate. Naturally, you can imagine that the mood was over pretty quickly thanks to our little tattletale.
There’s a third person in our marriage right now: stress.
When the word “quarantine” started to enter our collective conversations, my husband and I went into panic mode, albeit both in different manners. I spent a week cooking and doubling our favorite meals to freeze in case of food shortages and he spent time assessing our finances and tending to home projects that had to be done immediately. Worries about paying for college, our older family members contracting the virus, and the very real possibility that my husband could be called back to patient care from his physician executive job have made stress the third person in our marriage.
But, while stress has taken up residence in our daily lives for a while, we’ve also found that hugging and constant communication helps, even if we aren’t connecting on a deeper level.
While coronavirus has definitely put the kibosh on our romantic life right now, my husband and I are closer than ever. Without the chaos of driving teens to over-scheduled activities and our commuting schedule at a standstill, there’s simply more time to be together. We have more time to spend doing the dishes after dinner and more time to catch up on our favorite TV shows and movies.
Holding hands in a dark room during a movie and stealing kisses while putting away groceries have made us feel like teens again. It’s a different kind of connection — and exactly what we need right now.
Of course, we are certainly finding unique ways to spice things up, even if it means getting up a little earlier in the morning or sending the kids on a really long walk with the dog. We’ve spent 20 years figuring out how to have a decent sex life with kids and a tattletale dog: Quarantine life just keeps things interesting around here.