File picture: Pexels
File picture: Pexels

Lows and highs of sex in the time of coronavirus

By Lesego Makgatho Time of article published Apr 5, 2020

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Johannesburg – With South Africa in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, couples and singles are likely to experience sexual frustration throughout this period.

According to sexologist and relationship expert Marlene Wasserman, better known as Dr Eve, this unprecedented lockdown will have two different effects on people’s sexual desires.

Some individuals will experience a diminished sexual desire while in others, libido will increase as they spend quality time with their romantic partners.

Some of the changes or experiences single women (and men) may find themselves going through during this lockdown include anger at the loss of agency, loss of choices, loss of authority over one’s body, loss of pleasure as well as a loss of human touch and absence of intimate connection, explained Dr Eve.

“Some people may become depressed and others anxious, which manifests as anger, aggression, crankiness, and conflict. The need for risky sexual behaviour can increase when feeling this way,” said Dr Eve.

She emphasised that this period can also be strenuous for couples who are currently living apart.

Instead of dwelling on the negative, Dr Eve said there are creative ways that couples can ignite the spark in their relationships and keep themselves and their partners sexually satisfied.

She said technology can be a great aid for adding sexual mojo in a relationship, especially for those who are in lockdown in different locations. She recommends regular video chats.

“Because of the screen between people, there is often more freedom and risk-taking. Couples may feel safer to share sexual fantasies, be sexual together, talk more and develop deeper intimacy, and even use sex toys that are in their homes.”

However, she warned that sex toys need to be cleaned thoroughly before each use.

Asked if there was any truth to claims that traffic to porn sites spiked due to the lockdown, she said “of course” adding that it is an indication of an increase in masturbation.

“Of course, masturbation has increased. I am pleased about this as it is recommended as the safest form of sexual activity right now. Be sure to wash your hands before playing solo,” she warned and advised that masturbating is wonderful for releasing stress, lowering anxiety, aiding sleep and relaxation.

“It also remains the least-pressurising sexual activity - no one else to focus on, no pressure to perform and one knows exactly what one needs. Women are also much more likely to become orgasmic with masturbation than with a partner during sex.”

The Sunday Independent

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