WITH bad news dominating the headlines, thousands of us are experiencing sexual burnout.
Issues like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Covid pandemic and the rising cost of living have taken a tremendous toll on the nation – many of us are too overwhelmed to even think about getting hot between the sheets.
In a study by sex therapy platform Blueheart, between April 2021 and January 2022, 74 percent of its users admitted that stress was affecting their sex life.
Psychologist Emma Kenny says: “Sexual burnout occurs when a person suddenly stops enjoying what they once considered a satisfying sex life.
“Emotional exhaustion outside of the relationship can impact sexual function and interest.”
She adds: “For years, the public has been exposed to some truly horrific news, informing us every day of a threat to us and our families. This is likely to have created a feeling of hopelessness and helplessness in many people, resulting in decreased libido.”
Twenty-two percent of us have experienced sexual burnout related to our work. But charity Mental Health UK identifies nine areas of our lives – including physical health, finances, news and relationships – that can also contribute to this feeling.
These factors have led to nearly half of us reporting a decrease in the frequency of sexual behavior during the pandemic, according to Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute.
Full-time mum Holly England, 28, who has children Logan, six, and Archie, five, with fiancé Danny Mcgahey, 27, a warehouse worker, admits her sex life has waned since the pandemic took hold in March 2020 .
Holly, from Harrow, north west London, says: “Danny and I used to have a really healthy sex life, probably up to a couple of times a week. But since the pandemic, we’ve both noticed an apparent drop in our sex frequency.
“Another weight on our shoulders”
“Now we’re lucky if we do it once a month, or dare I say every two months.” I am a full time carer for Archie because he has special needs and we are in and out of the hospital a lot.
“Danny lost his job as a tire fitter during the pandemic and was then depressed. We have to take care of our two children, so everything was very stressful and it affected our sex life a lot.
“We also lost money rearranging our wedding twice due to the pandemic. We are getting married next year so hopefully there will be luck the third time. But until then, it’s another burden on our shoulders.
“With inflation and the war in Ukraine, it’s hard to think about the future. We have a lot to think about and unfortunately sex is at the bottom of that list.”
The cost of living hit a 30-year high last month as energy, fuel and food prices continued to soar and retailers limited seasonal discounts. Like so many others, Holly is struggling with money and trying to provide for her children. She says: “The prices of everything have gone through the roof.
“Danny is back to work so that’s one less stress to worry about. But who knows what happens next in the world and how it will affect the UK?
“There’s still so much love between me and Danny. We are such a strong unit. But as adults with kids to care for, realistically we don’t have time for sex.”
We are such a strong unit. But as adults with children to care for, realistically we don’t have time for sex.
Emma says having a digital detox and showing more affection is crucial for couples who can’t connect in the bedroom.
She says: “Take time to turn off the negativity on social media and switch to your intimate relationship.
“You will reduce your stress levels and give your relationship the attention it deserves. Make a conscious effort to kiss and cuddle each other when you have the opportunity.
“These actions lead to the release of the hormones oxytocin and serotonin, which help reduce stress while increasing positive emotions together.”
She adds, “Quickies may not sound very romantic, but they can be the tool needed to get back on track sexually, too. When it comes to sex, the more you have sex, the more you’re going to want it.”
Turn the page and take our sex test to find out if your love life needs a boost. . .
TAKE OUR QUIZ NOW
how is your sex life Relationship expert Rebecca Dakin asks the questions and gives her verdict below.
- You get a rare opportunity for a quickie. Do you . . .
A: Jump on it knowing that you’ll both be feeling good and will release any pent-up tension.
B: Have sex but your mind wanders to the peeling wallpaper and you add it to your mental to-do list. You are not fully present and enjoying the moment.
C: Freak out and scrap the idea – you’re wearing way too much. Free time should be used productively.
- Your partner suggests spending a romantic weekend together. Do you . . .
A: Google for ideas, check appointments, and plan childcare.
B: Focus on any potential obstacles: Do you even have a weekend off? who gets the kids can you afford it
C: Just brush off the suggestion, knowing that sex and intimacy are the order of the day — and you don’t want the pressure.
- Your partner gets sensitive when you watch a movie. Do you . . .
A: Go for it, you love a hickey — and you never know where it might lead.
B: Start worrying that they want sex. After all, the dishes are not washed and you have to change the bed linen and take a shower.
C: Feeling irritable, get up abruptly and ask them if they would like a cup of coffee, sever the physical connection as soon as possible and remind them how stressed you are.
- Your partner comes home from a night out feeling tipsy and alert. Do you . . .
A: Enjoy awkward, awkward sex. You were up thinking about work anyway, so it’s an excellent distraction.
B: Pretend you sleep, your mind is way too busy worrying about tomorrow and how lack of sleep will make you grumpy.
C: Feeling irritated by the disturbance even though you haven’t slept because you obviously don’t understand exactly how much is on your mind at the moment.
- What is the last communication before going to bed?
A: An “I love you,” kiss, and cuddle.
B: There isn’t, you’re both on your phones scrolling through social media or one of you is watching TV downstairs.
C: A moan about stress with work/home/kids. They say, “Don’t forget to do X” or “Remind me to do Y”
MOST A You understand the important role intimacy plays in your mental health. However, there are always steps you can take to improve your sex life. Invest time in longer foreplay to help your partner relax and unwind. Discuss fantasies and how to try new things to avoid sex becoming predictable and boring.
MOST B You are about to let your stress levels ruin your sex life. Instead of finding excuses to avoid it, look for reasons to say yes! Emotional connection is often a good first step to encouraging more physical connection. You can do this by making a commitment to spending quality time with your partner, focusing on your relationship, and being fully present.
MOST C You are too stressed for sex and it is negatively affecting your relationship. Intervention might be needed – bring some playful flirting to cheer you both up. Schedule and limit the time to talk about life’s frustrations to 30 minutes a day. Remember that sex is a stress reliever and orgasms cure headaches.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/17886560/sex-life-was-ruined-by-the-pandemic/ My sex life has been ruined by the pandemic