Lockdown has destroyed our sex drive

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I have been with my boyfriend for 18 months. We had a good sex life, but recently we’ve struggled to connect emotionally during sex. When we started living together during lockdown, the problem grew, resulting in his sex drive lowering. Whenever I made a move, he would reject me and this made me lose my own sex drive. Now we’ve completely lost the connection for having sex. Is this the end of the relationship?

Covid-19 has certainly threatened our physical health, but there are also ways in which mental health can deteriorate – especially during lockdown. Don’t judge a person or a relationship’s potential by how they function at this difficult time. Your sexuality can be greatly affected by your mental state, and so it is not surprising your boyfriend has a lowered libido. Lack of desire goes hand in hand with depression, anxiety, fear and other common feelings associated with what we are going through. Similarly, our ability to connect emotionally with others can be affected, so do not judge his potential to be emotionally available to you during these challenges as permanent. Do your best to simply hang on and stay safe together and, when this is over, allow yourselves time to begin discovering who you are together – sexually, emotionally, romantically – without forced confinement.

  • Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a US-based psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders.

  • If you would like advice from Pamela on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to private.lives@theguardian.com (please don’t send attachments). Submissions are subject to our terms and conditions: see gu.com/letters-terms.



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