We are in week eight of lockdown. My question to you is: how have the past weeks written sex stories for you and many?

My neighbour is a single career woman and since lockdown, we found it safe to spend time together since we live on the same property and neither of us goes out. Even though she is much younger than me, the one thing that has not skipped our home conversations is sex.

My single neighbour is a single mother of a toddler. She is locked down with her daughter who occasionally visits her father. I am a married woman trapped with my husband and children. I seem to be getting it all in bed and maybe out of bed. My husband and I do not practise social distancing simply because neither of us is going out. My neighbour goes to bed alone and wakes up sex-deprived because her boyfriend (who is not the father of her child) lives out of South Africa… they are locked apart.

As the coronavirus continues to keep us home, it would appear as though I am asking myself how much intimacy is safe while my neighbour asks herself when she will be able to have sex again

In the same light, some people are caught between looking after each other and sexing each other. How amazing that some things will never escape us, no matter whether we are in psychological, emotional, physical, social or economic battle grounds?

During the week after lockdown was announced, I posted on social media that “something tells me that a huge majority of people will suffer low sex drive during this lockdown. Sex drive knows moods.”

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From the comments on that post, many people (including myself) were convinced that we would have sex every day for 21 days. Well by day five, I had been served with only one dose of sex. Reality was here and it had taken our libidos.

I had no reason to not want sex because I was not leaving home. This means that I was not tired from the day’s duties of paid jobs and parenting. But him?

I figured out that he had taken this lockdown badly

He cooked a lot and did a lot of chores. He slept late and dosed off immediately his body hit the bed. I gave him space and was grateful for my one round of sex in five days. On day six, I discussed my Facebook post with him in an attempt to find out why he is not stimulated. We talked and nothing concrete came up, except for but the fact that he is worried for his children and me.

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Our conversation triggered a thought in me: people have different psychological responses to stress

I realised that this might be our new way. This article favours the fact that not everyone was, had been, and will be, in the mood for sex during lockdown and beyond. Yet, for many, sex is good.

As I continue to engage many on this topic, it seems a given that many more found it difficult to adjust to the safety practices and new norms. But whether sex has been good or not, permit me to sound a warning on how easy it is to fall pregnant after sex. If you are not in the mood for a sleepless bedroom eight to nine months from the day you read this article, please use contraceptives and continue to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases by using condoms as if we are not locked down.

Whether you are in the mood for sex or not, remember that sex strengthens relationships

Do not just have sex. Use this time wisely while being mindful of your personal needs and those of your partner. In order to catch up with my spouse and get the sex that I so deserve, I made little adjustments without changing my routines. I started going to bed at the same time like him. Before I knew it, we would have a talk. Have sex, talk and have sex, then fall asleep in each other’s arms.

In fact, we both made little adjustments in order to regain our libidos and sex life. In the days before coronavirus (this sounds weird), I went to bed really late. As a result, I was always bitter at sex time because I felt like I was serving him his sleep-break meal. On his part, he woke up every 6:00 am for sports, leaving me to hug pillows for morning bliss. Now at lockdown, I go to bed early and he has moved his sports time from 6am to between 7 and 7:30 am. This gives us time for quickies, but again, for a quick plan of the day. We are now having a healthy sex life.

For some reason, I have just been too focused on the positives of what he does and what I am capable of. I have put all unnecessarily fights on hold. It is not for me to complain that he did not do this or that. In fact, I only stress if he mentions that he is going out.

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A few years back, I figured out that one way to enjoy sex is to have frequent conversations about sex

I encourage you to talk about the too much or too little sex you are having without worrying about the current situations.

I continue to teach my spouse that although he and other men cope with stress through sexual activity, other women and myself lose sexual desire when we are stressed. But this is not just about him and I. Right now, people are feeling differently, and many of the feelings are as new and unanticipated as is both the coronavirus and the lockdown. The best way to enjoy sex is to change your mindset and be present in each moment before, during and after.

For couples with (young) children, these times must mean a lot of changes to your roles

Have you read my previously published article ‘Whose Chore Is It Anyway?’ Apart from being there for each other, parents have to execute household chores and home school children, some of whom are special needs children.

Just be open to, and accept these new responsibilities as if no one was the woman or man. Be empathetic and willing to do almost everything. Hold planning sessions and allocate responsibilities if you already struggle. Remember that you cannot afford to lack empathy towards each other during this time.

Train yourself for good sex again

  • If you do not have books to read, go online and read self-help materials on sex and sex-related challenges.
  • Exercise if you can. For some reason, exercise and sex go hand in hand.
  • Prepare your bedroom, bathroom or any spot in your house where you love sexing.
  • Prepare your mind and your partner’s by sending both visual and non-visual sex signals.
  • Take it slow. Use lubrication if you can. I always recommend water-based ones.
  • Remember that physical affection goes with smooth talk, touching and eye contacts.
  • Experiment with different sex positions and even try one of your fantasies.

Give yourself time

As you age, your sexual responses slow down. It will not be easy; especially if you or your spouse might have lost both incomes and/or jobs or risk losing it. Groom your man so that he is willing to receive compassion and empathy just like you do. I know that it will come as a shock to women with strong partners to see that their partners can be weak. Please be there for them emotionally and verbally.

If the country opens up and my partner or myself start going out or to work, our decisions around intimacy or even self-quarantine in the absence of symptoms are personal, as the government has said nothing on it yet.

We can decide to quarantine ourselves from each other for I don’t even know how long, or practise good hand and body hygiene. We can even have separate sets of clothing dedicated for work and outings. Of course, communication comes in again. We have to discuss what we are both comfortable with, since there are currently no evidence-based guidelines to this novel virus and sex.

For my neighbour, we do not know how long she will have to forcedly abstain from physical sex. Should she consider starting a new relationship, how will she practise social distancing? Will she ever go on a date? Mind you, dating does not comply with recommendations for social distancing.

While I get it all, or seem to, she may want to consider masturbation, phone sex with her partner, sex toys, if she is in the mood for sex, or just pray and wish that borders open up soon.

The goal of this article is to get you sexing and sexing good. Let it not matter whether you are in lockdown or not because in fact, lockdown has not stopped or distorted the passage of time. Let it not distort your sex and intimate lives.

About the author

Victorine Mbong Shu has been in education and training since 2002. She is the CEO of Profounder Intelligence Management Services, a Peak Performance Authority Coach, Editor, Publisher, Researcher, Transformational Speaker, Material Developer, Facilitator, Assessor and Moderator. She is the Co-owner of Profound Conference Centre in Bramley-JHB. Victorine and Dr. Fru are raising four bubbly children, including Africa’s youngest international multiple award-winning bestselling author of chapter books, 13-year-old Stacey Fru. A PhD fellow in Communications herself, Victorine is a respectable involved parenting conversationalist. She is a BrandSA ambassador and award-winning author of the following books:

· Stop Complaining! and Bring Back Involved Parenting. 2016
· Trapped in our shadows. 2017
· Proven habits for financial freedom. 2018
· S’EX. 2018
· Not too late: Bring Back Involved Parenting. 2020

Follow her on all social media – @Mbongshu