Can you relate to this anxious wife’s question? “In these times of quarantines, COVID-19, social distancing, and high anxiety, I am finding my sex drive to be pretty much at ZERO. Because I am stuck at home with my husband as we both are working from home for the first time, now should be the perfect time to become more intimate. Help me to not be repulsed by the thought of sex because of my anxiety!”
Great question! If you were in a relaxed vacation environment, then having more time on your hands and more access to your spouse often would add up to more sexual interest. However, no one would describe our current COVID-19 situation as relaxed! If we could peek inside our brains, we would see that many of us are stuck in fight vs. flight with hijacked nervous systems. And when your sympathetic nervous system is stuck in the ON position and keeping you hypervigilant to danger, sex is low on your body’s priority list.
You can reconnect with your sex drive by helping your nervous system switch over to the parasympathetic (relaxation response). Try implementing the Quarantine Calming Cuddle at least once a day to connect with your spouse, downregulate your nervous system, and to convince your body that it’s safe and okay to relax. Over time, as your nervous system calms down, you’ll begin to reconnect with the sexual side of yourself.
Here’s how to do the Quarantine Calming Cuddle:
1) Agree with your spouse that this 15-minute cuddle is not going to lead to sexual activity. If you are worried that you will be expected to be sexual, then you will not relax and calm down.
2) Turn on relaxing background music. Click here to listen to a Spotify CWIVES channel playlist called “Quarantine Calming Cuddle Playlist.”
3) Sit in your husband’s lap on a couch or a comfy chair. Ask him to wrap his arms around you while you lay your head on his chest. Or, lay your head on a pillow on his lap and ask him to stroke your head and side. Comforting physical contact down-regulates your nervous system.
4) Take turns answering fun questions to increase emotional connection and encourage laughter. Don’t discuss current stresses or scary worries during this time. Laughter and touch promote the release of oxytocin, a bonding hormone which can contribute to relaxation, trust, and psychological stability, as well as reduce stress responses like anxiety. Pick a couple of the questions below to answer as you do the Quarantine Calming Cuddle daily. You may like it so much that you continue this practice long after social distancing ends!
Thirty fun questions to discuss with your spouse:
1) What were some of your favorite foods when you were a kid?
2) Describe one of the most fun parties you’ve ever been to.
3) What is one of the silliest, strangest, or most outrageous things you did as a kid or teenager?
4) Describe one of your favorite scenes from a movie or TV show.
5) What memory of me always makes you smile or laugh?
6) What are you proud of but rarely get a chance to talk about?
7) Describe one of your favorite teachers. What did you learn from him or her?
8) What is the kindest thing a stranger has ever done for you?
9) Describe the who/where/when/how of your first-ever romantic kiss.
10) Growing up, what was one of your favorite family traditions?
11) What’s one of your favorite pranks that either you pulled or someone else pulled on you?
12) When you were a kid, what were your favorite TV shows and why did you like them?
13) Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and what would you ask him/her?
14) If you were alone in a shopping mall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and all the stores, merchandise, and activities were available and free for you, which stores would you go to, how would you spend your time, and what would you eat?
15) What do people consistently compliment or recognize you for?
16) When you were a kid, which TV character or superhero or literary figure did you wish you could be?
17) Describe one of the best breakfasts/lunches/dinners/desserts/snacks you’ve ever eaten.
18) When you were young, what did you want your birthday parties to be like?
19) What is one of your favorite memories with a grandparent or person in your extended family?
20) Describe one of your favorite outfits to wear when you were a child or teenager. How did you feel when you wore it?
21) What is one of your favorite dates or activities that we have done together?
22) If you were in a witness protection program, what would your new name be, where would you live, and which profession would you choose?
23) Describe one of your favorite vacation or holiday memories from childhood and also adulthood.
24) What is something you’ve tried that you thought you wouldn’t like but you ended up liking it?
25) When you were a kid, what was your favorite season and why?
26) What are some of your favorite memories from our engagement? Wedding day? Honeymoon?
27) When you were growing up, what games or toys did you like to play with? What was fun about them?
28) What memory of yourself makes you smile or laugh?
29) What’s something you got in trouble for doing when you were younger but you are still glad you did it?
30) What Christmas or birthday gifts were your favorites when you were younger? Who gave them to you?
Copyright, 2020, Jennifer Degler Ministries.
Permission granted to duplicate for personal use only.
Thank you for this post. Very important to take time away from all electronic devices which sidetrack us (keep the music!) and reconnect.
Too often men get a very strange look on our face when the topic “Non-Sexual Touching” comes up. We present marriage seminars and coach married couples and every time I mention this, the husbands get a bit uncomfortable so we generate a few simple questions to help facilitate open communication as the questions above do.
We continue to “Crack The Marriage Code” for couples!