11 May 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

 

Dear Diary,

Had sex last night and a quite excellent orgasm, and I’m trying VERY HARD to treat you like the Real Diary you are — a true and accurate record of What Goes on During This COVID Crisis — even though you’re available on the world wide webs for others to peruse. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I made a commitment to myself when I began this project that you weren’t going to be an adorable depiction of a fantasized experience — all sourdough starter and waffles and no existential angst or actual challenges — so here we are, and this is what I need to say.

Gregory Woolsey, whom I love and with whom I am well pleased, and I had sex least night, and it was the first time during quarantine, and we may very well have set a new record for Longest Time Without Sex in our marriage at 56 days. Or we’ve at least come within shouting distance of that record. I mean, we had some gnarly lows in our marriage, so who knows? But, any way you slice it, Diary, 56 days is a LONG TIME for us. 

I’ll be honest. I’m not usually one to measure time like this when it comes to sex. We’ve had times when it’s been frequent — and high five, woohoo, gold stars for us and stuff. But we’ve also had times when it’s been infrequent, and I’m not going to start deducting stars for that. That’s just… life. And everyone who’s lifed knows life gets lifey. Having young kids is exhausting. Work can be stressful. Finances can get in the way. There are a thousand thousand reasons my libido might tank. And while it freaked me out when I was younger — OMG! Is this NORMAL? How often are we supposed to do it? Daily? Weekly? Is monthly too little? Do I owe him sex if he’s into it but I’m not rn? Should I feel guilty or compelled? — I don’t do much of that anymore. I finally figured out there IS no “normal” and there IS no “supposed to” and no one owes anyone sex EVER and guilt and compulsion are fantastic ways to drive a libido even lower. So now we have sex when we both want to, and we take care of ourselves in the meantime, and, since we’re both happier when we have it, we make an effort to do it regularly however we choose to define “regularly” at any given time.

Pandemic sex, though?

That’s been a challenge. 

Mostly because lockdown happened and my libido got locked down with it.

Just no libido at all, whatsoever.

Not a twinge.

Not a twang.

Not a little spark or an “ooooh” or a gasp.

It been, sexually speaking, a veritable wasteland ‘round here. 

And I guess I’m telling you, Diary, because I don’t know if an absence of sex drive is a common pandemic experience, but it is mine, and since I’m keeping records of what this is like, I figure that’s an aspect that’s a real part of it.

Until yesterday, when I finally felt it! DESIRE. 🙌🏼 

Not, like, overwhelming, throw me against a wall and bang my eyeballs out desire.

But, you know, NOT NOTHING, either, which is infinitely more than it’s been lately, so I jumped right on it.

And you know what I mean by It, Diary.

And it was good.

I’d like to do it again sometime.

So I’ve spent some time contemplating what was Different about yesterday. What lit the spark. And I’ve come up with two things:

1. Time. I’ve had some time to get used to this New Reality we’re in. Some time to assimilate. Some time to calm the Anxiety of a Global Pandemic. Not that there isn’t low level anxiety all the time. Not that it doesn’t come and go and rise and fall and wax and wane and ebb and flow. But Uncertainty is part of life right now, and I’m folding it into Normal. Taking it in as part of the air I breathe. So the fight and flight and freeze responses have managed to give way, for a few minutes, to fornicate. So yay!

2. Rest. I let myself relax yesterday. It was Mother’s Day, so I felt like I was “allowed” to take a day to read and rest. I took a bath. I sat in the hammock chair. I did no dishes or laundry. I just completely let my constant state of vigilance slide and didn’t think about the next family meal or who needed me emotionally or whether the sourdough starter was fed or what to put on the grocery list or what I “should” do next, trying to see twenty moves ahead like I’m playing a giant chess game. 

Which, of course, makes me realize how very little freedom I’ve been giving myself to just “be” instead of do, do, do. In my defense, the Things don’t get done unless I do them or delegate them, and since delegating — and then following up 46 times to ensure the Thing was Actually Done by Someone Other Than Me — is usually more work than just Doing It Myself, guess what I usually pick? Yep. Like every mama before me. Nevertheless, Diary, I’m seeing the flaw in my system. And I’m seeing the mental health — and sexual health — benefits of chilling the eff out. So the plan going forward will be changing — incrementally, maybe, but changing — because I need to figure out in the New Normal how to prioritize Marital Connection, how to prioritize More Orgasms (HELLO, ENDORPHINS — HOW I HAVE MISSED YOU), and how to prioritize Rest Sans Guilt.

Wish me lick, Diary!

I’m hoping we’ve turned a Libido Corner over here.

With love,

 

 

 

P.S. That was supposed to say “wish me luck” up there, but I figure “wish me lick” equally applies, so I’m leaving it as is. 

P.P.S. I’ve realized only now, as I’ve finished this post, that today is ALSO my son-in-law’s birthday, so I could’ve written some sort of lovely tribute to my newest child, and instead I wrote about Chandler’s mother-in-law’s sex life. So YOU’RE WELCOME, CHANDLER. Welcome to the family. Yes; yes, it is always this awkward. You’re the luckiest to have us in your life FOREVER MORE. 😂 Happy Birthday, son. ❤️ 

 

Image Credits: Ladybugs by Gritte, Danishes by Annie Spratt, Teddy Bears and Fruit by Dainis Graveris, Lightbulbs by Michael Prewett

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
8 comments
  1. Yep. Sex has been weirdly distant around here, too. It makes me feel sad because I miss it and it is such a great way to connect. And, my husband and I promised each other long ago a “yes I am in” for sex means you are present and fully on board. If one of us isn’t, it’s all good, maybe another day. That way, when it is a go, it is lovely (or hot, or sweet, or whatever we decided it wants to be).

    I would be remise if I did not mention your pictures. *stands up and slow claps* Well done, Beth. Well done.

  2. THANK YOU!! how do you know exactly what to say and how I am also feeling???

  3. I shudder to think what you had to type in the search bar to find the photos included in this post! ;-D Thanks for always keepin’ it real!

  4. I love your posts! I can’t wait to visit the winery!
    I love it when autocorrect gives us a laugh.

  5. I laughed straight up out loud at “wish me lick” and will likely be giggling for the rest of the day.

    My girl child of 3 years… She’s 28 but has only been mine for 3 years, when her father and I came together… she is in the next room singing. And it is the most beautiful thing I have ever heard, because she is home only a week from having surgery to remove the Big C.

    She is 28 and has had two major surgeries so far.
    She has faced multiple adult-onset food allergies. Multiple ER trips due to said allergies. The loss of her biological mother at a very young age.

    She just came through a cancer surgery and is in the next room SINGING.

    My heart is overflowing right now and leaking all over the damn place. And I really needed that laugh. So thank you.

    Take care, Friend. And I do wish you luck. The lick… you’re on your own for that. LOL

  6. You are the very best.

  7. Someone asked me how quarantine was going and I said “well I finished a bottle of wine and started my Prozac today”. That’s sounds terrible but this quarantine forced a slow down it shortened my commute by about 57 minutes and that’s if I stop for coffee. I finally had my wits about me to see a pattern once a month I would lose my mind quite literally. I would have uncontrollable rage great sadness and incapacitating depression for one to two days. I finally realized it was one to two days before my period every time and called my gynecologist. He got right on a zoom call and told me how I wasn’t broken that what was happening was really a thing and not just PMS so deal. He threw me a life line to try. I was diagnosed with PMDD premenstrual dysphoric disorder. I love modern medicine and chemistry. I took the Prozac for three days leading up to my period and I skipped the depression and rage and hopeless feelings. I started my period and stopped the Prozac this will be a new normal for me for now. The slow down saved me, my husband and my poor kids.

    Side note that my dr found quite fascinating and I think a little amusing. At 43 I have become regular and if my tubes weren’t tied he says I’d be fertile Mertyl these days. Since now I’m like a clock every 28 days. This from a mom who struggled through infertility. I love being the mystery and entertainment for my doctor. Crazy times we are living in. Lol

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