One of the most annoying things about this stage of the pandemic is being reminded constantly how “we’ve all changed.” No shit we’ve changed. The most fortunate of us had to stay home all day for months and be prisoners to our own stupid minds, leading to endless pontificating in the culture pages of America’s newspapers about the fascinating lives of the upper-middle class remote workers of New York and Los Angeles. Now that things have returned to some version of normal, it’s the media’s duty to guide us through our collective emotional recovery.
According to The Wall Street Journal, many of us are just not feeling great about our bodies and it’s “putting a damper on our love lives.” As someone with no love life, I can’t relate, but I will try and empathize. The piece lays out how being indoors has made people feel “schlubby” (I began working out during the pandemic, so I can’t relate to this either), and because of this, they feel less desirable to their partners. According to the article, “Research shows that when we feel bad about our bodies, we feel less sexual desire and less satisfaction.” The mere idea of someone judging our bodies decreases our desire, so nobody’s touching one another.
Sounds like a huge problem for people who have someone to touch. What could possibly be the solution? It’s not like you can just start thinking you’re hot out of nowhere. But according to sexual experts, or at least the ones lucky enough to speak to the Wall Street Journal, the answer is simple: “Just start touching.”
That’s all it takes. The piece goes on to explain touching in a mature and scientific way that doesn’t involve “bases.”
“Think of touch on a scale of 1 to 10: 1 is affectionate. 2-3 is sensual, say a backrub. 4-5 is playful and flirty, such as a teasing touch. 10 gets you to sex,” according to Dr. Barry McCarthy, a “retired sex therapist” who it seems came out of retirement for one last job. “Too many couples have only affectionate or sexual touch, Dr. McCarthy says. Yet, it’s giving and receiving sensual and erotic touch — actively, not passively — that gives your body a chance to override your worried mind.”
It appears all you need to get back into the groove with your partner is some counterintuitive mental math. Is it just me or is it getting hot in here?