Since the onset of the pandemic, it has been fashionable to distinguish between two types of couples: those who have survived nearly two years of confinement and those who, less resilient, have seen their history break between two new variants. But according to a study widely circulated on the internet and especially Stylist UK, a third category tends to make its nest: that of couples who have stopped mating.
Metro, work, (sex and) sleep
According to this famous study conducted by a couples therapy app, the pandemic would have had a serious impact on sex life for almost 74% of the couples surveyed.
If very long-term romantic relationships do not have a reputation for being synonymous with passionate intercourse, the current situation would be that a new term has emerged: sexual burnout, ie. the total rejection of everything related to the pleasures of the fleshwhether you are in a couple, free union or even just single.
Result ? Either registers gender for absent subscribers, or it is referred to the range of tedious duties, a task performed without much enthusiasm.
“Times of intimacy are perceived as a task, a duty, an exhausting or even stressful act, and no longer as an act of love, pleasure, of sharing, of letting go, of self-discovery and meaning,” comments Noëline Toribio, psychotherapist and sex therapist in Versailles (78).
Or when sex becomes as tempting as doing the dishes or taking out the trash.
Asymmetric libido: how do you deal with your partner’s overcrowded or non-existent desire?
“I do not know when I will be able to fit this into my diary”
Evidence that you yourself may be suffering from sexual burnout? Feelings of stress and annoyance just at the thought of “having to stick to it”, the impression of wasting your time and energy when jumping into the water or even a feeling of emptiness deep when all our senses on the contrary should be in rebellion.
“A phrase that often pops up, ‘I do not know when I will be able to write this in my diary’ or in my daily life because there are many occupations. A leak sets in through pretexts or failed actions” , continues Noëline Toribio who receives more and more patients confronted with sexual burnout, including young people in their twenties.
And as is often the case in sexology, The causes of such malaise often turn out to be multifactorial and specific to each person.
Overwhelming fatigue, overloaded schedules, heavy mental strain or even recently repeated incarcerations and prolonged teleworking: the limitations of a modern everyday life that does not promote well-being and personal development – slash-marriage naturally helps to reduce the time given to love, or even to “love with each other”.
“I do not love anymore”
Women most affected by sexual burnout
According to our sexual therapist, it is also society itself and its various sociocultural paradigms that may be the cause of this dizzying loss of libido.
“In my opinion, there is a strong pressure attached to the social, professional and personal image, which we must reflect. This means that everyone’s expectations are exceeded and very often out of step with the life wishes that patients long to live deep inside. i. themselves “.
In other words, the demands for performance – sexual or otherwise – that we internalize consciously or not inevitably contribute to increasing the pressure, so that sooner or later they lead us to a certain kind of saturation.
A reality that is all the more proven for women who are engaged in heteronormative relationships. “It is women who are more affected by sexual burnout,” emphasizes Noëline Toribio.
“This can easily be correlated with recent studies of mental strain (8 out of 10 women), which also promote sexual exhaustion.”
And it is generally they who are the starting point for a couple’s first consultation on this topic with a health professional. For when the sexual burnout comes to threaten the durability of the relationship, its protagonists set off to some in search of solutions to find the path of pleasure. And the tracks are more.
Why we should stop seeing low libido as a problem to be solved
Find the desire to want
First of all, in order to regain control of your sex life, it is advisable to start by (re) putting your life in order.
“Take the time to observe your different responsibilities on a daily basis, review your priorities, delegate what is possible to delegate, limit stressors,” recommends Noëline Toribio.
Another strategy to consider? That with joy and personal well-being, which must first go through oneself before it becomes the object of common happiness. “Treat yourself to activities that give you joy, allow you to focus on yourself again and anchor yourself in the present,” continues the therapist, who also invites his patients to regain their own sexuality through a satisfying and beneficial masturbation.
Finally, the expert instructs victims of sexual burnout to avoid any pitfall of self-blame. “The whole thing is to see that it is present, to observe when and how it has calmed down, and to breathe peace through every gesture or action that will give us access to well-being.”
And hopefully a few more orgasms.