Not Everyone Is Horny in Quarantine

While our social feeds seem to be filled with nonstop, indulgent displays of thirst, some former horndogs lament that nothing about Month Two of isolation turns them on

We’re allegedly in a golden age of horniness. All you have to do is log onto Twitter — ground zero for nut busting — and you’ll quickly be bombarded with tweets about the anguish of not getting laid. To paraphrase Sublime, we are all hornier than Ron Jeremy

Except maybe not. Because some formerly horny people are suffering in silence. They’ve lost their boners, and no amount of homemade banana bread can make up for it.

I mean, even HornyFacts isn’t horny:

For her part, Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a certified sex therapist and the host of the Sex Savvy podcast, isn’t surprised that people no longer have the bandwidth to feel frisky, especially as quarantine closes in on its second month. “Many of my patients are experiencing unprecedented levels of anxiety and/or depression,” she tells me. “Some are having panic attacks, nightmares and physical symptoms like headaches, diarrhea and insomnia. Many are feeling overwhelmed about the uncertainty of the future, too.” 

All of this — combined with being in close quarters 24/7 with partners and kids, and a general existential angst about the “new normal” (not to mention, very personal fears about financial ruin and contracting a killer virus) — are all coalescing to dampen sexual desire.

Rachele, a 29-year-old in L.A., was masturbating at least once a day in between hook-ups before quarantine started. But now, she says, “I’ve hit a horniness wall. Like, it doesn’t matter how much I lust after someone or if they wanted to hook-up, it’s not a possibility right now and we don’t know when it will be. So it feels like a moot point.”

This, of course, has only made her lockdown depression and stress worse. “Realizing that I’d hit a ‘horniness wall’ definitely made every other outlook of mine take a downward spiral,” she continues. “As if there weren’t enough existential dread ‘in the real world,’ COVID-19 (and recovery from it) adds another layer to it that seems unfathomable.”

Andrew, a 35-year-old in Denver, was super horny pre-quarantine and that escalated in the early weeks of lockdown. He and his wife went at it nonstop the first 10 days, even ramping up the kink. Sometimes they got so worked up, it didn’t even matter if their toddler was watching cartoons just out of sight. But now, the couple seems to have blown their wad. “I got pretty bored after we wore ourselves out, and I got the sense my wife was relieved,” he tells me. Still, he doesn’t have any regrets: “Quarantining is weird, once-in-a-lifetime stuff. I’ll always remember it fondly even though I did wear my dick out.”

Another problem quarantining couples are having is just being together ALL. THE. FUCKING. TIME. To that end, Alex, a 40-year-old from Portland, says, “We live in a relatively small apartment, and we’re now together 24/7 every single day. We’ve both been really trying to up our dirty jokes and explicit flirting — with varying degrees of success.” Because sadly, he’s finding out the hard way that a little absence definitely makes the dick grow fonder. “I love my partner dearly, and she’s the only person in the world I could be with in this situation,” he says. “But adult humans were never intended to spend this much time in such close proximity to each other.”

Alex brings up another good point: People are literally bragging about not showering on social media. That might be fine when you live alone, but not so much when you want to get your dick wet. “Working from home in quarantine makes it easy to forget that full-grown humans need to fucking hose off pretty regularly if you have any intention of getting laid, ever. We’ve had to remind each other of that.” (Maybe Alex should try developing a day-old pussy fetish.)

Along those lines, formerly horny Jake, a 26-year-old in the U.K., says a major factor behind his lack of libido is that he doesn’t feel desirable. “The initial three weeks of lockdown, I was stress-eating and drinking a lot. I put on a lot of weight and that cut off any desire for me to be seen by my fiancée. Even though she claims she doesn’t care, I can’t perform when I’m aware that I look like a beast.” As cover, he says he’s putting all of his energy into work so he doesn’t make her feel like she’s the problem. “She’s an incredible woman; I have no business being such an idiot when she’s throwing herself at me,” he says.

Even the professionals are losing their horny vibe. “Not being horny can make me not want to log into the cam portion of the phone sex site I’m on,” says sex worker Felicia Fisher. “Sometimes I just want to be left alone to lay around and feel anti-horny.” Luckily, she’s found that one aspect of her job can revive her: “If I take phone sex calls when I’m not horny, it definitely can help turn me on, especially if someone asks me about things that have made me horny in the past — it’s a nice way to jog my memory.”

Anderson also reminds her clients that “everyone handles stress in their own way, and that patience, empathy and tolerance goes a long way.” “Experiencing new things together — learning a language, watching a film, having sex in a different place — activates dopamine in the brain,” she continues. “Couples should be proactive about incorporating (shared and individual) novelty in their day to keep themselves intellectually, emotionally and sexually stimulated.”

Most people aren’t concerned that their horny levels won’t replenish post-quarantine, but engaging in activities that horniness might lead to is another story — especially for singles. Are we really ready to obsess over how much a Tinder date is touching his face over drinks? Not to mention all the other messy, fluid-filled activities that we used to enjoy with reckless abandon back in the day (read: February).

Rachele is worried about the morality of casual sex moving forward, too. Not for any puritanical reasons, but because she fears potentially infecting a sex partner with COVID-19. “What’s our obligation to one another? Do you decide to hook-up with one person, then wait two weeks to see if you get sick? Then go back and do it again? I think that’s where I’ll struggle the most.”

But despite her worries, she’s hoping her horniness wins the day: “I miss a really good makeout.”

You and me both, sister.