Since the pandemic my partner and I have gained a little weight, we aren't as active as we used to be and we are definitely snacking a lot more now that we are working from home. I think it is affecting our sex life, what should we do?

First, welcome to the human race.

But how do you know that your weight has anything to do with it?

When humans are fearful, we shut down desire to act out our “inner sexy,“ especially in sex. We don’t often FEEL sexy, because we want to protect, not expose ourselves. And if we’ve gained weight, such a culturally-conditioned thing to feel bad about for many, it’s a double whammy: impacted self-esteem blended with the weariness of isolation and the anxiety of the current situation.

Some of us feel even higher desire for sex when we’re anxious or depressed, but that’s a minority. And often “anxiety sex” with lower satisfaction.

Start by talking about yourself to your partner. Tell them how you don’t feel attractive and you’re worried it is impacting your attractiveness to them. Let them speak for themselves about how the pandemic has impacted their sexual interest and what might have been impacting what Emily Nagorski calls “breaks and accelerators.”

You might find you both need to shut off a news for a few days, take a walk in nature, and just chill together...or alone.

And as an aside, if someone only loves you for your hot body, what happens when you are pregnant or are impacted by cancer? If this is a relationship for the long haul, “COVID weight” is the first of a series of changes you both will go through in life. It’s an opportunity to talk to each other BEYOND skin deep and into the deeper parts of your heart and soul.

Good luck!

-Dr. K

(On Monday, I will answer a question about "nice-guy husbands," have a great weekend, be well!)

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Dr. Kathy McMahon

Dr. Kathy McMahon (Dr. K) is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist. She is also the founder and president of Couples Therapy Inc. Dr. K feels passionate about couples therapy and sex therapy and holds a deep respect towards those who invest in making their relationship better. She is currently conducting online and in person private couples retreats.

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