The stay-at-home orders across the country because of the Covid-19 Pandemic has increased the economic and health security. Dealing with feelings of helplessness is a drag on individuals and impacts sexual desire. Join sex therapist Dr. Laurie Watson and Couples therapist George Faller as they talk about how to maintain sex during ‘war-time.’
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Laurie Watson 00:00
So we’re going to talk about sex during COVID George. Welcome to foreplay radio couples in sex therapy. I’m Laurie Watson, your sex therapist. And I’m
George Faller 00:11
George Faller, a couples therapist
Laurie Watson 00:13
and we are passionate about talking about sex and helping you develop a way to talk to each other.
George Faller 00:19
Our mission is to help our audience develop a healthier relationship to sex that integrates the mind, the heart and the body.
Laurie Watson 00:28
Just as we began please remember to check out Uberlube it really calm is where you can get this great lubricant and help support for play radio. So you are hibernating right at Fort Fowler with your whole fam
George Faller 00:42
get away for a little bit just trying to chase the four walls that I’m looking at.
Laurie Watson 00:47
It’s good. How’s the weather right now
George Faller 00:49
pretty cold. Pretty cool. Believe it was actually snowing in April here
Laurie Watson 00:53
snowing in April and just wanted to tell everybody but what you dragged your boys into for that because it was so cold nothing to do but
George Faller 01:03
a little polar bear plunge it called lake at a snow sounds fun to me. Gotta mix it up, shake it up. My men have to have what I call manhood challenges. We’re gonna get there but my wife comes along too. So it’s not just for the men, but it’s she got in the water by way of she did. Oh, you you she’s a trooper.
Laurie Watson 01:25
Oh, my gosh, she really is. That’s fantastic. Wow. Oh, I’m glad you guys are having some fun and together time that sounds really cool.
George Faller 01:36
It is cold. And I think that’s what we’re trying to talk about on this episode that you have to be intentional because the stress is through the roof. You know, we’re in crisis mode, and that’s taken its toll and how do we remind ourselves that we’re more than just the stress that’s happening?
Laurie Watson 01:54
That’s right. I mean, people who I’ve been talking to just girlfriends and stuff on the phone. I mean, they’re talking about tremendous stress, even though they’re not really doing anything, I think it’s just the anticipation of, you know, lost income, the threat of going to the grocery store becomes this, this life threatening mission, I got to get food and I could get sick. And it’s really scary as well on the people who are on the front lines and who are getting sick and people who have lost people. It’s, it’s terrible, but even for somebody who hasn’t very, very stressful time,
George Faller 02:33
I think one of the worst emotions is helplessness. We like to feel, even if it’s a false sense of control, that we are the author of our own destiny. And you know, life is going the way we’re hoping it’s going to go and something like this just turns that upside down. And we there’s no timetable. We don’t know when things are going to start up again. What in the world is going to look like it this sense of not knowing is just it’s pretty critical. For a lot of us,
Laurie Watson 03:01
it is. I think you’re right, the helplessness. I know I I’m a worrier. And I worry about, you know, when Is everything going to go back to normal? When is, you know what’s going to happen? It’s hard. It’s difficult time. I think anxiety and worry is, you said this recently, to me just how it’s such a killer of sexual desire, when our mind is preoccupied, really hard to drag it away and come back to the present moment, which is where we need to be really sexually, or for sex to be any good. Although I will say sex in and of itself, it can be in reverse, right? It can pull us into the present moment. I mean, sometimes when, when we’re anxious or stressed out or whatever, just having sex, it’s, it can be a way to come back into now and it can regulate us. I think when we’re So discombobulated by what’s going on in the world, bring us into our partner, bring us back into our body. Those are good things.
George Faller 04:10
Absolutely. That’s the paradox here. It’s sex is such a great way of regulating making us feeling connected to actually reducing anxiety. But it’s the last thing you want to do when you’re incredibly anxious. Right? So if you think about how we evolved as a species, if a tiger is about to run into a cave as a caveman, you really don’t have time to say, yeah, let me finish and have an orgasm. Right, your body’s mobilized you to get the heck out. So when there’s high levels of anxiety, sex usually does decrease. And yet, what you’re saying is so important, that sex is one of the best ways of regulating anxiety of reducing it of leading towards states of connection, which is the best way of handling stress. So that’s that paradox that it’s harder to do and yet we need it even more.
Laurie Watson 05:02
And I think people in close quarters, you’re so irritable. It’s hard. We’re not getting enough me time, not getting that regular space that we have when we both go away to work. The dogs are barking, the kids are rambunctious in the background, all of that kind of stuff. It’s just I think it’s it’s difficult. And so that irritability makes us irritable at our partner who is like, why would I want to have sex with you, you know, you’re such a bear. Such a grump. And then again, the the sex is that release, and we come together and we have more ability to not be as heritable, we have that more ability to forgive each other. And it kind of lubricates everything, so to speak.
George Faller 05:47
Yeah. The logistics are important, the logistics are not in the favor of having great sex. Now everybody’s locked in a house so you can you know, they’re in the next room. I’m talking to some of my Couples on zoom and they’re like in a closet together talking to me or they’re in the bathroom locked away it’s Yeah, I mean it’s just amazing how how cramped we all are and and on top of each other and that’s again not an ideal situation to get that built up needed to want to be more sexual.
Laurie Watson 06:19
Yeah. And you know if you’ve got teenagers home, they’re like on Chinese time. I guess they’re out playing games all night long and then being able to sleep till the afternoon and the parents are like, ah, when are we going to ever be alone? You know, when are the kids going to sleep so that we might have a minute of privacy and believe that we could have sex now which bright the solution there is happened in the morning because kids are still asleep.
George Faller 06:47
That’s my we got to get. We definitely have to talk a little bit about creative solutions. But I also want to mention, I think the social distancing is also impacting us. But I was on a wall Walk with my wife and it’s like, you’re going down the street or all of a sudden Here comes another couple like they cross the street because they don’t want to walk in your space is this. It almost develops this paranoid around needing space and not wanting to touch. So if you’re training your body 23 hours a day to stay away from people to not touch, don’t shake hands, don’t do any of this stuff. Now less, all of a sudden, you’re supposed to let that go and throw your body towards your partner.
Laurie Watson 07:28
Well, I think on the other side of that is like, I get a lot of touch. You know, I might, I don’t know, hug my kids, when I see them are my friends, my girlfriends, even my neighbors. We walk every day. We used to walk every day together. And, you know, we often would greet with a hug and I mean, it’s sort of like keeps you in touch. And suddenly it’s it’s not there. And yeah, it just feels weird. It’s like for a person who’s a hugger. This is this is depriving I guess that you would think that would be Drive the person towards sex.
George Faller 08:01
I think what you’re saying is important because crisis hits people in two directions, you’re either gonna reprioritize your values, and maybe relationships become more important touch becomes more important and you want more of it, or it really starts to highlight the flaws and differences, and you start driving each other nuts. So I have couples who are doing amazingly well better than they’ve ever done before on disk warranty, and I’ve had a lot of couples that are really breaking down, that the crisis is, is just magnifying the communication difficulties and you know, same with sex, those problems are going to get highlighted now.
Laurie Watson 08:39
Mm hmm. I agree. So many, so
George Faller 08:41
those discrepancies, right, one person in crisis wants it more when the other person feels more turned off. That’s not a great mix.
Laurie Watson 08:51
Right. And I think the withdraw in general often is the person who needs more distance. So whoever is the more sexual withdrawn if they’re not getting that space and time you know, sex is so intimate. It’s, it’s it’s so closed in, you know, so I think it it doesn’t feel like freedom to them it feels like a more closeness great. not such a good thing.
George Faller 09:20
And then that turns that triggers the partner that wants more connection now because hey, we’re in the same house. What else is there to do? Like this is an opportunity this is you know, and and, and I’m even having less of it than normal. I mean, how does that make any sense to the pursuer? We have all this opportunity and yet we still cannot we’re having less sex. Right? And now you guys can lead to more irritation, more criticism. And here we go. The negative cycle is up and running.
Laurie Watson 09:47
Mm hmm. Absolutely. Yeah. So many couples have been reporting that same thing. I’ve had couples more frequently than usual talk about maybe we’re just not meant for each other. Maybe we need to break up And I feel like my mother used to say when my girlfriends had been over day after day, and we’d get into a TIFF or something, and she’d say, I think you girls just need a day apart. You know, something to be said for just a little bit of space.
George Faller 10:16
Yeah. And seeing other people. And we’re all so massively isolated. I mean, it’s great to talk to your friend on the phone or zoom, but it’s not the same thing as, as going somewhere together.
Laurie Watson 10:27
Right. And also the energy that we have when we talk to our friends on the phone. We bring that back into the relationship, right? It’s something new to talk about. And when we’re not having that, it’s like, Okay, well, I just saw you for breakfast. And now I’m seeing you for lunch. No, nothing has changed since lunch. It’s now dinner. don’t have it. muted.
George Faller 10:50
Meals become so much more important, right? It’s like, non stop. You can’t order out. It’s this constant work and I’ve never done so many dishes in my life. I thought I did a lot of dishes. In a firehouse, wow.
Laurie Watson 11:00
I am so proud of you, George,
George Faller 11:03
thank you for tuning in. I do want to, I read this great article that talks about, we’re doing a lot of zoom meetings now, right, a little up FaceTime online platforms. And yet, I always find myself more tired afterwards. And what the research is saying it’s because so many of the things that we use in everyday life, like reading non verbals, micro facial expressions, like we can’t do any of those things, what we’ve learned that depend on what feels safe, so we’re having to work that much harder, focus that much more. And I think this is exactly what’s happening. We’re doing a lot of things differently, which is making us more tired, a little bit more irritable and upon the really doesn’t understand we’re not really sure why it’s happening. But it’s it’s creating this really ripe climate with high levels of anxiety, high levels of frustration, high levels of criticism, which is not really optimal for great sex. Exactly.
Laurie Watson 12:03
It is tiring. It’s funny because you and I, today, I’m looking at you on zoom and it’s just slightly off from what I hear. And so I’m I’m trying, I know my mind is trying to catch up the whole time. Now he’s making faces you know, but it’s like it’s trying to sync these up and it can’t and so it is exhausting. And I think that happens on my zoom sessions. Normally, it’s just a second behind
George Faller 12:30
a second behind. What a great way to describe what’s happening. Somebody houses across the world,
Laurie Watson 12:36
a new podcast title a second behind
George Faller 12:39
a second behind.
All right, I think okay,
George Faller 12:42
naked hot wallet last.
Laurie Watson 12:47
Hey, all Dr. Laurie Watson talking about Uber lube. We just think it’s a really fantastic product. I’ve been giving it out for years to patients and recommending it because it’s not sticky. It hasn’t Great glide it doesn’t leave a residue, and it leaves your skin feeling soft and silky which is awesome. It is made up of three types of high grade silicone, it’s scent free, taste free so you can switch from foreplay to oral sex to intercourse with no problem and it’s classy. I mean it has beautiful packaging, it’s glass. It looks in this clear bottle like something that you can be proud of on your nightstand. It’s made in the USA, which I’m so grateful for because we need every job we can get right now. It is I think the highest quality product on the market. And I would just love for you to use this in your support at Uber lube calm with the coupon for play helps us continue to provide content for you. So we would love for you to check it out there. Again, Uber Lu calm and then you want to use the coupon for play. Hey, just a word to our Patreon supporters. Thank you so much. Many of you have been really faithful for a couple of years, at least in supporting us, and we’re really grateful for that. And we’d also like to invite others of you into our mission, we see our calling essentially as to help couples develop a long lasting relationship that is both intimate and also sexually erotic. As you know, it’s what we talk about every week, we would be grateful for you in joining us in this mission,
George Faller 14:23
your support means more than you realize, and it keeps this project moving forward. And we’re really hoping to reach great heights
Laurie Watson 14:32
and our sponsors Uber lube have partnered with us and they have offered to send the first 12 people who sign up on Patreon for a $10 and above level, a free package of Uber lube find a link on foreplay radio, sex therapy.com or foreplay rst calm, and we are so thankful for your support.
George Faller 14:55
All right, Laurie. So we’re gonna have to get a little bit practical here. How we got to help these millions of couples out there not having sex or having too infrequent sex.
Laurie Watson 15:06
Yeah. Well, because of the stress, right?
George Faller 15:09
Laurie Watson 15:13
I have noticed that the news has also said alcohol increase is been increased. So my hope is that at least they use a little of it for you know, letting go of this dress and let it you know, getting into their body a bit.
George Faller 15:29
Well, is that practical enough? That’s right, as a water tool, as long as it’s not too many glasses, right?
Laurie Watson 15:36
Yeah, not too many. Yeah, in moderation in moderation.
George Faller 15:40
I’m hoping that maybe something like this can shake some of these faulty beliefs. I think a big one around sex is, you know, I want to help dispel this myth of spontaneous magical sex that just happens to them. movies and it’s just like, I think we really need to be much more intentional about it great lovers are intentional. They set the scene, they plan it, they anticipate it, they build it, they’re doing so much that’s leading to the successful moments. Like we’re gonna have to help couples do that like this. Don’t think being intentional is a turn off or it means there’s something wrong. I mean, you got to be more intentional. Now when you got the kids in the next room and you got to cook dinners. And I mean, if you’re not planning this and being intentional, how’s it ever gonna happen?
Laurie Watson 16:36
Mm hmm. You know, one thing I thought about that would be intentional, is to have couple time like, every night, especially when you have teenagers I had a girlfriend who basically called room time at 9pm all her teenagers had to be in their own rooms at 9pm. And I thought when you’re stuck away, maybe room time for the adults. It’s like, you know Mom and Dad, we’re done. We’re done with y’all. Let’s just go to bed and then it isn’t awkward. It isn’t like mom and dad go into their own room just to have sex. It’s like mom and dad retire, and they’re in their own space, whether they’re having sex or not, you know best left to the kids imagination, or maybe not.
George Faller 17:22
Well, this is also a time to come up with new moves, right? create those new neural pathways, that maybe you do have sex typically at night. But with the kids being up in the next room that’s not so realistic. So maybe it is morning sex when they’re asleep into what three o’clock did he sleep into?
Laurie Watson 17:43
One of my son’s is out of work right now. He’s doesn’t live at home. Thank God he lives in his own house. But you know, he’s been saying Yeah, he’s on truly on Japanese time. Stay nap. I think he had to stay up all night one night just to see if he could reset his clock. But I’m like, ah, I’m glad you’re in your place. Not in our place doing that. I have a couple who
George Faller 18:05
sets their alarm for five o’clock to wake up and have sex. That is
Laurie Watson 18:13
that can we can we do it? Matt? All right.
George Faller 18:19
Well, what’s what’s interesting is the built up is starting the day before. Right? So they go to bed a little bit earlier, to get a little bit less sleep. Right. But they’re anticipating, you know, what’s the routine at five o’clock in the morning? They got to get up and go to the bathroom first aid all day throw mouthwash. I like to have these discussions. Yeah. And it’s causing them to do things that they really didn’t do before.
Laurie Watson 18:46
And they’re doing this because of COVID being home with children. That’s right. Oh, that’s awesome. That’s really great.
George Faller 18:53
I have another couple who never took showers together. Now they’re having sex in the showers because that’s the one place that people are enlisted in there, you know, they get a little bit of privacy. And another couple goes to the garage. Right? They haven’t had sex in 25 years in the car, but now they’re having sex in a car again. So there is it. There is some fun opportunities in this if we can get creative.
Laurie Watson 19:17
I suggested that to somebody that they take a short drive and and do it in the car and they looked at me, are they on zoom? They looked at me like I’ve lost my mind. I’m like, well, there’s no one on the roads. But not that we want to encourage exhibitionism right.
George Faller 19:33
I have a police officer friend that might be good to ask you they see the rates of sex people in cars really increasing. Are they
Laurie Watson 19:39
just turning a blind eye right now? Come on. Come on, guys. Just imagine they’re getting away from their teenagers. That’s That’s good. I like all those. You had all the good ideas.
George Faller 19:54
Well, somebody told me that they’re focusing more on outer cause than intercourse right? Two things that are happened outside of intercourse that they’re just
Laurie Watson 20:05
sex over your clothes. Do you know that?
George Faller 20:08
Is that what it is? That is? Yeah, that’s the technical definition.
Laurie Watson 20:14
Out of course is having like, you know, like in high school when you were trying not to do it or maybe you didn’t try not to do it when you’re in high school, but basically everything you know, you’re not allowed to touch each other naked.
George Faller 20:27
It’s out so you recommend my goddess. Something else too? A little bit more out of course, for our couples
Laurie Watson 20:32
fine. Yes. During the day when they catch each other in the hallways. Right. Just start well I for play outside. Yeah,
George Faller 20:43
I guess what it’s forcing us to do is, I mean, we focus so much on the high levels of interest and engagement necessary for really great sex. But what I’m starting to see is the importance of adding high levels of intent. Also to grade sex. So it’s not just the interest, but the intent is critically important. Like how do I prioritize this? And there’s a, I think there’s an arousal that can happen as you’re planning it out. You can say, Aha, this is in spontaneous and this is just not working so well. Or you can say, Wait a second. This is in the shower could be pretty cool. How do I kind of set that up? You know, do I shave my legs legs beforehand? Do I do this? I mean, that, that building up is, is I think, really, really helpful during these times. Mm hmm.
Laurie Watson 21:35
Yeah. music, music loud music in the parents room, frequently, every night.
George Faller 21:45
Every night so they don’t know. They don’t know. Or you’re just having sex every night. I wasn’t sure what that meant.
I wish Yeah, well,
George Faller 21:56
this is a chance to to introduce more novelty into the relationship, because you are stuck together in this house, you know, so maybe you do get yourself a new toy or, you know, masturbation becomes more important or you try a different move or a different possession. I think introducing some change into the routine the whole world’s changing, so we might as well embrace it during this time. Let’s not look for the same old sex before COVID-19. Were redefining how we’re going to do sex and add these new moves into our repertoire.
Laurie Watson 22:35
At least Amazon is still delivering right? new toys, flavored lubricants, whatever they want.
George Faller 22:42
We’re going to do a show on not on all these new toys and things that Laurie knows a lot about.
Laurie Watson 22:49
Yes, exactly. We’ll have to do that. Have a sponsor for sure.
George Faller 22:54
Would you also agree that if talk is for play, right how Couples this also gets couples dancing. Okay, there you go. I think this is such a golden opportunity for couples to work on their sexual communication. They literally have a lot more hours together than they’ve ever had before. Let’s not avoid these conversations. Let’s just try to face some of these difficult conversations. You know, what does turn me on? What does turn me off? Can we talk about those? Because we have time now where we didn’t before?
Laurie Watson 23:31
Yeah. What books would you recommend? I know you’re reading this one by climb paths.
George Faller 23:37
To all our listeners Laurie has sent me at least 15 books on sex so I have enough reading for for a while here.
Laurie Watson 23:46
I know what you said. You said to send you one. And so you did as
George Faller 23:50
02 that was just like a good pursuer and he’s just like a pursuer. That’s right.
I’m really how it works.
George Faller 24:00
I’m really enjoying Peggy kleinplatz his book on magnificent sex. And it’s just it’s To me, it’s fascinating that people all over the world regardless of their sexual orientation, or their beliefs, or if they have a disability, or if they’re younger, if they’re old, they’re all describing really the same kind of things. And it’d be great to have an episode on that and just go into more detail, but just, I’m seeing the opportunity. I’m hoping during a crisis like this, we talk about post traumatic growth, like people see the opportunity to become different to make meaning out of an event like this. They kind of lucky some couples can be if this forces them to be more intentional about their lovemaking, to be better communicators, to really understand more of what they need or what their partner needs to see the opportunity to transcend and to grow. I mean, this is really a great chance for so many, so many people out To take sex to the next level.
Laurie Watson 25:02
Yeah, especially those who have been strapped for time that their life is so busy. Suddenly they’ve slowed down and they have that minute I would say, this is the one blessing I have found in COVID. My life is so fast. And I’m always running here in there and and don’t seem to ever have enough time. And this has been a blessing to just be at home. It’s been wonderful. That part of it has been wonderful. So yeah, for everybody who always says they are too busy for sex. And now it’s time to work on it. It’s time to get there.
George Faller 25:36
Amen to that. Okay. And for those couples that this is hard, that makes sense. I mean, the distance to keep in busy, as has probably led to not having these conversations. So to turn around and start facing it and having these difficult conversations. You know, it can be quite challenging. But the good news is that deep down Your heart has always wanted to have more of these conversations just trying to give it the space and I couldn’t agree with you more. I think COVID-19 a blessing in some of this is that there is things are slowing down and there is actually more space to start talking about the things that actually are the most important.
Laurie Watson 26:17
Thanks for listening to Foreplay radio. Keep it hot. For those of you who are listening today, we are also going to send out some free Uber Lyft those of you who sponsor us on our Patreon page, find a link on foreplay radio sex therapy.com or foreplay rst COMM And we are so thankful for your support and for play family. I want you to know we had our highest download day ever thanks to you. Our downloads are just increasing by leaps and bounds. We are so grateful for your sharing thank you again definitely subscribe that helps our rankings in iTunes which is important for us
calling your questions to the Foreplay question voicemail Dial 833 my foreplay that’s eight three three, the number four P-L-A-Y, and we’ll use the questions for our mailbag episodes. All content is for entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered as a substitute for therapy by a licensed clinician or as medical advice from a doctor.