To say my libido was living a quarantine lifestyle long before Covid-19 struck would be an understatement.
On a particularly hot day in 2017, my boyfriend and I decided to end our two-year relationship while pumping gas at a station. While an exciting and stimulating love affair, our relationship, for all of the wine lovers out there, had subtle notes of incompatibility and a bouquet of insecurities and trust issues. So, we called it quits. My libido did the same soon after, shuddering at the mere existence of the male touch. It was time to be alone with my thoughts of feeling like a failure; how could I not prevent such an important relationship in my life from crumbling? I needed to be alone with my loneliness and sort out why I wanted someone to hold me without laying a single finger on my body. Hell, I even needed to be alone with my couch, refrigerator, and all of that beer that was on sale.
That’s what I did. I hunkered down for the winter, and the spring, and the summer until it was winter again. I got so good at doing that, I did it all over again. Not to say I didn’t still find men attractive, because you bet your ass I did. That guy that worked down the hall in my office building made me raise an eyebrow once in a while–though, the mere thought of getting to know him past his first and last name exhausted me and my nether regions. If you listened closely, you could almost hear “Her” sigh when a random schmoe offered to buy me a drink at a bar. I even stopped masturbating, which I knew meant my libido was officially closed for business.
I embraced asexuality. It was simple and came with no messes to clean up. Well-intentioned friends did nudge me in the direction of dating apps, but as the old proverb goes, “you can lead a horse (me) to water (the dating pool), but you can’t make him (her) drink (date).” I’d swipe right here and there and start chatting with a guy, but it always felt like everything that mattered to me was happening on dry land. I developed a motto: “if he can’t give me something I’m not already giving to myself, there’s no room for him.”
This isolationist approach to my dating and sex life served me well for a while. Then came Covid-19, a.k.a. The Rona, and everything changed. The first few weeks of being in quarantine were fine. After all, I’d been unknowingly preparing for this moment for two and a half years. However, there’s something to be said about having to stay home against your own volition because the stakes of interaction are too high.
That’s when I started craving the attention I’ve taken for granted so many times before. I now want what I see and infer from YouTube and Instagram videos featuring couples that are hashtag goals—love, companionship, support, intimacy, and yes, sex. So for the one hundredth time, I decided to download a dating app and have, much to my surprise, enjoyed it. Funnily enough, I’ve thrived connecting virtually with boys across town. It’s a wonderful way to get to know someone on a deeper, more intimate level without the immediate pressure to sleep with them. Turns out, this is the style of dating I’ve been looking for all along.
If I’m truly honest though, what’s really changed in quarantine is not my libido, but my self-worth. I’ve taken the time to sink deeper in my understanding of who I am and breakdown exactly what it is I want for myself and from others. While I thought my previous voluntary dry spell was about self-reflection, it was really about self-preservation. Life is too short to move out of fear, especially when it comes to love and relationships. Quarantine has been instrumental in teaching me this valuable lesson, and for that, I’m grateful and likely one-step closer to finding that special someone.
While I haven’t found Mr. Right or even Mr. Close to Right yet, this horse is ready to drink from the pool of libido recharging possibilities.