Lockdown libido: what even is this utter mess

Image by the brilliant Stuart F Taylor

Lockdown plays havoc with my horn, and I know I’m not alone. A brief survey of ‘most people I know’ tells me most of us are struggling with very weird lockdown libido. Sometimes we’re numb to the very idea of sex, and wanking feels so alien that we wonder how we could ever have stomached touching our own genitals before. At other times we’re climbing the walls, wanking twelve times a day then yelling BRING ME MORE FUCK like some sex-starved Henry VIII.

At the moment, I am in the ‘sex hating’ stage of lockdown. I was offered one (1) bout of sex the other day, an offer which would usually have me happily whipping my clothes off before you could say ‘steady on, GOTN, have you never heard of foreplay?’ but I turned it down in favour of doing what I do most often right now: staring at my computer and failing to conjure enough words to scrape together a blog post.

But it won’t last, this numbness. Give it a couple of days and I’ll be humping furniture again, cursing my past self for ever having said ‘no’ to even the briefest and most incompetent of fucks. Washing my dildos ten times each day and flicking swiftly between pride that I can manage so much wanking while the world collapses and self-disgust that I have been far too busy getting off to get on with the work I so desperately need to do.

Lockdown libido: the third coming

Lockdown one was characterised by an echoing, eerie emptiness.

Lockdown two seemed almost like a joke: it was so close to Boris Johnson’s Christmas Superspreader Bonanza that it seemed almost pointless staying inside.

Lockdown three? A rollercoaster of horn. Lockdown libido that soars epically high, allowing me to coast through some of the days on wave after wave of orgasm, blissfully blank to the news and worry and panic, before plummeting down well below my knickers and deep into the centre of the Earth.

One minute genuinely disgusted with my own body, wishing I could just hibernate in a pile until this shit is all over, the next literally unable to keep my hands off myself as flash-frame images from shags in the recent-and-distant past pile up in my brain demanding attention.

It’s echoed in emotions too – not just horn. I find myself switching rapidly back-and-forth between days of echoing misery and days of pure, unadulterated joy. One day dragging my arse out of the house to go for a walk seems like the largest mountain I will ever climb, and as the rain splatters on my glasses and I haul my feet through the mud I think ‘yeah, fuck this. Never again.’

The next day, that same rain will feel refreshing and beautiful. The mud a glorious reminder that I’m alive and lucky enough to live near somewhere that isn’t pure concrete.

One day listlessly wandering around the house, picking up and putting down projects and ideas and hobbies as I realise each and every one of them bores and disgusts me. The next day embracing everything and then weeping with joy that my life is so full of hula hoops and woodwork and books and cards with which to build new MtG commander decks.

Today: terrified of the future. Tomorrow: excited by possibilities.

If you plotted my third lockdown on a mood board, it would look like a spiky, haphazard squiggle. Like a ride on a Theme Park coaster built by a child, which throws all the virtual people off partway through the journey. Like Donald Trump’s signature. Like a total fucking mess.

I hate the unpredictability of it, but I do take comfort from the fact that even on the downslopes I can be utterly confident that this too shall pass. I hate that I’m so often numb and dull and discontent, but love knowing with certainty that if I sit through enough penance in the dark place, a light will appear on the horizon to guide me to a better one.

That at some point, when I’m shivering under a blanket on the sofa, contemplating whether tonight I’ll be able to get any sleep, my body might twitch with the memory of a thing and whisper in my inner ear:

“Pssst. Remember you’ve got a vagina?”


“You should use it to do that thing we like.”

“What thing?”



  • s richardson says:

    I knew that lockdown had finally got to me when watching Art Club on Friday, I cried at a segment by Harry Hill.
    My libido recently has been well documented. I’m in the upward section at the moment, ready to wank at the drop of a hat (and it doesn’t have to be a sexy hat)
    I wonder if the rise of Gooning has been in part proves changing wanking style and emotional connection.

  • Nick says:

    I have given up on it all…

    It has been a year since I had any intimacy with my partner due to lockdown, not even online fun.

    I stopped looking at porn, nudie pictures, all that.

    Usually that would be the gym but they have been closed since before Christmas too, it’s like I’m being told “do you enjoy that thing? NOT ALLOWED THEN!”

    I’m going to be stoic about it, concentrate my energies elsewhere.

    Just trying to find something that works….

    • Girl on the net says:

      Ah mate I’m so sorry. That sounds incredibly difficult. It’s a phenomenally tough time, and I hope that you can find something that works for you to give you some joy.

  • Lisa Stone says:

    I liked about Donald Trump’s signature. He has it, really, like an electrocardiogram :)

  • H. says:

    I’m (we’re, as in my missus and me) in the same boat. I always had such a high sex drive, and we played around and fucked a lot, no matter how busy our lives were. And now, one year into the pandemic, we’re trying to deal with acknowledging that this had a significant negative impact on our sex life as well. It’s hugely frustrating and very difficult to handle without causing any further unnecessary bruises.

    • Girl on the net says:

      I’m so sorry to hear you’re both struggling with this too. I don’t know that I can offer any advice but I hope it’s helpful for both of you to know that you’re definitely not alone – so much is getting completely fucked by the weird situation we’re all in, and I hope that when this is over (as I hope it will be soon – or at least ‘over’ enough that we can start returning a little bit more to ‘normal’ life) you get the chance to reconnect and find a rhythm that works for you again.

  • Quinn Rhodes says:

    It’s kind of reassuring to know that I’m not alone in feeling like my libido is an utter mess right now, but at the same time part of me can’t even THINK about the idea of having sex. I have a whole blog post planned out about the fact I think that between COVID and mental illness and my new meds, I think right now I’m experiencing sex repulsion. It’s not helped by the fact that I haven’t touched another human since September. (I think this is the second time I’ve mentioned that while commenting on your blog – sorry. I think I’m processing it and how fucking lonely I am through putting it into words?) Thank you for reminding me that at least I’m not alone in experiencing feelings of my body being alien and disgusting – everything is overwhelming right now so it makes sense that our libidos are reacting to This Fucking Mess, but it still can feel isolating even if I academically *know* it’s normal!

  • Phillip says:

    The lock down is discouraging. A lot of people here are into their ‘personal freedoms’ like no mask. The chance of getting Covid really kills the erection!

  • Terry says:

    I’ve found this last year interesting as far as sex goes, but for entirely different reasons. I’ve not had any kind of sex or relationship for about 14 years now (I’m 35 and male). It’s always been something I’ve just, like… never got around to, I guess? That and I’d not know where to begin. Nerd, bad at conversation and all that. But yeah, it’s always felt like something I should do eventually in an abstract way, but never something I’ve felt a raw, gut-punch need for. (It’s not lack of libido, either, as my browsing history can attest :P )

    So then Covid happens, and everyone’s talking about the difficulties of going without companionship through the lockdowns, and I’m like… huh. Maybe I should be feeling more than I am.

    Like, maybe I don’t know what I’m missing out on? Perhaps I’d feel differently if I’d had a fulfilling relationship before now, or maybe I just am less in need of companionship than average. I’m truly not sure which. I do feel like there’s a looming regret in my future that’s going to steamroller me when I’m 40 or something. But I also figure jumping willy-nilly into a relationship to avoid that stemroller just gets me steamrolled from a different angle.

    Yeah. Ugh. I dunno. This post doesn’t really have a point to it. Just kind of throwing words out to see if people have opinions.

    Love your blog, though! Entertaining and thoughtful. Thank you for your hard work. :P

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