CN: Coronavirus, lockdown, anxiety. I know not everyone wants to read stuff that talks about this, so please don’t feel like you have to. I wrote it a week ago and didn’t publish it then, despite the fact that Stuart drew this gorgeous image for it and I felt genuinely ready to put it live. It basically amounts to tediously mad dispatches from the inside of my lockdown bubble, and it’s not great, but maybe publishing it will make it easier to write the next thing, and then hopefully the next one after that.
When people Skype or Zoom or WhatsApp or email you to ask how you’re doing, what do you say? Do you say ‘Oh, I’m fine…’ ellipsis to show the deep breath you took as you processed what your brain was actually telling you before continuing ‘…you know, given the circumstances’? Do you say ‘well the kids are driving me up the wall but at least I’ve got gin and Netflix lol’? Or do you tell the full and unvarnished truth?
As someone who’s struggled a lot with anxiety in the past, I really appreciate hearing other people’s perspectives on it: how it affects them, how they manage it, and any other insights into it that make me (and hopefully others who struggle with it) feel a little bit less alone. So I’m delighted to welcome Kim to the blog today, who’s here to talk about sex with anxiety: the ways in which it can creep into your head when you’re trying to enjoy yourself, and how it doesn’t necessarily always have to win.
A few years ago I went to a PR launch for a sex thing. Alongside the free champagne (woo!) there was a discussion about ‘obligation sex’ – whether you should make yourself shag sometimes even when you’re not in the mood, to keep the spark alive in your relationship. A sex blogger who I respected a lot was there (she, along with the free champagne, was what tempted me out of the house), and during the discussion she argued that you should have obligation sex. That making yourself shag could be the glue that held your relationship together even when other things were falling apart. I remember being shocked by her answer, because my gut instinct was to disagree. But I really liked her, and there’d been a lot of free champagne, so all I left with was a fuzzy head and a vague feeling that ‘obligation sex’ didn’t sound like much fun at all.
The last time I had an orgasm was yesterday afternoon. Lying on the bed in the spare room with my jeans and knickers round my ankles, rubbing one out to the sounds in my head – of leather smacking on skin, and grunting, and dirty words.
“British scientists have unveiled a new wristband which can tell what sort of mood you’re in. Men are especially excited about it as they hope to finally gain an insight into what a woman means when she says she’s ‘fine’.”
– Opening joke from Breaking the News, 5th July 2019
There’s a common trope that when a woman says ‘I’m fine’ actually she’s fuming, and it’s someone’s job (usually her partner’s) to solve the puzzle and find out what’s actually wrong before everything explodes in a shower of icky female emotions. It’s a fun game, right straight lads? Having to guess what your partner actually means when she says ‘I’m fine’? Haha women are so mysterious, and men will never be able to figure us out!