By now, you’ve probably heard we GenXers are considered most likely to thrive in the time of COVID-19. Brian covered it in a Further issue entitled The Resilient Generation.
While your mind might go to the usual places we get our cred — that latchkey-kid-driven ability to take care of ourselves, hang solo, and endure boredom — my mind goes elsewhere.
Despite being ignored by the media, we get us some love, and plenty of it. Survey says: our generation is the most sexually adventurous. And we’re more sexually satisfied than Millennials, once again proving that bigger isn’t better.
I’m talking about generation size! What did you think I was talking about?
Let’s talk about sex, baby
Sex naturally boosts your health and well-being, as getting off turns on a slew of positive effects. The logical part of your brain gets a break, and a flood of feel-good chemicals is released, including dopamine and oxytocin. The whole shebang boosts pain resilience and brain health.
Sounds like something we could all use now, however, a global pandemic undoubtedly is a libido buzzkill. According to a Kinsey Institute survey on COVID-19, sex, and relationships, more than half of respondents noted a decline in their sex life.
Still, at least one in five reported expanding their sexual repertoire. One of the study’s authors, social psychologist Justin Lehmiller, told Vox that sex can help people deal with trauma.
There’s a whole body of research and the theory is called Terror Management Theory,” or TMT. The idea behind it is that when we face the prospect of our own mortality, it leads us to cope, or it leads us to change our attitudes and behaviors in a way that it’s designed to cope with that existential threat.
For some, new ways of sexual expression, including trying new positions and sharing fantasies, is how TMT manifests. Either way — wanting more or not wanting it all — is an understandable, natural response.
The new “master of your domain” for 2020
Now that it’s clear that COVID calls for a long-ball strategy, using sexual release for stress reduction is worth exploring. Don’t take my word for it — public health officials from coast-to-coast have these words of wisdom:
You are your safest sex partner. Masturbate, use toys. Take this time to find out what makes you feel good.
In other words, time to loosen your grip on being the master of your domain. It’s all good, as sex toy manufacturer TENGA’s 2020 Self-Pleasure Report notes, 84% of Americans regard masturbation as self-care, whether solo or partnered.