Not tonight, darling: how the world lost its libido – and how it can get it back

After a year of lockdowns, home schooling, social distancing and stress, sex drives are suffering – among both couples and single people. Can we do anything about it – or do we just have to wait till the end of the pandemic?

Suddenly faced with spending a lot more time with his wife, Anthony, 44, thought one silver lining of lockdown might be that their sex life would get back on track. “Of course, that was really stupid,” he says now, with a small laugh.

What he had not factored in was the exhaustion of childcare and home schooling, anxiety about the health of their parents – and the small matter of existential dread. “You’d wake up and everything was significantly worse than the day before. And that is really not sexy.” Where once he would go to the gym or meet a friend for a pint after work to decompress, now all life was at home. “Before, you could come back to yourself a little bit. Lockdown took all that away – there are only so many times you can go for a walk on your own.”

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