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In the time of the Covid 19 crisis, is Sexuality a Priority?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by OnTheHighway, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. OnTheHighway

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    On another thread the topic of the virus was raised and a question posed in relation to the crisis’ impact on sexuality related thoughts. Given the thought provoking question, it seems to make sense to have a separate thread on this broader topic.

    Many of us may be stuck in our homes Without a job, working from home or working out of our homes in essential jobs during this crisis. We are thinking about our own safety physically, possibly mentally and financially during an unprecedented generational event. With so much to be concerned about, where should thoughts on our sexuality be prioritized?

    From my standpoint, our sexuality is part of whom we are. I don’t believe there is an on/off switch that’s enables us to stop thinking about it, particularly now that I spent so much effort to embrace my sexuality and be happy with whom I am as a person. Also, I believe the need for physical intimacy is a human need, another part of sexuality that can not simply be shut off.

    I am certainly more concerned at the moment about my health and financial future, but my sexuality and related thoughts remain in my head. And as I think about it, it’s sometimes a good distraction to have to keep my mind off of the current global virus crisis.
     
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  2. eron

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    The flip answer is that I think we can chew gum and walk at the same time. :slight_smile: In times of crisis, it seems natural that we prioritize our needs and desires to meet the situation but I think it's equally important that we don't lose our identity, or those things that shape our identity, along the way, especially as we experience social isolation.
     
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  3. LostInDaydreams

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    I don’t think it’s a “priority”, but that doesn’t mean it disappears, does it? I still think about it and I think times like this can highlight how short and unpredictable life can be, which shows why we should try to live authentically. Having said that, I know that (for me anyway) other things will be more important over the coming months.
     
  4. Fuzzy

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    I think it sort of depends on a person's situation. For me, for example, It has decreased the amount of work I'm doing and therefor decreased my stress levels so that I am better able to take on the changes that need to happen in my life. Other people will experience the opposite situation.
     
  5. sweetfemme90

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    There is a psychologist by the name of Maslow who created what was called Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is essentially a pyramid with various categories that begin from the bottom and make their way to the top. At the bottom are physiological needs (e.g. air, water, food), Security (e.g. safety, shelter), love & belonging (e.g. relationships romantic/platonic, being included), Esteem (e.g. respect, status, recognition, self-worth), and Self-actualization (being the most you can be-probably the hardest one to achieve, hold, and comprehend).

    You have all these needs and such. The ones at the bottom of the pyramid tend to be the ones that take up most of our time, tend to be the most urgent and require the most attention. We do tend to focus on things like food (think, plan, shop, prepare, cook, eat, clean up) than spending that same amount of time and effort on let's say Esteem.

    Just because some things like job security may be more important than finding a core group of people to hang out with. However it doesn't mean you cannot use this time to reach out to people. If you are spending time alone there is a lot you can do to develop yourself. With less daily distractions time can be allocated to fewer things. You can grant yourself the time to explore sexuality through reading books, hearing from people on the desired topic of your choice, or engage in self-reflection.

    That is my take on this.
     
  6. OnTheHighway

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    I can not recall any prior personal exposure to Maslow (never studied psychology), but this is spot on from my own personal experience!!!
     
    #6 OnTheHighway, Apr 10, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
  7. Tightrope

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    The pyramid makes a lot of sense but we learned that it is possible to move back and forth between levels and be out of order. Love and belonging is on level three but just plain sex - urge and desire - is on either level one or two.
     
  8. Unsure77

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    It’s probably going to sound weird, but the quarantine has made me feel like I’m closeted again in a way. The isolation and the way I’m finding myself spending time and coping has been a little triggering for that.
     
    #8 Unsure77, Apr 10, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2020
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  9. Tightrope

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    About a week ago, I was in the supermarket going down one of the aisles and I got a the slight nanosecond longer eye contact and thought that even if you wanted to take it further, there's no way you could do that these days. I have heard people have picked up people in supermarkets for many years. I have never done that - have not picked anyone up nor they me.
     
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  10. BiGemini87

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    Pretty much this. While it may not be the most important point of focus right now, it's still something that matters on a personal level. This isn't comparable in the same way, but it's like the argument of people talking about essential workers vs. artists (or at least, I've seen some of this going on). Both, to me, are equally as important for different reasons: Essential workers, like doctors, grocers, waste pickup, etc. are necessary in order for us to live/maintain physical health; the art we consume at times like this--books, music, movies, you get the idea--these are all fuel for the soul. They're very necessary distractions from the fear and confusion currently running rampant, a means of finding some peace and in turn, keeping a lot of people above water. Depression is on the rise for a lot of people, and for people who already deal with depression, anxiety, etc. it's further exacerbated.

    Therefore, what creature comforts we can have are essential in their own way--and if that means having more time to reflect on who and what are, great. Shitty as this whole situation is, it's also got its silver lining; we're usually under a lot of pressure to just "Go, go, go!" and when life's like that, having time for personal growth is pretty hard to come by.
     
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  11. Tightrope

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    Taking care of my mental health is more important right now. When I'm feeling very anxious, one place that I notice it is in my stomach. It has been churning a lot lately.
     
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  12. Destin

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    Not for most people apparently. All of the gay apps died almost immediately in my area once this stuff started. It's like gay people suddenly don't exist here anymore. The few who didn't delete their accounts don't log in. Considering it's a college area I'm thinking everyone is back home and afraid of their parents seeing them use the app so they just deleted everything.
     
  13. Nickw

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    One of the things that I learned to do after I accepted my sexuality was to begin to open up to people. I have had several years now where I have been no longer afraid to look a stranger in the eye. To say hi. To pat a friend on the shoulder. I lost the fear of "being discovered" because I was hiding my sexuality. It always felt like I walked around with my shoulders hunched forward and my gaze directed ahead.

    Now, the social distancing is making me feel the same way. I feel I cannot be myself in the same sort of ways I used to feel when I am out. I feel anxious all the time in the same way. I feel I can't appreciate another human just like I used to feel I couldn't appreciate another man. So, in a way, I feel I cannot express my sexuality. I guess I am making it a low priority because it just cannot be right now. That is the "formal" expression of my sexuality. My gay friends and events. There is no ability to be working on being "out" right now.

    But, I do have my boyfriend and my wife. We got stuck together when the stay at home orders started. We were on a ski trip together. So, we ended up as a family unit for the last month. Pretty much all three of us living together at least 75% of the time. So, I find time to appreciate how both men and women make me feel on an hourly basis. I guess I feel my straight and gay are now pretty much intertwined. Before this, I almost felt there was a switch between the two of them. In a way, not making my sexuality a "thing" because there are limited ways to express it, has made my sexuality more integral to who I am. Not what I would have guessed would happen.
     
  14. OnTheHighway

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    I think people are more focused on social distancing than apps at the moment. But even while social distancing, I am engaged with FB and instagram gay acquaintances. And while it seems dialogue on EC has slowed down (although Chip and the likes have the raw data on that), it seems dialogue with others is still ongoing.
     
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  15. OnTheHighway

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    Wow, that must be an interesting dynamic at home at the moment. Sounds to me your having your proverbial cake and eating it too. That said, is the fact that you are actually residing with your wife and your boyfriend making you cautious of how you act around them? Thats quite a balancing act your trying to accomplish in very stressful circumstances.
     
  16. Nickw

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    When we started this, I asked my wife if we needed to distance ourselves from "Jay" during the shelter in place. She was appalled that I would ask. In a time like this, she wants him near us. Jay has become a member of our family and has a relationship with my wife. I think if we ever broke up my wife would continue to see him. Although, I cannot imagine he will ever not be a part of our lives. Our relationship is something I have never heard of anyone having. He's in his early thirties. My wife and I are in our sixties. We are avid skiers and mountain bikers and have been teaching him those sports.

    This thing started as a hookup 18 months ago. I just wanted to fool around with a handsome guy a little bit. But, we, instantly, became friends separate from our physical relationship. My wife taught him to ski and they became good friends. Pretty soon he was with one of us all the time. His dad died and I was there for him. I had a heath issue and he helped us out.

    This pandemic has made this "triad" a bit less of a balancing act if anything. My sexuality is now just part of everyday life. Jay and I are careful to not be too affectionate in front of my wife. But, we do all hang out on the sofa watching a movie with arms around each other. The biggest difficulty is that Jay and I have a very active sex life. So, it is sometimes a bit of an effort to make that happen. My wife senses when we need that time and will find an excuse to take the dog for a walk or something. It is remarkable that there has been no jealousy expressed by any of us so far.
     
  17. OnTheHighway

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    Sounds like you guys are in a full on polyamorous relationship now. So why the concern about feeling constrained?
     
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