So, here we are, everyone — about two weeks into the quarantine, isolation, whatever you prefer to call it. Many state governors have officially locked down states, telling citizens to shelter-in-place, which honestly many people were doing already. It’s a crazy time to be alive! Toilet paper is flying off shelves, conspiracy theorists are thriving, and people everywhere are asking, “When will this end?”
I posted my original article The Pros and Cons of Being Poly during COVID-19 on several Polyamory Facebook groups and asked you for your opinions. Though one reader mentioned that they were not really affected at all by the current COVID-19 restrictions, most other people are feeling some obvious ups and downs. As one reader put it, the pros and cons during this time are about the same as they always are for poly people, just amplified.
Morgan from Australia mentioned the opportunity for more sex, especially during lunch breaks, since everyone in the household is working from home now. I honestly did not think of that in my first article because my partners and I are stuck here with an infant and a toddler, so our already limited opportunities to have sex are even more so now that the kids can’t go to sleepovers on the weekends or visits to family in the evenings. But for those of you without kids (or if you have kids and somehow make it work), definitely take advantage of the extra sex time!
More financial support if someone loses a job or has their business shut down
In response to my con of having to support your partners who may lose their jobs, Christopher brought up that this can also be seen as a pro – the people who lose their job have a support system built in to help them. My household can actually directly relate to this. My boyfriend expects to be laid off for awhile after this week because not only is work getting slow because of the season, but also because of the virus. Luckily, if he does get laid off, my husband can help cover the bills for a while. Denise, who owns her own business, also mentioned this as a pro since her business is pretty much shut down at the moment, but her two partners are still able to work and support the household.
Greater skill set
Amanda brought up the advantage of having more people with diverse skills to help through this time. For example, in her household, one being able to craft (create masks), one being able to lift heavy things (the bulk supplies being bought), and the other being able to handle electronic issues that come up.
Someone home to watch the kids who are out of school
Simon and his polycule were relieved to have multiple partners since then someone was available to be home with the kids when the schools shut down for the pandemic. This is something I kept wondering about when the schools shut down: what are parents going to do who still have to work, especially single parents? Being poly and living with multiple partners definitely combats this issue.
Getting on each other’s nerves / Causing stress
In response to my pro of deepening relationships while being stuck together in quarantine, Kathy said that it’s not guaranteed that relationships will thrive when being forced to be in close quarters for so long. Kathy mentioned that everyone in their household have been going to their separate corners to get away from one another. Damien echoed this, saying that because of the lockdown, they had another partner move in who had not lived with them previously, which has changed the dynamics in the household and caused more stress than there was before (though he also cites there’s been more bonding, on the positive side of things).
It is inevitable that being cooped up together with very limited options of places to go is going to cause more frustrations with each other, fights, and so on. Maybe you are a stay-at-home mom who is used to just being home alone with your kids and able to do what you please during the day, and now all of a sudden, your partners are working from home and questioning the way you do things. Maybe your nesting partner usually is gone for half the week traveling and you are used to your evenings alone, and now you have to compromise at night on what TV shows to watch. Whatever your situation, it most likely has changed as a result of this pandemic, and everyone is being asked to adapt.
Less sex/ Lower sex drive
On the flip side of one reader’s experience of having more time for sex now that she is working from home with her partners, I actually feel like I’ve had less time for sex since being stuck at home. When you become a parent, you have to get creative on where and when to connect sexually with your partner(s), and I have not figured it out yet during this isolation. Before the pandemic, my sister would often take our toddler on the weekends, and during the weekdays, a lot of times my husband or boyfriend would take both the kids to go visit family members for dinner, which would give two of us alone time together. It seems like the only options now are staying up super late and then feeling exhausted the next day or waiting until the weekend when we are all home, and someone can watch the kids. During the weekdays, it’s just my husband and I home, since my boyfriend still works outside the home, so there’s no one here to watch the baby for us to have alone time. And inevitably, when the toddler is finally napping, the infant wakes up (the struggle of parents with multiple children).
I’ve also noticed that I have a much lower sex drive since the restrictions began. The increased stress and anxiety about the virus are really getting to me on a subconscious level. Some people deal with stress by wanting more sex to release their strong emotions, and others shut down sexually. Then, because my sex drive is suddenly lower, I start feeling guilty because I know at least one of my partners has a sex drive that has not been affected by this pandemic. And the guilt makes me less likely to want sex. It’s a cycle.
Thanks to everyone who commented and shared their ideas! Let me know what else you would like to read by commenting on this post, emailing me at [email protected], or contacting me at www.facebook.com/polymama.blog