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    As many regions of our country grapple with the concept of re-opening, I can’t help but be struck by how this phrase relates to so much more than just a return to shopping malls and doctors offices.

    People are deciding whether or not they can return to one another. We are mammals, and mammals live and travel in groups – it’s just nature. As such, we’ve experienced a great deal of sadness and confusion during this time of separation.

    For those who have been apart from sexual partners – and especially for women who struggle with pelvic pain – a return to intimacy may inspire both excitement and anxiety. That makes sense, and we’ve got your back! Be on the lookout for a blog on this very topic coming your way soon. We’ll offer several tips and tricks to help you go through the transition as smoothly as possible.


    Jennifer, thanks for bringing up this topic! I was socially distanced from my partner for close to 3 months because he lives with an at-risk family member and even though my days of vaginismus are behind me, we definitely have had some issues reconnecting physically after the separation. I’m feeling more anxiety with being touched and there is some relearning that’s been necessary since we stopped distancing from each other a couple weeks ago. I understand logically why it’s happening and that it’s natural that we’d need to work back up to the level of intimacy we had before, but it’s hard not to feel worry about that and what it can mean for the relationship all the same. Looking forward to hearing what you’ve got to say, Jennifer!

    mmHelen Leff, LCSW

    Hi recessivegenequeen,
    Thanks once again for your “real” post. How have things been going for you now that some time has passed? I feel like society romanticizes the idea of being reunited with someone after some time apart and that’s not necessarily how it works in real life!
    Keep us posted!


    Hi Helen – thanks for checking in! As it happens I ended up breaking up with that partner recently. Not just because of this separation, but being quarantined apart definitely revealed some issues emotionally in the relationship and really brought them to the forefront of the relationship whereas prior they had been something I could push into the background.

    Something that keeps being revealed to me again and again is that this pandemic and quarantine are having more of an effect on me than I’m letting myself believe and it’s happening in ways I wouldn’t have expected. I hope that everyone currently in a partnership is making a lot of space for patience and grace for themselves and just how hard this has been. I’d be stunned if anyone’s relationship is proceeding as normal right now.

    Ester Perel, a relationship expert and researcher, gave an enlightening interview that addresses the different ways couples respond to quarantine and I suggest anyone read it who’s trying to muddle through these times.

    I’ve had to let go of the idea that day-to-day existence will be normal anytime soon or that I can put my life on hold to wait for that to happen. That’s hard and I’m still struggling to grasp knowing that intellectually versus believing it emotionally, but I know we have no choice right now but to find ways to keep going.


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