Author Hakeem Anderson-Lesolang learnt that love and lust could have new levels in lockdown.
When the national lockdown was extended from the original 21 days earlier this year, the sex and love conversations I was having with my male friends who are married or dating began to take on a different tone.
There has been a lot of fear, worry, divorces, break-ups and introspection since the lockdown restrictions were imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections.
The fear in some of the men was whether their preference for adventurous sex would put their partners in danger of contracting the virus. After all, many were told that anal sex was among the ways “the Rona” could be spread.
Other men were worried about getting their partners pregnant during the pandemic.
Is he putting the mother of his child in danger because her immunity may be compromised and lead to her getting “the ’vid”? Will the baby survive birth in our weak health system? Do our doctors even have the capacity to deliver babies?
All these questions forced the men around me to see love and lust through a different lens. This lens focused on the live-in lover experience.
In my circle, divorces and break-ups have tripled because, for the first time since our friends hooked up, they were with their partners 24/7. Many found out they really didn’t know their partners that well.
Unlike pre-lockdown, intimacy and personal needs became tenuous and rigid. Personal space felt invaded and boundaries were violated because before lockdown they were only required to emotionally “tolerate” a lover. Under the lockdown, they learnt that real love is built on compassion – which they had never invested in.
Working from home and home-schooling children took a toll on partners’ intimacy. As a transformational therapist and peak performance coach, my door was open for my friends who were struggling with this.
When they consulted with me, I helped them devise ways to be active, stay-at-home parents and still enjoy expressive, explosive, enjoyable and amazing sex with their partners.
We started with helping them to master their schedules. They worked on the plans, tweaking and adjusting them to fit in with their wants, lusts and needs.
I wasn’t the only one helping my friends cope, though. My friend and brother Abdul Kareem got closer with his spouse.
She shared her self-awareness routines with him and soon these routines were shared in a WhatsApp group of friends every morning.
The routines included meditation, Tai Chi, routine prayer and shared workloads. This fostered deeper intimacy than my friends had previously known.
As their friends looking in, we appreciated their synchronicity.
A major lesson was the realisation that, as men, fathers and lovers, we really have been living in a detached reality – away from the truth of what our inactive and passive participation in home-building has been.
Men in my circle are done with that. We don’t want to numb ourselves with liquor and weed any more. We don’t want to distract ourselves with parties and work. No. We want to be active in building our families and loving our partners and raising our children.
Many of us have lost loved ones to the pandemic. That has been difficult to deal with. But, ultimately, this year was a blessing for my circle because we decidedly grew better.
Anderson-Lesolang’s new ebook, in Rosewater, is available online