Amanda Kohr
April 14, 2020 3:29 pm
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Social distancing during coronavirus (COVID-19) has shifted how we interact with one another, especially when it comes to sex. While some people have understandably lost their sex drives during this time, others are craving some form of release or human connection.

Luckily, isolation is not synonymous with breakups, boredom, or celibacy. Whether you live with your partner and are growing weary of the same ol’ sex routine, or you’re living alone and are so desperate that you’re seeing the Quaker Oats man as a viable dating option, there are things you can do to spice things up. Below are some of our expert-sourced sex tips for feeling sexy, regardless of your quarantine situation.

Focus on your sensuality

Holistic sex coach Cara Kovacs defines sensuality as “connecting to erotic or sexy energy without it necessarily leading to sex or orgasm.” It’s about being connected and “involved” with your sexual self—and it’s totally feasible to tap into in the midst of a pandemic.

“Luxuriate in self care, take a long bath, massage your whole body with oils and lotion, dance sensually to let the emotion out, or write your body a gratitude letter,” Kovacs suggests. Isabella Frappier, a sexual educator and intuitive healer, also advocates for implementing a sensuality routine during this time, categorizing the activities as “medicines” and “vitamins.”

“’Sensuality Medicines’ are tools that can bring you back to a sexy place: sensual self-portraits, self-pleasure dates, dressing up in lingerie,” Frappier says. “‘Vitamins’ are more of a regular addition to your regular routine, like consistently adorning yourself every morning, or engaging in routine community dance parties.” In any case, taking time to practice sensuality helps get you out of your head and into loving your body—which can be especially nourishing at a time when anxiety tends to run high.

Stock up your sex arsenal

We may not be able to leave the house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go shopping. Have you been dreaming of owning a garter belt or holding off on purchasing a vibrator? If you’ve got the funds, now’s a good time to actually commit to that purchase you’ve been pondering. You can also go beyond lingerie and sex toys: Think of things that might heighten the sexual ambiance of a room. This could include a red light, new sheets, or even some essential oils designed to increase arousal and relaxation.

Swipe more mindfully

If you’re single and want to mingle, consider using this space to think about what you want in a partner long-term. Maybe look at your past relationships and take stock of what you liked versus what you didn’t. What are your goals? What are your deal breakers? Much of the time, we enter relationships simply wanting a connection, and, while that’s important, it’s also beneficial to align with another person’s values. Taking the time to think about what you value in a partnership will help you enter your next relationship more mindfully.

You also can use this attitude when you get onto dating apps. Since you can’t technically meet up with anyone right now, it’s a great time to get to know someone through thought-provoking conversation. “Coming up with unique conversation starters and engaging FaceTime dates can be really fun,” Kovacs notes. “Meet Here Now, for instance, is doing city-specific virtual speed dating evenings, which is a really fun way to meet new people.”

Find ways to build sexual tension

If you’ve got a special someone—whether that’s a partner, friend with benefits, or special crush—whom you can’t see due to social distancing rules, you don’t need to worry about that relationship declining or losing steam. The distance can actually work in your favor, as now is a perfect time to build sexual tension.

“Get dressed up and get on FaceTime or Skype to have an online date. Don’t be afraid to dig deep and really get to know the person,” Frappier says. “Send flirty texts describing what you’d like to do to them, or what you wish they were doing to you.”

While it may feel tough right now, building tension makes the eventual reunion all the more exciting.

Go deep with some personal questions

Though we tend to focus on the physical, sex is also incredibly emotional and spiritual, and so finding ways to go deeper with your partner (and yourself) can be rewarding in multiple areas of your relationship. The New York Times’ “36 Questions that Lead to Love” is a great place to start, but feel free to make up your own questions. Another good one is the “memory game”—when you and your partner take turns sharing one memory from each year of your life, or sharing pictures and moments from Facebook or Instagram.

“It might also be nice to create a ritual for your relationship,” Kovacs adds. This could include having a nightly “vent” session, or playing the Rose-Thorn-Bud game. “Simply creating radical spaces to share and hold space for each other’s feelings creates the opportunity for a deeper connection.”

Pull out the planner and pencil in some sex

While scheduling sex might not seem super romantic, it can actually be really fun and bring a sense of “dating” into your routine when all of your favorite bars and restaurants are closed. Frappier suggests chatting with your partner to discuss how often you’d like to try to commit to having sex, and then schedule it in.

“When it comes time for your scheduled sex date, dress up for it,” Frappier says. “Prepare yourself in whatever way makes you feel sexy. Perhaps work out first, take a bath, or drink a glass of wine while doing some mirror self-seduction. That said, it’s also important to remember that some people may experience lowered sex drives during this stressful time. If you or your partner can relate, all is not lost; it just might behoove you both to elongate foreplay and prioritize emotional connection before getting physical.

Try something new

Remember that Kama Sutra calendar that’s been collecting dust in your nightstand drawer? Now’s the time to pull it out.

“Try a new sex toy, position, different area of your house, or play some sex games,” Frappier suggests. If you’re not sure where to begin, but have always been interested in branching out sexually, you and your partner might consider taking a “kink questionnaire” such as this one.

“Perhaps engage in a sexy fantasy, like being trapped together as if you’re in the plot of some epic novel,” Kovacs suggests. “You can get really creative; bringing in a fantasy element will lighten the mood substantially. Use this time to whip out lingerie you haven’t worn in a while, exchange massages, or write a list of things you’ve always wanted to try in bed but never have and then swap lists.”

This is something you can do if you’re single, too. Learn a striptease or try out some new poses for “sexy selfies.” You don’t need to send them—just enjoy seeing yourself in a sexy new light.

Watch ethical porn

Porn has traditionally been labeled as a very “masculine” activity, and, therefore, a lot of porn has been created with men in mind. This attitude also prevents a lot of women from engaging with it, even if it’s something that intrigues them. Lucky for us, female porn-makers have swept the adult film scene, and there’s more opportunity than ever to check out some ethically produced sexy times.

What is “ethical porn,” you might ask? It’s best described as erotic content that’s made with the performers’ rights and comfort in mind. Normally this porn comes with a higher price tag, as the performers are paid more and oftentimes are a more integral part of the creative process. Erika Lust, FrolicMe, and OMGYes are all examples of places where you can find ethically-produced porn.

If you decide you want to watch alongside your partner, be sure to have a few conversations first. Doing so will alleviate any anxiety and put you both on the same page when it comes to choosing what you want to watch. Though you’re watching something together, don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re doing so in order to enhance the relationship—and be open to the conversations that follow. Much of the time, watching porn together can bring you and your partner closer together, but that’s only if you’re able to have a healthy dialogue about what you’re watching.

Take a class

Yoga and barre studios aren’t the only ones offering online classes: Sex educators like Kovacs and Frappier are also bringing their expertise to the Internet. The classes include everything from mindful dating to tarot reading to erotic dance, so there truly is something for everyone. One of the best things about these sorts of programs is that they enable a sense of community, and enable you to work directly alongside someone should any questions or insights arise.

To find opportunities, join sex-positive Facebook groups and keep your eye out for event invites, or Google some options based on your interests. We guarantee there’s more out there than you think.

Remember to give space

Whether you’re living with your partner or texting a new crush, remember the value of space. Codependency is more tempting during times of uncertainty, but you want to give both yourself and your partner the gift of “me time.” Not only does this enhance your relationship with others, but it allows you to fall in love with yourself—arguably the sexiest thing of all.