Single people have really had a tough year.
Casual hook-ups have been pretty much forbidden, according to government law, intimacy is a thing of the past and most of us can’t remember the last time we hugged another human being.
No orgasms, no spooning, no one stroking your arm in bed.
A lack of human connection actually has a direct link to our wellbeing, according to a new study by the dating website Badoo, which reveals that 55% of British people say that not dating or having sex has affected their mental health negatively.
If your libido is crying out for stimulation or you’re in dire need of a cuddle, don’t worry—there are still ways to get it on and get some lovin’ during a global pandemic. Think of a sex bubble.
So how do you build a safe sex bubble in lockdown?
Lay down the law from the get-go
In short: you need to have “the talk”—not to define your relationship to a future lover, but to ensure that they aren’t out there shagging other people at the same time.
This isn’t about monogamy, a sex bubble is about safety and reducing the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus.
Even if you’re only planning to kiss or hold hands, the law is clear: you can only do so with one other person, who will act as your social bubble.
Have this chat before you meet up and be careful if you are going to jump into bed with someone new, as opposed to a fuckbuddy or ex who you know well.
Ask yourself: can you trust this person? Will they respect you? Don’t be afraid to question if they are seeing or talking to others as well.
Pandemic or not, you are within your right to set boundaries and get the full picture of what your potential hook-up is up to. Don’t ignore your gut—if you’re getting the feeling you’re not the only woman/man/person in their dating or sex life, step away.
As fantastic as sex is, we can guarantee it’s not worth risking your health.
And remember, if you are meeting up with someone for the first time in their home, be safe.
Have a video chat to confirm they are not a ‘catfish’ and share their address, profile and phone number with a friend.
Sex bubble, not an option? Embrace the virtual side of sex
For some people, intimacy isn’t physically possible right now.
Maybe they’re shacked up with parents for the duration of the pandemic, are at high-risk and need to isolate, or just feel scared at the prospect of contracting Covid-19.
While virtual intimacy will never replace the real deal, there’s actually a lot of fun to be had through phones and computers.
In fact, you may find that not being able to touch heightens the experience, both sexually and emotionally.
Embrace dirty talk, phone sex or, if you’re feeling brave, try video sex.
Have dates on FaceTime, play naughty sex games or just get to know someone on a personal level and build a connection that you can hopefully pick up when you’re allowed to jump each other’s bones again.
Word of warning: be careful of sending naked photos—the cardinal rule is to not include your face unless you are 100% sure that the person on the other side of the phone won’t share them (which is illegal, by the way).
Personal tip? To take things up a notch, grab your vibrator, sit in front of a mirror and call your partner to join you.
Have sex with yourself
Speaking of sex toys, sales of erotic items have soared in lockdown.
If you haven’t got anything in your goodie drawer, it’s high time to invest in your sexual pleasure.
No, it’s not the same as having sex but actually, getting to know your own body and what turns you on is great for the mind. Orgasms release happy hormones known as dopamine and oxytocin, which in turn will improve your mental health and wellbeing.
Explore porn, spend a whole day masturbating or read erotica.
There’s a lot of coronavirus-themed dirty reads out there, like ‘Kissing the Coronavirus’, a book that is about a scientist who falls in love with a vial full of the dangerous Covid-19. Yes, really.
The best part about self-pleasure and sensual female masturbation? It’s the safest way to get freaky in 2020.
Don’t suffer in silence – or solo
Let’s be frank: human beings are inherently self-involved.
Most of us like to think that our problems are unique but although certain aspects will be, overall, it’s good to remember that you are not alone in feeling lonely or deprived of touch, romance, sex and love in lockdown.
So, why not hunt out like-minded souls?
It doesn’t actually matter if you jump onto a sexy forum and dirty talk with strangers, join a Facebook group for people who are up for dating (like Single Men and Women Looking for Love) or dress up like a furry and have group sex on Zoom.
By reaching out to others who are going through the same thing, it might offer a sense of camaraderie and intimacy all on its own. Or lead to really fun experiences in the future.
Technology is a beautiful thing. Utilise it.
Consider lockdown sexual foreplay. You’re building up the tension before the big finale.