I haven’t had sex for a year. In 12 months (okay, 15), I’ve meditated, baked almond butter cookies, perfected my homemade ravioli. Extreme horniness arose – some days I considered messaging an ex. After those difficult months, I hit a revelation. My sex life needs to change… a 7-step revamp.
Consider if I actually want sex
The last time I had sex, it was the most sporadic, ‘sure, why not’ moment. No fireworks, no mental ‘hooray’. It certainly didn’t live up to the movie hype of two people ripping their clothes off and smashing lamps – which even then, gets awkward as you pause to wait for a condom to be fitted.
Don’t we often contemplate how genuine the other person is: Do they just want to sleep with me, are we exclusive? I want more certainly on what I’m okay with. Am I initiating intimacy because I want validation; if this becomes a hookup, will I feel regret? Am I agreeing to going back to his, to act agreeable – could I wait longer?
Reflect this for yourself, and as Pride advises, discuss intentions with someone before stripping off. It helps make the morning less awkward.
Hold higher standards
Yes, you may have assumed my unenviable sex life (presently) might have had me rummaging like a rabbit for any burrow to jump in, but you’re mistaken.
Getting through this year reminded me how much I adore intimacy, but also, how I’m fine solo. Providing I’m able to self-orgasm, the effects of not having sex shouldn’t cause too much damage.
What does create damage though – memories of bad sex. Going under the sheets with a person who doesn’t make me feel alive, beautiful, sexy. Someone who doesn’t care about my arousal. Bad sex can become a bad sex life – sex could feel less exciting. It might lead you to believe you’re not great in bed and affect your confidence.
We can’t (unfortunately) know someone’s performance skills until we get a live preview. There are clues though: ‘Dirty texts’ have helped me know a person’s focus. If it’s all about him, he’s less likely pay attention to me. The more time you spend with someone, you can get a feel for chemistry, passion, care. I’m not against first date sex (my one time had lots of benefits) however, it does seem like a gamble. You’re heading to thrashing seas or a frozen lake – with an uncomfortable, ‘Good morning, how long till one of us leaves?’
Writing about sex, I feel I HAVE to perform exceptionally. I mean, countless blog posts, countless research – what on earth am I doing if they’re unsatisfied. Oh, and it’s an ego thing. When an ex-lover looks back over his best sexual encounters, I so want my name swirling around his thoughts.
Having blogged on sex for a while, I’ve noticed the ridiculous pressure we place on ourselves:
- How long is too long? Is it wrong it’s been this many years with no sex?
- What body count is acceptable?
- What if I’m not that great?
We typically compare ourselves and put pressure on us as individuals to please our sexual partners. Imagine if we swapped the burden and cared more about what works for us. How can we have the most amazing climax? Look out for the needs of who you’re with, just don’t forget to check in with you. Sex should be fun, not worrying. Insecurity makes that easy to forget.
Improve safe sex
I cried through every episode of ‘It’s a Sin’ – a drama based on the 80’s HIV epidemic and homophobia. I don’t know about you, but it seems taboo to ask for someone’s sexual health tests prior to sex. And it shouldn’t be.
If you pay attention to diet, stress, fitness – why not sexual health? I’ve unnecessarily slacked in this area. I want to stay up-to-date with my tests and equally, know my sexual partner’s results. After ‘It’s a Sin’, I began researching HIV and different sexual infections. There is such judgment and stigma – probably due to poor knowledge.
For instance, in the UK, studies show ‘97% of those on treatment [for HIV] are virally suppressed which means they can’t pass the virus on.’ Knowing about yours and your partner’s sexual health means receiving treatment early (if necessary) and taking the best precautions. Results shouldn’t be used as a way to shame anyone.
Be more adventurous
I’m better at initiating, but my sex life could be improved with following more of my advice on spicing things up. Many people link adventure to rough sex and BDSM. It’s not always the case. What about role-play, costumes, strip teases, temperature experimentation? Adding toys and using them in different ways; the classic: new positions.
Not to mention, spicing up foreplay. Watching an erotic performance, a sex play at the theatre, a strip club. Covid really taught me that when you have options and freedom to explore those options – take them. Put yourself out of your comfort zone. Don’t let insecurity hold you back – not in life and not in sex.
Suggested read: How to be more active in bed as a woman
Avoid suppressing my sexuality
As a virgin, I did everything I could to come across sexual. From graphic images, miniscule clothing, constant sex conversation. I probably looked like a nymphomaniac. Women face this hidden yet obvious line, balancing sexuality with sophistication.
Some guys don’t like very sexualised women. One date told me how showing skin proves attention-seeking and loose morals. As if me with my cleavage and legs out means I’ll sleep with anyone. But me in a long-sleeved dress means I’ll say, no. I’m tired of hiding/proving myself as sexual. No more will I adjust to fit with a man’s perception.
Continue sex as self-care
With no real penis in sight, I’ve had to depend on technology. I’m not alone. The sexual wellness industry has boomed during Covid – it’s expected to grow by ‘9.8% annually’ according to Well and Good. Regardless of a man, pleasuring myself will remain in my schedule. Glamour notes how the benefits of female masturbation include sexual appetite increase, relaxation, improved sleep – plus, (the most important factor) it feels fricking amazing! Pleasure minus the fear of babies and sexual health risks. And you can control your orgasm completely and selfishly – well, it’s not selfish.
What changes could you make with your sex life post Covid?