SINGLE LIFE WITH MISS RONA
How not to let self-isolation get in the way of dating and self-love during coronavirus.
By Chloe French / 30th April 2020
And so begins the lament for a lost generation.
Gone are the days of the humble dick appointment, the awkward tinder dates and, the 3 am 'you up' messages. Unless you live with a partner, friend with benefits or are flaunting the rules (stop doing this!), you're having to get used to dating in a whole new, apocalyptic world.
A lot of the coverage around quarantine dating focuses on the uncertain abyss that stretches before us, a furthered gap between us and potential romantic interests as we wait for our regular dating habits to resume. Granted, it feels a bit uncertain and unnatural to be still dating amid a global pandemic - everything feels uncertain. You might be craving physical touch, the validation and fun you get from dating, or maybe you just really want a shag. But I'm here to tell you that none of that has to stop because of Miss Rona, unless you want it to, of course.
Illustration by Lauren Drinkwater
While exchanging fluids isn't on the cards, quarantine dating could be the perfect opportunity for us to get to make bonds with people outside of the traditional 'match' 'meet' 'shag' pattern.
The Coronavirus outbreak forces a courting period between us and people you meet on dating apps or online. Weeks, or months of communication before actually meeting may allow people to get to know each other on a deeper, personal level and help a connection flourish before things become sexual. A virtual, albeit forced 'getting to know you' period may mean mental attraction coming before physical attraction, something we often lose in the conveyor belt of modern dating.
Apps like Hinge have already introduced dating from home facilitators, asking whether you feel like you're ready for a phone/video date with a match you're chatting to. Of course, a FaceTime date isn't going to be a substitute for meeting in real life, but it's a funny, new way to pass the time, and it's not like you're wasting money on expensive pints like you usually would! Unlike regular dating, the possibility of physically hooking up is removed, which could lead to the formation of lovely connections, or some steamy virtual play sessions if that's your vibe.
But if you aren't looking to meet the love of your life anytime soon, never fear! Now is the perfect time for some socially distanced sexual exploration and no-strings-attached (NSA) fun. Sexting and FaceTime sex are super fun for keeping the spark alive with post-quarantine flings or getting to know your face-time date on a whole new level. Already, the sex and kink positive dating app, Feeld, has added Quarantine, Virtual Threesome and Sexting Bunker locations, so you can have experiences with people you would never have the chance to in the normal world! Most of us are sitting around in our pants anyway, so now's the time to expand your nude portfolio and spread the wealth.
This brings us to my favourite topic, SEXTING!
I understand that when I say sexting, images of unsolicited dick pics and cringe dirty talk might come to mind, but sexting isn't always writing an erotica novel in each other's DMs. Whilst it does require some dirty talk, sexting is a great way to try out different scenarios and kinks you have always wanted to explore without the partner being there physically. By putting your desires out there over text message, there isn't such pressure of rejection as there would be trying it in real life. And, if it doesn't turn you or the other party on, there's no real loss because it was all imaginary anyway!
It doesn't even always have to be a steamy exchange of paragraphs, just a little 'I wish you were here doing x' or a cute pic with 'thinking of you' will do the trick! Sexting and exchanging nudes requires trusting the other party and should always be handled with a level of caution. However, done correctly, sexting is a great way to help you keep your sex life semi-alive. Feel desirable and desired in quarantine and line up some potential appointments once the apocalypse is over. And who knows, you could even discover a whole new sexual avenue for you to explore.
This is all very well and good, but what if quarantine dating just meant dating yourself? As frustrating as the lockdown may be, we find ourselves with some breathing room to focus on self-love, self-exploration and self-pleasure. Think of self-pleasure as an extension of your self-care routine, an opportunity to check in with your sexual self and really dig deep to find out what you crave sexually and mentally. I'm sure you don't need me to tell you to masturbate, but when you do, think of self-pleasure as a romantic event, part of your quarantine dating experience rather than a quick pleasure fix. Self-pleasure can be just as hot and fulfilling as sleeping with someone, perhaps even more pleasurable if you're one of the many women who suffer from orgasm-anxiety when having sex with a partner.
I caught up with friend and self-love queen Carys, who is currently in a committed relationship with herself and on a quest for self-pleasure. She is no longer dedicating her time and energy to people who can't fulfil her and instead is working towards amazing sexual experiences for herself. For her, dating herself is a romantic and spiritual journey which focuses on checking in with herself and honoring how she feels in that moment. Sex with yourself isn't about chasing an orgasm or forcing yourself into anything; instead, it's about enjoying yourself in the moment; being in your body rather than your head.
Dating yourself means there are no expectations or moulds of what sex should look or feel like, so it's an excellent opportunity to get comfortable with sex and what pleasure really feels like, which can only improve your post-quarantine sex life! To give your self-love sessions this tantric, spiritual edge and feel in touch with your body, Betty Dodson offers amazing guidelines for mindful masturbation. For Carys, date night might look like a long hot bath, putting on some music that makes her feel good and luxuriating in her own body and pleasure, and it has led to some incredible sexual experiences. The best thing about dating yourself is that there is no mould for what it should be like or feel like, it's not about chasing an orgasm, but working out what your body craves. It might be putting on your favourite lingerie set and a full face of makeup and giving yourself a striptease in the mirror, cooking yourself dinner or just laying in bed watching Netflix, you can choose the date for yourself.
I think the main thing to take away from this is that this lockdown is giving us an amazing opportunity to break out of our dating and sexual routines. Try chatting to someone you wouldn't usually match with, explore a new kink or fantasy, stop defaulting to porn whenever you want to feel turned on and pick up some erotica or try to visualise what scenarios really turn you on. Now, more than ever, it is so important to show appreciation and love for our bodies, rather than seeing ourselves as defined by how many people match us on a dating app! While dating apps can be great fun as I have discussed, they should only ever be a facilitator for your enjoyment, pleasure and self-exploration.
So, stay safe, single self-isolating babes, and most importantly, don't let Miss Rona get in the way of your self-love!
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