As things begin to “open up,” what about sex? When will that “open up”? I am not an epidemiologist, but I’ve been reading a lot of medical/science stuff relating to sex lately, in addition to hearing how my friends and clients are having sex now.
Sex now — while we’re still living through the COVID-19 pandemic — requires us to be creative. A lot of the stuff we used to do is still considered high risk: touching, hugging, kissing; oral, vaginal, anal sex; and any kind of direct physical contact.
At present, the only kind of sexual touch that’s really considered totally safe is your own. And, as many of us have experienced, “masturbation fatigue” and “touch hunger” are real. You can only watch so many erotic videos and masturbate by yourself before it gets old…very old. So what can we do until it’s considered safe to touch people again? Here are some ideas.
Creative/safe sexual activities:
- Phone sex: Hearing a sexy voice can be a wonderful turn-on. If you haven’t tried it, give it a chance.
- FaceTime sex: Add visuals to phone sex. The only downside is that the other person could be recording you.
- Parallel masturbation: Masturbate with someone but keep a safe distance between you. Be creative: you could start fully clothed and tell each other what items of clothing the other person can remove…and when.
- Fantasy/role play sex: We all have sexual fantasies, maybe you’ve never felt it was a good time to experiment with yours. Well, my friend, now may be the perfect time. Two guys I know recently played out a fantasy where one of them was the “street hustler” and the other was his “client.” The client drove around the block where the hustler was walking. Finally, the client stopped and talked the hustler into the car to go home with him. A lesbian couple told me that they’d played out a fantasy where one of them was the “plumber” and the other was the “client” who hired her. Needless to say, they had a good time. Whether it’s daddy/boy, coach/player, dominatrix/client…why not play out your fantasy (safely, of course)?
- Voyeur sex: A voyeur is someone who enjoys watching others masturbate, undress, or engage in sexual activity. There are lots of erotic ways for a voyeur to consensually engage with their sex partner(s). Let some of your fantasies out of the box and see what happens.
- Dildo/vibrator play: Not only can you use the toy on yourself, but you can safely use it on your partner, too (wear latex gloves to avoid hand-to-body contact).
- Grindr/Scruff “chatting”: If you just want to feel sexy and desirable, go onto a hookup website and talk with other people. Let them tell you what they want. Tell them what you want. See where it goes.
- Circle jerks: Remember these from Boy Scout camp? No? Well then, now’s your chance to create your own. Have a few good-looking friends over, sit in a circle and jerk off together (uniforms are optional).
- BDSM sex play where there’s no direct skin-on-skin contact, e.g., flogging, sensation play with a blindfold, experimenting with paddles, tickling, handcuffs, masks/hoods, latex, leather, chastity belts, etc.
This list is not exhaustive: be creative. Use your imagination. We’re far from being out of the COVID-19 woods. We may be in for another spike (or two). Until there’s an effective vaccine, now is a great time to try erotic/sexual things you’ve only fantasized about.
Some of my clients and friends are having sex — oral, vaginal, anal — with people they know well. How well? Well, that’s the question, isn’t it? What is your acceptable level of risk (see my June 5 column) when it comes to sex? This is a question that no one else can answer for you — not me, Dr. Fauci or your best friend.
We’re all comfortable with different levels of risk. Most of us know what we’re comfortable with and tend to not venture too far outside those parameters. Sexually, over time, this can get boring. That’s why I’m bringing your attention to more creative forms of sex you haven’t (yet) tried. When direct physical contact isn’t safe, it’s time to use our imagination a whole lot more.
Enjoy your experimentation!
—Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.