Really Well is an online platform that marries the world of wellness with an appreciation for culture, curation, and aesthetics. We’ve partnered to bring you MOOD BOARDS, a weekly series that explores elements of sexual wellness with accompanying eye candy in the form of mood boards. This week, Really Well founder Ingrid Kesa muses on what happens to your sexual wellness when you are isolated with a sexual partner.
Life in lockdown can be a real turn-off, especially if you find yourself suddenly spending every waking (and sleeping) moment with your sexual partner. For most couples who live together, spending time apart is key to not only a functioning relationship, but a fun and fulfilling sex life. We go to work, we exercise, we socialise, we have hobbies — our days are divided by slices of separation and solitude that allow us to indulge in the sort of fantasies about our partner aided purely by their absence, eagerly awaiting the moment when we’ll be wrapped up together, all limbs and linen, once more. It hardly allows for the same level of sex appeal and anticipation when you know they’re mere metres away at any given moment — probably doing something extremely inconsiderate and annoying (because at this point even the volume at which they breathe is, quite frankly, rude) and wearing the same sweatpants, again.
That’s not to mention the general atmosphere of anxiety and stress caused by this whole global pandemic situation, which isn’t necessarily conducive to a free-and-easy attitude. As flawed and complex humans, we all have our own individual coping mechanisms, which might explain why you’ve been feeling super horny the last few weeks but can’t seem to get your partner excited by anything other than the words “Joe Exotic”.
How can we ensure our sex life doesn’t suffer when it seems like almost every other hallmark of normalcy has? Keep reading for five ideas to help keep the flame alight.
1. Do a sex reset
When we are confined to the physical limits of the home with our partner, can we embark on adventure and exploration through sex? This forced time together could actually be a fantastic opportunity to break free from the sexual routines or ruts that, whether we like or not, we often find ourselves falling into when cohabiting with a partner. Do you only ever have sex at night, just before bed? Speaking of bed, is that the only place you’ve been having it lately? Take this as an invitation to have sex at different times of the day, in different locations of the house, and in different positions. And what could provide a better break to the monotony of life in lockdown than letting a fantasy take form?
2. Expand your toy collection
We might not be able to leave the house or engage in a host of the activities that oridinarily fill us with joy, but thankfully we still have online shopping. Treating yourself, and your partner, to a new toy is an easy way to introduce intrigue at the click of a button. Dame's Eva II Hands-Free Clitoral Vibrator can be a welcome third. Staying in place via two wings that tuck under the labia, it can add extra excitement to partnered (heterosexual) sex allowing for waves of pleasure that complement penetration.
True sex magic = physical chemistry + emotional intimacy. Now is a chance to reconnect with your sexual partner on a deep and meaningful level, to take the time to get to know each other once more without the usual external distractions that compete for every moment of our attention. Spend quality time together doing things you both enjoy and you will experience benefits in the bedroom and beyond. Confinement can test the limits of any relationship, so now is a time to be extra cognisant of how you treat your partner. Practice good communication: engage with and listen to your sexual partner; respect their boundaries and need for space.
4. Make room for romance
Date night is dormant but that doesn’t mean romance is dead. It can be tempting to swing back and forth between Netflix and laying completely inert on the couch, but making an effort to do small, regular gestures for your partner demonstrates that you have a match at hand to keep the flame alive. Spontaneously slipping into a full set of lingerie is a sure-fire way to illicit attention and provide a break from monotony. So is scheduling a dinner date, putting phones on flight mode and cooking together. You have all the time in the world, there is no reason to rush.
Having sex should always feel natural and hot, never like a chore or contrived. However you decide to do it, remember that sex can be an amazing vehicle for you and your partner to unwind, stay connected and reduce anxiety together during this strange and uncertain time.
Words written and images curated by Ingrid Kesa.
Images, clockwise from top left: Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassel in Irréversible by Gaspar Noé, 2002. Emmanuelle Seigner in Bitter Moon, 1992. Verve Vol VI No. 23 cover by Henri Matisse, 1949. Raquel Zimmermann styled by Jane How and photographed by Mario Testino for Self Service No.29, 2008. Jean-Pierre Léaud and Juliet Berto in La Chinoise by Jean-Luc Godard, 1967. Chloë Sevigny by Tim Barber. Pages from Undressed by Mario Testino, Taschen, 2017. Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall. Tenderness is important by unknown. From The Devil’s Playground by Nan Goldin, Phaidon Press, 2008. Serge Gainsbourg and Bambou by Tony Frank, 1986.