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 is here with a few ways to cope when you are isolated separately from your sexual partner.
We are in strange times. But if it’s any consolation, we’re all in strange times together, with all of our lives having been impacted in some way. Whether you’ve been in a long-distance relationship for a while now or you’re newly navigating one within the context of a global pandemic, maintaining a strong sexual connection is of utmost importance when you can’t be with your partner physically due to social distancing or quarantine.
When we’re around our partners, we are constantly giving and receiving affection — from absentmindedly brushing the hair out of their eyes to more making more overt moves. These actions not only allow us to feel safe and secure, but contribute greatly to that transcendental, animalistic quality known as sexual chemistry. In the absence of physical cues such as eye contact, touch, and an engagement of the other senses, we run the risk of losing the intimacy that we can more easily forge with someone when we’re with them in real-life.
Being distanced from a lover requires a bit more creativity and lateral thinking to keep the flame alight. But just because we’ve taken a hiatus from touching doesn’t mean the health and hotness of a relationship needs to suffer. Rather than seeing this time apart as a burden, why not look at it as an opportunity to really set things on fire and create an explosive atmosphere for when you are reunited? After all, as the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Keep scrolling for five ways to bridge the physical distance and stay sexually connected when physical distancing has separated you from a partner.
1. Get Sexty
Sexting might save us. Of course it’s a great way to be a little bit cheeky, flirtatious or downright dirty, but sexting can also bolster connection. It involves a level of trust and vulnerability, helping both parties to maintain confidence in the relationship. Sexting allows us to articulate fantasies and thoughts in a controlled space, so it can assist you and your partner to express yourselves freely and learn more about what each other is into. Most importantly, it builds tension and anticipation — two factors that will play in your favour when you see each other next. At a time when it seems like the whole world is on Zoom right now, you could also try scheduling in a video session with your partner.
2. Reignite Romance
Romance is integral to sexual wellness in that it distinguishes intimate relationships from platonic relationships. You might have to work a little harder to inject a dose of romance into your relationship when you’re physically distanced, but it’s worth the effort. Try making a mixtape of “your” songs or taking pen to paper to handwrite a letter. Whatever feels natural and authentic to you and your relationship. Don’t overthink it; your only objective here is to make someone feel special with no expectation of having the favour returned.
When we’re in relationships we can fall into a bit of a “sex on tap” mentality. Being thrust into a long-distance relationship can help us to rediscover the thrills of helping ourselves. Don’t just lean on your partner here; take pleasure into your own hands. In between baking bread and binge-watching, why not pencil in some self-love? You hardly have the excuse of having too much to do or too little time. TheVelvetine Tia Massager is a good place to start, with its ability to pinpoint pleasure and accessible price. On the other end of the spectrum is theDoxy Number 3 Wand – an investment piece that promises pleasure long-after the pandemic has passed.
4. Talk It Out
Keep the channels of communication open. Find your own groove as a couple; maybe it works best to constantly message and chat throughout the day, or perhaps you’re better engaged with one another when setting aside time to connect. Showing that you are genuinely interested in your sexual partner’s wellbeing and that you’re there to support them during this time will set the foundations for a strong relationship well into the future, one which can overcome life’s curveballs and challenges. This will boost emotional intimacy, filtering into every facet of the relationship including your sex life.
5. Just Go With It
Surrender to the uncertainty. Nobody knows how long this situation will last for. It’s scary not knowing what the future holds, but be grateful that you have a partner during this time — no matter how far away — to share the ups and downs with. It might feel like forever ago since you saw them, but reframe that agony into anticipation as you look forward to seeing them sometime in the near-future. Taking care to keep the sexual side of your relationship alive while separated will ultimately reinforce your bond, as well as providing some much-needed stress relief to help with the difficulties of the situation we all face.
Words written and images curated by Ingrid Kesa.
Images, clockwise from top left: From Shunga. No.3 by Noriaki (Tenmei) Kano, 1972. Sexual Fantasies by Jana Sterbak, 1987. Svakom Daisy vibrator photographed by Dan Jacobs. Laetitia Casta by Mario Sorrenti for Lui December/January 2014/15. Oh God I Miss You by Julien Pounchou, 2017. Chandra North by Mark Borthwick for Vogue Italia December, 1996. Love Poem IIby Tracey Emin, 1996. as if he belonged. No one, by Jack Pierson, 1991. untitled (diary) by Lina Scheynius, 2015. Seala Lokollo for Lost Gals 2020 via @_lostgals. Engraved lighter by Ingrid Kesa. Kate Moss shot by Juergen Teller for Nova July 2000. Interior via Space Matters.