Staying Intimate During COVID-19
The Coronavirus has shocked the world. With an estimated 846K passing from COVID-19, it’s sometimes hard to remember the 16.7M who have made a documented recovery, or the many more who would have recovered without even realising what they had (or being totally asymptomatic).
It’s also been hard for many to maintain what we usually don’t even notice as daily needs, such as routine, habits, time in nature, moments in person with others, and (of course) romantic and sexual intimacy.
The barriers that the pandemic presents to intimacy are highly varied from person to person and nation to nation.
For example, in the UK the point of complete social isolation meant that, although romantic/sexual partners could legally travel from different households to see each other, they were only allowed to do so if both individuals lived completely alone. This meant those with flatmates or family were suddenly unable to physically be with their partner.
Other countries have imposed their own restrictions and, at this stage, face coverings and social distancing are familiar terms and behaviours.
Yet we aren’t completely distanced from those that we love.
We cannot comment on specific national recommendations (nor do we wish to contradict them). However, here are some pieces of generalised advice that you may be able to apply to get intimacy a little closer in your life.
Be Socially (Sexually) Distanced
For those still under social distance advise – or those uncomfortable with breaking distance – props, imagination, and fetishism exploration will serve you well.
Invest in long feather or fur strokers, whips, and flogger.
Find your distance point (mark it out for extra safety/tension) and keep strictly to it.
From there props can be used for sensual play and impact play. They can even be used in tandem with a blindfold for additional deprivation.
Such strict distance rules play well into BDSM – with one enforcing the rules and one following them – which could lead to new sexual experiences for newcomers to kink.
Make Washing a Ritual
Hand washing is the most effective infection prevention and control tools out there. Long baths with bubbles and scented candles are one of the most conventionally romantic activities out there. So why not marry the two?
When meeting with your partner/s, if you permit physical contact, have a bath and a basin of soapy water set up. Dim a room, light candles, have some music playing. Then, when your partner arrives, invite them into a space where they can become fully sanitised in the sweetest and most soothing way possible.
Get close to them during the washing. You could even take time washing each other’s hands. Then, once those are clean, invite them (or both of you) into a bath/shower where you pamper each other.
This isn’t just a romantic gesture – it’s an incredibly considerate and reassuring too.
So many people right now are facing apprehensions regarding carrying infection, others carrying it, and general cleanliness.
By offering this activity you’re creating a mental safe space; one where you say “I hear your fears, they’re valid. Let me lighten the load”.
If you want you can also engage in a hand massage afterwards, using an oil infused with antibacterial or viral properties. It’s a weird world where comfort comes from infection prevention and control, but we might as well share in it with the ones we love.
Refrain and Engage
If you are still practicing distancing then now is the perfect time to explore voyeurism and exhibitionism.
Meet with your partner/s but agree – neither shall break 1-2 meters in distance. Then begin to play.
Request clothing items to be removed. Command areas of touch. Play with yourself teasingly, order your partner/s to play with themselves, or do so mutually. Then watch.
There is something so powerful about distance – so palpable about the gaze. You’d be surprised about the strength of intimacy that can come from this activity.
Give it a try and see what happens.
Can’t meet at all? Well, the good news is that digital intimacy has been alive and well for years and is accessible for all.
Secure chat lines exist specifically for connecting intimately with your partner/s, sex toys can transfer sensations in real time over the net, and many can allow you remote access to control each other’s play.
Even more conventional toys and play methods can be practiced online.
Just be sure you use safe chat services and have a good antivirus and security system on your device. Staying safe is always the priority in life and always should be.
COVID-19 is less than ideal, for so many reasons. But the ways that people have used these circumstances to connect, redefine contact, and reimagine what “normal” means to them is inspiring.
Hopefully you will find these suggestions helpful to keep intimate in a time where it is surely needed.