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How to Have Satisfying Sex in the Age of Social Distancing

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If you’re currently single, or not living with your partner, social distancing has probably put a damper on your sex life. And there’s still so much uncertainty around our current circumstances that depending on where you live, limiting your contact with other people might become your reality for a while.

That’s the bad news. But now for the good news: Just because you’re social distancing, doesn’t mean that your sex life has to come to a halt. In fact, self-isolation can be an amazing thing for your sex life, allowing you to get more closely in tune with your body, your desires and your partner(s).

If you’re feeling sexually frustrated in quarantine (or “quarny,” as they say), take a look at these three alternatives to in-person sex:

Masturbate. Masturbate. Masturbate. We probably don’t have to tell you to do this one. Seeing as sex toy sales have skyrocketed since stay-at-home orders went into place in the US, it’s safe to assume that most of us have the same idea about preferred quarantine activities.

But just like partnered sex, solo sex can fall into a rut. If your usual has started to lose its appeal, here are a few points to get you motivated again:

Masturbation has mental health benefits: Studies have suggested that masturbating reduces stress, eases tension, enhances sleep and improves your mood (all needed more than ever). The next time you’re feeling out of sorts, masturbation could be an excellent way to cheer yourself up.

There’s a world of new sex toys and sensations out there: This is the perfect excuse to try a Rabbit vibe for the first time or experiment with sensation play. Even simple, inexpensive changes like a cock ring or bullet vibe can shake things up enough to keep it interesting.

Solo sex is safe sex: If you’re starting to miss sex IRL, we don’t blame you. But on the bright side, masturbation is the only way to satisfy your sex drive with zero chance of pregnancy or STI transmission (besides virtual sex — we’ll get to that). We think that’s a win-win.

Satisfy your inner sex nerd (we all have one). Staying at home is a great time for a little DIY sex education. You’ll learn new techniques, discover things that excite you and feel less alone in your disastrous-date stories or your kinks.

Here are a few classic sexual self-help books and contemporary educational resources to get your started:


  • Sex for One by Betty Dodson — The classic masturbation manual for people with vulvas.
  • The Kinsey Reports by Alfred Kinsey — Groundbreaking, nonjudgmental studies on human sexual behavior that prove all sex is “natural” sex.
  • SM 101 by Jay Wiseman — A handy introductory guide to exploring your kinky side.


  • Why Are People Into That? — A fascinating delve into sexual preferences and fetishes. 
  • The Rialto Report — For history buffs who can’t get enough of the Golden Age of Porn.
  • Savage Lovecast — Timely, no-BS sex and love advice from columnist Dan Savage.

YouTube Channels

  • Planned Parenthood — Accessible and practical facts about sexual health and wellness.
  • Hannah Witton — Friendly, taboo-busting content about sex, relationships and disability.
  • Ash Mardell — Positive sex ed with an emphasis on LGBTQ+ issues.

Sexting, phone sex and video sex. No matter how strange or uncertain the times are, one things holds true: humans will always figure out ways to have sex, even if they can’t physically be together. 

While in-person hookups might be indefinitely on hold — or at least accompanied by greater risk-awareness for the time being — technology provides no shortage of work-arounds. Don’t shy away from sexting, FaceTime sex or good, old-fashioned phone sex sessions with your date or long-distance partner (provided that you trust them). 

While not “the real thing,” you might be surprised by how satisfying virtual sex can be. It’s an opportunity to connect with your partners emotionally, giving you both a chance to learn about each other’s desires and fantasies.

Remember: things may be difficult now, but we won’t be social distancing forever. Make the best of the current moment by re-connecting with your sexual self, and you’ll have an even richer, more satisfying and emotionally present sex life in the future.