The Covid-19 pandemic has been called many things, including the “sexless year.” As a single person trudging through this era of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, I haven’t had dirty time with a partner for a year, but I’ve still been enjoying some of the best sex of my life. That’s because solo sex is still, well, sex.
Sex doesn’t require a partner(s).
You don’t need a partner(s) to have or enjoy sex. And while many people still don’t equate solo play as sex, there’s evidence that most people are having it and many prefer it to accompanied sex. According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 78 percent of people in the U.S. have masturbated at some point in their lives. Moreover, a quarter of people prefer self-pleasure over partnered sex. For people with vulvas, 56 percent say that solo playtime actually leads to a better orgasm.
Non-penetrative sex is still sex.
Heteronormative sex education has convinced countless people that sex requires a penis and a vagina. That couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, this myth disregards solo play, queer sex and intimacy among people living with trauma, body dysphoria or other medical conditions that make penetrative sex uncomfortable or painful. Penetration isn’t the end-all, be-all when it comes to sex. While some people do enjoy having a penis, finger or toy in their vagina or anus, others also take pleasure in, and even prefer, outercourse—sex without penetration.
Non-penetrative solo sex can include masturbating with your hands, fingers and sex toys. We enjoy Lelo’s Ora 3 Oral Simulation ($169), Dame’s Aer Suction Clitoral Stimulator ($95) and Lelo’s Tor 2 Vibrating Ring ($139). But solo outercourse could also include non-prescriptive sexual activities, like dry humping or couch grinding. One of the many benefits of solo sex is that you make all the rules. Nothing is off limits in your journey toward self-pleasure and self-exploration.
Solo sex strengthens self-intimacy.
Since self-exploration is often linked to solo sex, it boosts self-intimacy. As with partnered sex, solo sex can be as nasty or as romantic as your want it to be. Some days, you might want to play soft music, light a candle, rub Bloomi Massage Oil with CBD and Botanical Aphrodisiacs ($64) on your skin, grab Dame’s Fin Vibrator for Fingers ($85) and revel in soft, long-lasting playtime. Other days, you might prefer having fast, multiple orgasms with Lelo’s Sona 2 Clitoris Stimulator ($99). Solo sex allows you to take time to identify what you want in any given moment, and then treat yourself without waiting on anyone else. It’s a beautiful—and pleasurable—way to strengthen self-intimacy.