Remember in sixth grade when you planned a birthday party, then everyone at school caught chicken pox and it was cancelled? Disappointment is a universal human experience. And it’s happening on a universal scale right now for Aussie singles, as the pandemic shuts down our in-person sex lives.
If you’re a responsible sexual adventurer, you’re stuck at home waiting for the all-clear. But does this mean we have to quit flirting, dating, and hooking up?
I don’t think so.
Sign-ups to dating sites such as Adult Match Maker have increased in the last few months, with more members spending time online chatting than ever before. Australians are heading online to find partners….and with more folks around, there’s more opportunity to find the people that are right for you.
Dating at a distance is possible…and with a little creativity, it can be just as fun as hanging out down at the pub. Here are seven skills that will boost your love life during lockdown.
1. Be open to meeting people that aren’t your type
We often focus on looks when choosing mates, especially for casual dating or hook ups. But if you’re not planning on meeting in person, other attributes could be just as important. You might enjoy a partner’s sexy voice, their fun banter, or how they cheer you up when you’re having a bad iso day. All this stuff can only be discovered by getting to know someone. Considering it’s relatively safe and simple to video chat, why not give it a go, even if they’re not your typical choice?
2. Be honest about what you want
We’re all searching for different things: relationships at a distance, text buddies, sext buddies...and so on. But it’s not always obvious who wants what…and you might not be able to have an in-person conversation to sort it out. Whether you’re looking for a romantic partner or someone to swap hot selfies with, honesty helps. Being clear from the get-go means the right people will be able to find you easily.
3. Learn to enjoy the ‘slow burn’
In this fast-food world, delayed gratification is unfamiliar…but it’s an essential ingredient for having a mind-blowing experience. Sex without anticipation feels a bit like ordering a burger at Maccas: it’s over quickly and you barely have time to enjoy it. A slow build-up feeds your sexual appetite so that by the time you get to the table, every bite tastes delicious.
We might not be able to meet in person now but flirting online will build sexual tension. When you eventually make physical contact with someone, you’ll have a more intense experience.
4. Master the art of good conversation
Like having good sex, good conversation is a learned skill. It’s something we’re really struggling with right now. My friends all complain about dates who ask, ‘How’s iso going for you?’ They’re so sick of answering that question!
We need to learn to talk to each other, fast. This means skipping past the boring stuff (‘What do you do for a living?’) and getting straight to questions that are thought-provoking or personal (‘What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?’ or ‘Tell me about something you’re really passionate about?’ or ‘What’s something that’s making you happy right now?’) When we ask good questions – and take genuine interest in the answers – the conversation stays interesting.
5. When it comes to connecting, be creative
Despite what I’ve said above, connecting with new people isn’t just about having deep-and-meaningfuls. Everyone has their own way of communicating. This means that some folks love talking for hours over video chat, while others prefer to watch movies together, play board games or video games, or write love letters. We need to experiment until we find what works for ourselves and our partners.
6. Learn to get sexy using remote technology
Sex CAN happen online! Plenty of technology is available for free, including secure video chat, messaging, and image sharing. Or if you’re willing to spend the cash, there are sex toys that connect over the Internet. As with getting to know someone, the way you get sexy will depend on your preferences. If you love dirty talk but feel awkward in real time, try dirty texts. If you’re a visual person, experiment with image sexting or video. If you’re a creative type, erotic stories or emails may do the trick. Whatever you try, it’s okay to feel a bit awkward…and you don’t need to get it right the first time. Experimenting is part of the fun.
7. Protect your privacy online
Just like in-person sex, online sex has risks. I’m not talking STIs or pregnancy (that’s SO 2019) but stalking, identity theft, and revenge porn are all risks. Even when we think a stranger is trustworthy, it’s easy to fall prey to bad behaviour.
Although nothing’s foolproof, it’s worth taking some time to protect your privacy. I recommend using apps that have end-to-end encryption, ensuring your phone has a strong password, and storing your nude selfies carefully (iCloud just doesn’t cut it, y’all!) Need more tips? Check out this video interview about sexting safely. It might seem tedious, but taking these precautions means less stress and a more enjoyable online experience.
When it comes to socially distanced relationships, we shouldn’t give up…we just need to be smart.
Online dating presents so many possibilities for getting intimate with others…why not give it a go? You may learn some new skills that will help you get laid – both virtually, and in person when all this is over.