• Warning: This article contains explicit sexual content and is intended for an adult audience.
The coronavirus lockdown has left Lee Suckling a man alone. Here's what he's discovered in week one of isolation.
For those who are single or don't have a significant other in the home, adhering to lockdown laws (that say you can't have casual hook-ups) is probably only making you want them even more.
My husband is on a six-month military deployment overseas, so I'm forced into complete and total solitary confinement in our home for the duration of the lockdown.
Total social isolation has, curiously, put me on heat. Instagram thirst traps are the communiqué du jour for anyone like me under 40. We have more time (and idle hands) to masturbate than ever before. Texting (and sexting) your exes has somehow become acceptable. Everybody is working from home and thus has easy and open access to porn.
When you're told you can't have something, naturally the human condition is to want it more. So now one-night stands are officially out of the question, of course all you can do is think about them.
Remember the days when you could get on an app and be having sex almost instantly? I think a lot of people would give up their 24 rolls of toilet paper for that right now.
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It's no wonder there's currently a global surge in online sex toy sales: Adult Toy Megastore in New Zealand has confirmed a huge bump in business, in Italy sales of dildos and vibrators has gone up 71 per cent, and in Canada, sex toy sales are up a whopping 135 per cent.
Let's be honest, sex toys are really the only saving grace for the horny and alone right now. I've written before about the societal taboos that come with sex toys, and we're now being presented with a perfect opportunity to put all misconceptions and judgements aside about their reasons for use. For many, these are unprecedented times where sex with another person is in many cases physically and legally impossible.
Some of the funniest quarantine memes out there have been born of ourcollective horniness. My current favourite is the tweet from singer Chris Farren: "Does corona virus make you horny bc if so I am in critical condition?"
Does corona virus make you horny bc if so I am in critical condition— Chris Farren (@chrisfarren) March 3, 2020
Self-pleasure, as fun and healthy as it is, sometimes doesn't hit the spot. Many of us are discovering this during the lockdown – we are craving that physical touch of another person. The heat of someone's skin, the sound of their breath, the way it feels to be held, caressed, and cuddled.
Researcher Justin Lehmiller from the Kinsey Institute reckons there are a few other reasons for our collective lockdown horniness. He believes our lack of social outlets is the obvious number one, but also we are not physically and mentally drained from work stress at the end of each day anymore. This is giving us more energy to expend.
Furthermore, Lehmiller says that death is currently on our minds, making mortality more salient. Fear of death promotes more sexual desire as a coping mechanism – one theory is it makes you feel more "alive". It's no wonder almost all horror films also feature sex scenes.
What do we do with all this pent-up sexual desire that can't be realised with another human being? I'm trying to remind myself that this lockout is temporary, and once it's all over, we can have as much sex as we like. Find an outlet like a sex toy or a cyber sex session and accept it is all you can have right now.
No, it's not as good as the real thing. And that's okay. This is just one more concession we have to make collectively for a healthier future for all.