If you’re quarantining alone, you’ve probably felt at least somewhat of a—how do I put this gently—desperate longing for any form of human touch. Pour one out for the days where we were just a swipe away from fulfilling any *ahem* need we may have. Honestly, I would dissolve into a puddle if someone so much as shook my hand right now. We are currently an unknown number of days from getting back to any sort of “normal”, but fortunately, there are some very ~effective~ ways to tide yourself over until then.
Before we get to the “how” though, let’s (gently) touch on the “why”. Aside from the fact that they feel pretty damn good, orgasms are actually extremely good for you. In both men and women, reaching climax regularly was shown to boost your immune system, alleviate pain, and reduce stress by releasing endorphins. In case you forgot, we’re in the middle of a freaking pandemic. We need all the immunity boosts we can get. We could also stand to drastically reduce our stress levels due to the anxiety of adjusting to this new normal, and pain reduction would be helpful too—because all of this is an enormous pain in the ass. Or, I don’t know, maybe you get headaches.
Some of you may be fortunate enough to be quarantined with a partner (although after being in such close quarters for this long, you may be tempted to murder them for breathing too loudly), but for many of us, we’re flying solo. Now that states are starting to open up and people seem to forget that we are, in fact, still in the midst of a pandemic, the NYC Health Department is advising that if we REALLY INSIST on having sex, we should probably do it with masks on. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the least-sexy sexy time I could possibly imagine (although if maskplay is your thing, go to town—I’m not here to kink shame). Relationship Therapist and Owner of CouplesCandy.com Megan Harrison echoed our mask concerns. She explained, “I don’t believe people will change their romantic lifestyle so significantly by wearing masks during sex. The mouth is the center of many of the fundamental components of human activity. Consumption, speech, the breath, communication, kissing—all of which play an important role within intimate relationships. Masks would drastically alter the experience and I fail to see how people would have the discipline to wear them.”
In the same helpful, slightly tongue-in-cheek pamphlet from the NYC Health Department titled “Safer Sex and COVID-19”, the experts remind us that the safest sex right now is sex with yourself. Thanks, guys. Hope your people are getting paid the big bucks for that one. Though these tips come from the NYC Health department, sex during COVID carries the same risks everywhere. Regardless of where you live, these tips are solid.
That’s the great news, though—you don’t need another person to reap the benefits of the big “O”. Technically, you don’t need any tools at all to get the job done. A lot of the time, though, they make it a much more pleasurable experience. Especially when we’re not able to experiment with new partners, we may as well experiment with new toys.
As expected (and really, we appreciate their essential work), online sex toy companies are rightfully making bank right now. We-Vibe and Womanizer, owned by Wow Tech Group, both had sales over 200% what they would normally be during this time of year. According to Vice, B-Vibe, Le Wand, and the Cowgirl had sales increase threefold compared to the same sales period last year. We stockpiled toilet paper, hand sanitizer, yeast, and now we’ve settled on filling the next logical need: we’re thirsty. Even some of the people who were formerly averse to the the idea of using sex toys have come around (cum around?) to the idea that maybe they’re not so bad. Psychologist Laurie Mintz told the LA Times, “People are scared. People are lonely, and I think there’s been enough talk [about the topic that] it’s destigmatizing sex toys and masturbation—finally—and that could be one of the very few positive outcomes of all this.”
Speaking of destigmatizing sex toys and masturbation, women are putting in the work. According to a study by online sex toy shop Ella Paradis, women spend nearly twice as much on sex toys as their male counterparts. What can we say? We like to accessorize. Ella Paradis shared the U.S. cities that spend the most on sex toys—honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if these five cities also rated themselves higher on a happiness scale than their less satisfied neighbors.
US Cities Spending the Most on Sex Toys:
1) New York, NY
2) Los Angeles, California
3) Chicago, Illinois (Chicago native here, we’re doing GREAT)
4) Houston, Texas
5) Dallas, Texas
Ella Paradis also studied which states have the highest sex drives, which somehow isn’t the exact same list as those buying the most sex toys. Looking at you, Florida—time to go shopping.
US States With the Highest Sex Drives
2) New York
It’s impossible to say with certainty where exactly this market trend will go from here, but as long as having safe(-ish) sex still requires full PPE, it’s also probably safe to say that sex toy sales have probably not yet reached their climax. Check out some great sex toys here, and make sure you pick them up before we too are hit with the dreaded “sold out”.
Images: Stas Svechnikov / Unsplash