***Explicit language ahead ***
COVID-19 has had most of us at home for almost a year now. It’s quite literally the most cock- and coochie-blocking experience ever. It isn’t safe to frequent our favorite bars, clubs, or restaurants, which means that for a lot of us, it’s damn near impossible to meet potential sex partners right now. For others, we’re separated from our partners and have been spending a lot of time alone. In a time when it’s dangerous to merely breathe in someone’s direction without a mask on, sex with others becomes a huge health risk. You are your safest sex partner.
Last summer, the New York Times reported that sex toy sales were booming worldwide after just 3 months of lockdown. More time home alone creates space for more sexcapades with self. While some of us leapt at the opportunity to spend all day fucking ourselves, others found themselves in new territory. State sanctioned at-home orders had folks like, “Wait, you mean if I wanna get off, I gotta do it myself?!” Yes, love. You have to do it yourself. You should want to. But I know what it’s like to feel more comfortable with a lover touching you than you touching you. And I know what it’s like to feel like a stranger in your body because you don’t know your way around.
I was having a conversation with my lover once, and he asked me how I liked to receive sexual pleasure. I started sharing some of my desires and what really just makes me melt, and I realized that so much of what I knew about my body was because of my sexual experiences with men. Men had been central to my understanding of my pleasure. So much about that didn’t sit right with me and made me really sad. I wanted to be able to recall times when I made myself scream or shake or squirt. And at the time, I struggled to remember the last time I blew my own mind with self-pleasure. So I promised myself that I would make space to learn my body more intimately. I decided to make masturbation a practice.
A commitment to touch myself more often may sound pleasurable, but it wasn’t at first. I’d be so horny and excited to make myself cum, only to face the reality that I really didn’t know how to do that. The same way I’d look at a sex partner who couldn’t please or satisfy me was how I looked at myself– with pure disgust. I felt embarrassed, annoyed, and frustrated. Masturbation proved to be a labor of love– I had to put in work to make myself feel good, and I couldn’t rush the process. Would I like it if a lover rushed my orgasm? No. Would I like it if a lover started doing donuts in this pussy and didn’t even warm me up first? No.
My masturbation practice taught me to treat myself with care and deepened my relationship with myself in unexpected ways. The more I did it, the more I wanted to do it and the better it felt. I started looking for windows in my schedule for a solo quickie. And every time, I emerged feeling like the baddest. I started to crave my touch. The feeling after rubbing or vibrating myself to my peak, exploding in ecstasy, and wrapping myself in a blanket afterward is unmatched. The first time I made myself squirt, I felt so damn powerful. I was looking at myself in the mirror like I was zaddy. I earned it.
By connecting with ourselves through self-pleasure, we show ourselves the utmost care, love, tenderness, and genuine interest– all things we’d want from our partners. When we give these gifts to ourselves first, we open the door to receive more of the love, attention, care, and pleasure we require. Taking the time to learn ourselves intimately is self-love, and we deserve.