Has your sex life taken something of a nosedive in recent months? It’s likely, at this point in lockdown, that the answer is yes, since the majority of us fall into one of two camps: those who have been unable to see (or meet new) sexual partners; and those who have now been inseparable from the apple of their eye for a little bit too long. Throw in the stress and anxiety caused by current events, and it’s no wonder our libidos are feeling the effect. Research has shown that not only are we having sex less in lockdown, the quality of the sex we are having is lower.
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So as lockdown restrictions start to ease, what can we do to spice up our sex lives? Here, Mia Sabat, sex therapist at Emjoy, offers her expert advice.
Try listening to audio erotica
Tapping into our senses is an excellent way to address a flagging sex drive, and Sabat recommends audio erotica to help revive the libido, stimulate the mind and reconnect with your own – and your partner’s – sexuality. “One of its primary functions is to appeal to the body’s most important, and often neglected, sex organ: the brain,” she says. “Research has actually shown that listening to erotica can be one of the most successful practices women can utilise to achieve sexual satisfaction.”
Unlike pornography, which tends to cater to a male audience and focuses on the visual side of sex, audio erotica delivers the script via sound, encouraging our imaginations to go wild. “It’s great for couples because, when listening, each individual can engage with their own fantasies, preferences and turn-ons, while still connecting over the same storyline or narrative, as they act out the story that is being told.” Sabat says. Emjoy is but one of an array of audio erotica apps that offers guided sessions to get you started.
Consider the kind of pornography you watch
Since many forms of pornography are created with a male viewer in mind, it’s a good idea to look for erotica that is being made by women, for women, and that appeals to both sexes. “The story you watch is so important when choosing any form of erotica,” says Sabat. “And because of this I recommend women engage with porn that is going to engage their mind first and foremost, so that their pleasure, preferences and fantasies are able to come to life. By engaging with less conventional and more creative forms of pornography, individuals are better able to cultivate their sexual energy, because it allows people to connect their brains to their sexual desires more tangibly.”
Experiment with touch
Consider incorporating touching “rules” to up the ante on your intimate time together. “You may want to lie together, listening to an audio story, with a no-hands policy in place,” suggests Sabat. “Equally, you might be curious about experimenting with mutual masturbation. My best advice is to let the story build heat and tension between you and your partner and to enjoy that feeling – the mind is so powerful!”
It may sound a bit, well, unsexy, but making plans for intimacy can actually ensure you look forward to and enjoy precious time together: “Not only will you both feel mounting excitement by looking forward to it throughout the day, but you’ll both feel less on edge, knowing what to expect. Use this dedicated day or hour as a special time for intimacy, exploration and play, and engage with one another’s pleasures,” says Sabat.
Masturbate and explore yourself
“It’s important to remember every sexual experience begins within ourselves, and masturbation embodies this journey. Beyond stimulating our sex drive, self-pleasure allows us to connect with our minds and bodies within a context we often aren’t able to explore,” says Sabat. “It can help us really focus on what we enjoy, without worrying about anyone else, and this can be excellent for both our own wellbeing and our sex life as a whole.” Getting to know our bodies allows us to understand what makes us tick, what doesn’t, and importantly makes us better able to communicate what we want and need, with confidence.
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