Being non-monogamous allows me the freedom to be the sexual being that I never could in monogamy. The ability to flirt, and interact with other sex positive people in my community on a level deeper than just friendship gives my extroverted nature room to blossom. And thus, when I first heard about social distancing, I was frightened, and in truth, a little angry. It was as if, everything that I had worked so hard to achieve, was suddenly taken from me. Yes, I recognize the selfishness of this statement, especially as this pandemic continues to shake our world order in the most brutal and unrelenting of ways, but, I felt it none the less. Telling a sexual extrovert like myself, that there will be no contact with another human for a minimum of 14 days was gut wrenching. I went through the stages of grief. But, once I took a deep breath I realized that this was an opportunity to learn about what I could do without human intimacy. This is a rare opportunity to reconnect with my partner and deepen the connections I have outside of my home in a safe, and direct contact free way. So let me share the three most important things that us non-monogamous folks can do in the wake of social distancing and isolation.
The first thing many of us non-monogamous or sex positive people think about when we see self care, is masturbation. However, before we can get to that stage, let us not forget to first do what WHO recommends. Start with washing your hands for 20 seconds or longer each and every time you come into contact with a new surface (door knobs, shopping carts, or that bottle of wine) and practice social distancing if you must go out.
Next on the list is our mental health. Try unplugging from technology (after you finish this article of course) for a few hours each day. Pick up a book, try adult colouring, yoga, or mixing yourself a fancy new cocktail that you have always been meaning to try, but seems to take too much effort. Take long, deep meaningful breaths, and make sure you are finding ways to get a little exercise and cardio, which of course leads nicely into the fun part of self care, masturbation.
The science behind the endorphin release of orgasming or sexual activity is clear, and is incredibly important during this time of limited social interaction. So, turn a negative into a positive and embrace the orgasmic release of isolation. Buy yourself a new sex toy online, or just draw yourself a bubble bath. and finally have that solo time that you have been putting off because you have been too busy. And the best part is, if you are anything like me, you have not worn pants around your house yet, so access is incredibly easy.
Practice self care of your entire being.
This is going to have two parts to it, reconnecting on a physical level and that of an emotional or social level. First, let us start at the bottom, and work our way up. Pull out your phone, and find that person that you have not chatted with in years, be it an old fling, an old co-worker, or a childhood friend. Send them a simple message asking them how they are doing. Why? Because now more than ever, we need to use this technology that is glued to our hands for its original purpose, bringing people together in a simplified way. Being alone, or isolated with the same people for weeks on end, can be grueling, even for the introverts among us. There is no confirmed end in sight, and being non-monogamous you are probably missing that extra spice right now. So, get messaging, and get re-connecting. It takes very little effort and could re-kindle something amazing.
The second part of re-connecting is much sexier (especially for those of us who are partnered with our quarantine buddy). With the doors locked, and zero-time restraints, now is the time to have that hour long (or whatever floats your boat) mutual masturbation session or that sexy skype call with the lover you cannot see in person. Take your time, find safe ways at intimacy that fit your situation, and allow this rare opportunity where time is standing still to be your sexual re-connection. Sometimes, when we have an added challenge or obstacle in front of us, we can get pretty creative. So explore this reality of not touching, and see where that leads you. Who knows, you could discover a kink you never knew you or your partner had!
Building Hope and New Connections
While isolation is our current reality, it will not be forever. So, now is a great time to create a Twitter or Fetlife account and discover new members of your non-monogamous communities. In the past, I have spoken in great length about how people just want to jump into my pants, and spend zero time getting to know my partner or I, but again, in this glass half full mindset, time is on our side. There is no rushing to the bedroom. Instead, there is this incredible opportunity to hone those flirting skills, and practice taking sexy photos or videos. Effort will always be an opportunity area, and here and now, we have an abundance of room to explore.
Hope is fuel for so many of us. Knowing that once we are out of this mess, we can truly embrace what is meaningful to us is a huge motivator. Hold onto that. Forge new connections on social media, forums, private groups, etc. The internet is here to connect us, so while we cannot feel the physical warmth from a virtual hug, we can in fact, plant a little seed of hope, or many.
Word of Caution
And here with very little preamble let me clearly state that now is not the time to go get some strange. Resist the urge to go visit an old lover or current partner in person. While social distancing and isolation can be extremely taxing the only way to get a firm handle on this is to stop interacting with other humans right now.
And additionally, when all of this is over, we will do zero good to rush out and kiss every human we see, or engage in those orgies we have been dreaming about during isolation. There will not be a clear end date where it is safe to go back to normal. Instead, we must take all the hand washing lesson learned, and incorporate safety and consent into our new normal.
Every day there are new stats, stories, and information about this pandemic that we are all doing our best to live through. Know, that it is OK to cry, rage, or just feel lonely and isolated. We are after all social creature and to deny that, would be to go against our humanity. But, right now we have to put a pause on that, for the overall social good. While this list covers the three main components that have helped me, it is in no way conclusive. So please share your knowledge and comment on what has worked for you, or type a cautionary tale or two that you would not recommend. The more we work together, the easier it will be to get through this, and be able to embrace all the sexiness on the other side.