If you’re single in 2021, it’s probably fair to say at some point over the last year you’ve experienced a bit of a dry spell. Unsurprisingly, you’re not alone. With endless lockdowns, closed clubs and cancelled parties still lingering, there’s little hope left for the spontaneous hook-up. And with so much of our day to day moved to online, a night of swiping and ever-more screen time does not necessarily excite.
While there’s no shame in taking a break from sex, a prolonged lack of sexual intimacy can start to weigh on the mind. Whether it’s been a few weeks, a few months, or even the whole COVID-ravaged year, not having sex can make you feel less confident, less desirable, less satisfied, and can make your libido plummet. Plus, once your sex drive has been turned off, it can be hard to turn it back on. But fear not, as we have put together these three steps to break your dry spell, and start feeling yourself again - literally and figuratively.
Sex begets sex, and so does masturbation. If your dry spell has fully switched off your libido, masturbation is the perfect first step towards rediscovering your sexuality. Masturbating will reintroduce the erotic into your life and mind, and will reignite your natural craving for sex. There’s no point trying to break the spell if the urge isn’t there first.
Masturbation helps prepare you for the dating or hook-up scene in a number of ways too. First, it reduces stress and anxiety (feelings heightened when preparing for a date) by releasing endorphins like serotonin and dopamine, and is good for relaxation. Second, studies have shown that masturbation enhances self-esteem, self-acceptance, and body-image, helping you feel more confident and calm. Finally, and importantly, masturbation helps us get in tune with our bodies and our desires. It can be an exploratory process that helps us understand our bodies, uncover what turns us on, and confirm what we like. All knowledge we can then communicate to sexual partners.
Not feeling it? Try watching porn to get yourself in the mood, or read some erotic fiction. Maybe it’s time to re-watch Normal People? Do whatever feels good for you to reframe sex both as a possibility and something desirable in your life - alone or with others. Once you get into the swing of it, observe your sexual urges throughout the day. Start to notice again when you become aroused, and lean into your desire.
Flirting is a way of life. It’s a way to move through the world and see potential. It’s not defined by a specific set of actions, but by the belief in one’s own desirability, and the recognition of others’. Flirting is allowing your imagination to run wild, and allowing yourself to be excited by the possibilities your imagination brings up.
Start by flirting with yourself. Take your time getting ready in the morning, pamper yourself, pick an outfit with care, and then compliment yourself. Tell yourself, ‘God I look good’. Be cheeky and silly with yourself. Allow yourself to feel attractive. Then take that attitude into the world. You’ll be surprised how different it makes you feel; you’ll move through the world differently when you feel, and truly believe you are sexy.
When you’re ready, flirt with those around you. Keep it subtle: eye contact, a head tilt, an eyebrow raise, a smile. Ask a question or start a conversation. If it feels right, make a slightly suggestive comment, or lightly touch their arm. If they flirt back, it will be exhilarating and will help provide you with evidence of your desirability. And you never know, repeated flirting may lead to the exchange of numbers or an Instagram add… but a date is not the goal. Flirting, as stage two in breaking your dry spell, is about boosting confidence, and reminding yourself that sex and dating are, before all else, fun.
Get on the apps
For some, the idea of writing the bio, the endless swiping, ghostings, and one too many “hey x” messages is almost too much to bear. But there is a way to use the apps to get what you want. Requiring minimal effort, it’s the easiest way to finally put that dry spell behind you. To make it fun, build your profile with a friend. Get dressed up, have a wine or two, and do a photoshoot. Having a second opinion to help select pictures and write bios can provide some validation before you make your profile public. That way you’ll be more confident with what you’re presenting. Maybe start swiping with a friend too, laugh about it, enjoy it.
When you have some matches, keep messages brief, direct, and specific. Ask a question about one of their pictures, or something they mention in their bio. Make a joke or start with a one-liner that’s relevant to them. Make it feel attentive. Once you’re chatting, don’t get stuck in small talk purgatory. Get in and get out. A few messages, a few laughs. Vibes good? Lock it in. Don’t be vague, lock in where and when, and if you’re feeling kinky, exactly what. Remember, it’s not a race. The love, or making thereof, will come when it comes. And so will you.