For many, the global pandemic has impacted physical intimacy. This guide will help you get in touch (literally) with yourself, from solo play tips to cannabis rituals — including Infused Intimacy item recommendations, like biodegradable vibrators and hemp lubricant. Let’s level up your pleasure.
Words by By Maia Leggott
We’re quickly closing in on month 12 of lockdown/quarantine/isolation/stay-at-home orders in much of the world, and people are feeling it. Or, more accurately, they’re not.
According to a recent Ipsos poll, a majority of Canadians are feeling lonely due to the physical distancing measures. Many experts warn that mental health won’t be the same once the pandemic passes. Phrases like “touch deprivation,” “skin hunger,” and “being starved for human touch” are creeping into our doomscrolling.
Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and suddenly, we’re jonesing to hug the Canada Post courier. But we can’t.
Why is touch so important?
Physical touch is crucial to human development, social relationships and mental wellbeing. Skin-to-skin contact between a mother and infant supports sensory and motor development, as well as the immune system.
Receiving a hug is associated with improvements in mood, most likely thanks to the surge of oxytocin. This hormone is often associated with love, lust, and childbirth, and was recently shown to be heavily involved in many complex human behaviours, including social behaviour.
With physical distancing, there may be a serious lack of oxytocin. So how do we fix that?
Masturbation is on the rise
In early 2020, most governments released various versions of COVID-19 sex tips, which mainly emphasize that YOU are your safest sex partner (although the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control does mention sex with barriers such as masks or glory holes).
According to a 2020 global “Self-Pleasure Report” by pleasure product brand TENGA, 84% of people surveyed considered masturbation a form of self-care - and 71% said it made them feel better during isolation. More than a third increased the frequency of solo play during quarantine.
What’s cannabis got to do with it?
When it comes to sex and cannabis, many people (like me) rely on cannabis lubricants to ease pelvic pain and help with penetration. Many others use it to relax and increase desire, ease anxiety and be more in tune with their emotions. Nearly three-quarters of people in one study reported cannabis increased both their sensitivity to touch and sexual satisfaction, while two-thirds reported more intense orgasms.
Like any time you’re using cannabis to enhance a mood, follow your nose. A skunky diesel may not scream sexy (but if it does, hell yeah), so maybe look for the tingly effervescence of the stimulating limonene terpene or the anxiety-reducing spiciness of caryophyllene.
Set the mood
When you’re ready to get intimate with yourself, ditch all screens, mute notifications, hide in the bathroom if you must, but give yourself this dedicated time for physical touch and nothing else.
Dim the lights and burn some candles or incense. Slip into something that makes you feel f*cking amazing. This could be a sexy pair of boxer briefs, some high-waisted granny panties or a silky soft robe. Or, nothing at all!
Get some mood-making tunes going — I love this album, despite its cheesy name — and, your favourite cannabis strain. If microdosing is more your speed, mix your ground bud with Barbari's Car Sex herbal blend for a giggly, exhilarating chill.
This doesn’t *have* to be a sexual ritual, but if it does slither in that direction, make sure you’ve got your infused lube and/or a special toy nearby — this cannabis leaf vibrator literally has my name on it!
Let go and lean into pleasure
Once your space is all set up and you’re feeling relaxed, take a few deep breaths and notice how your body feels. Spark up if you wish and focus on any shifts you feel as the effects of cannabis come over your body.
When you feel ready, bring your hands up to your face and gently cup your cheeks. Slowly explore your face, neck and shoulders with a light touch, taking note of what feels good, what sends a tingle down your spine, creates a flutter of intimacy. Keep going with your hands, perhaps playing with pressure, gentle squeezes from each shoulder all the way down to the wrist, pulling softly on every finger when you reach the end. Let your hands move intuitively over your body, like you’re exploring it for the first time.
Ask yourself, What do I want more of? Which sensations is my body responding to? How exactly is my body responding?
With these tips under your belt, you’ll feel a renewed glow of oxytocin. Bask in it as long as you can! Remember, you can always come back to this moment with your very own hands.
Explore Allume’s Infused Intimacy collection for solo and partnered play HERE, now 10% off until February 15th!