As we are swiftly approaching to what seems to be the end of this abstinence era, we can #tbt to the days when the only orgasms we got were DIY. Most of us haven’t really found the ultimate escapism in binging Netflix and baking banana bread, but in some lockdown lovin’ (ourselves). With sex toy sales soaring up during this otherwise, um, flaccid economy, people slowly yet steadily changed their views towards self-pleasure. When “more time to relax” equals “more time for solo sex”, the masturbation stigma slowly disappears. It is not taboo anymore if literally everyone does it and has no shame of admitting it, is it? 

Vibrators and dildos have been buzzing (not only literally), at the peak of the lockdown, as most brands were flabbergasted by a sale increase of 148%. Not to mention that porn has registered a 25% rise in traffic since the pandemic erupted… and 115 million average visits per day. Seems like working from home meant switching between google sheets and porn websites and typing with one hand while the other one was down our pants. 

masturbation stigma

A lesson taught by self-pleasure

Our strongest observation from the COVID era, aside from the fact that life is better in sweatpants and without a bra, is that our idea of sexuality isn’t formed by someone else’s gaze, but by us. Maintaining an independent sex life gives you enough room to be very open and honest, while making you feel more comfortable in your own skin. Just imagine –  in a post-pandemic world, your sex life is going to be 100 times more satisfying that the one you had before. Why? Learning the personal turn ons and turn offs is a privilege that only self-pleasuring can give you. 

During this time period, the media, hand in hand with self-love social media accounts with millions of followers, have been encouraging more people to masturbate and be open about doing so. Most probably you’ve seen a “how to masturbate for dummies” listicle in a lifestyle magazine. Or even a top 5 best vibrators popping on your Twitter feed. Thanks to this widespread coverage, solo sex is bleeding into the mainstream.

We can unapologetically say that there is nothing wrong with it – masturbation relieves your anxiety, increases your serotonin level and it’s always there for you. It will never take ages to text back or break your heart. We can bet that it can win an Oscar for the “partner of the year” title. 

Masturbation stigma is fading away

Naturally, nobody could rely on what seemed like promising virtual dates with Tinder matches when it came to sexual pleasure. So after clicking the “end call” button and nothing but time at our disposal, most of us grabbed the freshly bought rabbit vibrator and tried to achieve Nirvana. Even in your faded Disney t-shirt, with no memory of the last time you shaved and a pre-period bloat, you’ve managed to build mutually-beneficial sexual relationships with yourself. While we were stuck in between the four walls of our bedroom, most of us (if not everyone) improved our self-awareness of sexual needs and likes.

At what seems to be the end of it, we can honestly say that we navigated an odd and isolated way of finding intimacy. Best thing about it? Masturbation stigma is slowly fading away. Everybody did it. Everybody admits it. It would be implausible to say that after a year and a half of lacking the D, you never stuck your head in your knickers while thinking about Johnny Dep. 

When we talk about how lockdown changed our lifestyle, it’s vital to acknowledge that it goes way beyond the TV series we binged and the arts and crafts we learnt to pass the time. Sex is one of the most important parts of our daily lifestyle. So here is to brighter sexual futurnes and satisfying solos in the bedroom. Finger painting, paying lip service or faux fur petting – whatever it was, it made our lockdown life way easier.

So when the anxiety and stress brought by the pandemic starts to fade away, don’t forget about the vibrator and two fingers that made your serotonin levels boom. For a healthy post-pandemic life, drink 2 liters of water everyday and allow 40% more self-pleasure – or even more.