Isolation and Sexuality

Connor Roach

How has the pandemic altered your relationship with your sexuality? What has sexy looked like for you during this time period?

Thanks to long periods of isolation, I’ve realized that I have a power that I haven’t embraced – finding and valuing my own sexual pleasure. Because so many of my sexual experiences have been about pleasing a partner, I hadn’t taken the time to prioritize experimenting with myself and figuring out what I want from my sexual interactions. Intentionally becoming my own partner has made me consider what actually pleases me.

I have given myself permission to experiment with doing my hair and wearing wigs and lingerie to figure out how I feel authentically sexy. Blurring gender lines for me feels true to who I am and being able to see myself in this way in a safe space helps me feel the most attractive I’ve ever felt.

A lot of things culminated for me at the beginning of this year that have nudged me to consider my sexuality in different ways, including the pandemic and a new relationship. I’ve always been someone who values intimacy with myself because I have, in the past, leaned away from long-term partnerships. I’ve spent time researching and digging into information about self love and sexuality on a personal level, allowing myself to feel comfort in being alone. This year I’ve found it challenging to make time for myself. I live with a lot of people, and now also factor a partner into the time I make for care and intimacy. I know of a lot of people who have found that social isolation during the pandemic has opened a door for them to explore sexuality alone, but for me, I’ve had to turn it into an opportunity to share what I’ve learned in the past with someone else and that has been very different and also exciting for me.

For me, sexy is about attitude and confidence. During this time, for many reasons, my personal confidence has peaked and dipped a lot more often than usual which can be off putting. I feel sexy when I’m able to accomplish something challenging or when I am in new spaces. My ability to do some of that has been affected by the pandemic, so instead of looking to those situations, I think I’m still finding a balance to situations where I feel sexy, like finding a new article of clothing, or having a conversation about sexuality with my partner. I don’t know, I think I’m still figuring out what sexy looks like during this time but I am having fun doing it.

Actually, right when the pandemic started, I was in this period where I was like, “Wow I am gonna take all this knowledge I’ve been getting from these books I read, these deep dives with my own sexual expression. I am now gonna be able to do this in tandem with other people, how incredible!” And to share this in partnership or, you know, do some exploration and then, of course, the pandemic hit. (Laughs) So I think how it’s changed is that I really learned a lot about my sexuality in the last year or two training to be a sex coach which has given me a lot of reason to look deeply into those things. The pandemic has really force me to really really really get in touch with myself and my own body in really subtle ways, for example, like noticing really tiny sensations that I really like, or just experimenting on myself. I think I learned so much about my own body and whats turned me on and the way I like to express myself. Things I wouldn’t be able to do in a partnership. Thats been a good thing about the pandemic. I had to focus a lot more on myself and kind of on more subtle things about my sexuality than when I am with another person.

What has made me feel sexy is just- it’s almost as if- I have gotten so deep in myself that like I think of the things that I use to think were sexy like “ Oh my gosh I am gonna put on this lingerie so this person thinks I am sexy. Like, I am gonna do this so my partner thinks I am sexy.” I feel like so much of my sexuality was externally focused really like this performance. I got off on this being the Musee for this performance but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted. So what turns me on now is just the exploration of my own body and this really deep recognition like “holy crap, this whole time there’s was all of this accessible to me. Our body is just this amazing playground.” It’s really turning me on these days just to recognize the depths of my own sexuality and even if I don’t have someone to share it with it feels really powerful. As a person that identifies as a woman, I feel parts of my body have so many nerve endings, theres so much amazing things going on. It turns me on to recognize how powerful I am and how much pleasure I have accessible without needing anyone else and not needing it to be performative at all.

The pandemic affected my relationship with my sexuality in many ways. I think it was like six months before the pandemic began that I started to feel like truly comfortable identifying as a non-binary femme. Which, in turn, did affect my sex life. I was honestly done with sleeping with cis-gays and gay night life rejecting femmes. So, I would say that, I guess it's been super hard because queer night life was super important to experiencing multi-gender relationships and comfortably existing. Not to mention that my queerness was supressed when I moved home to my family during the pandemic.

Being, or feeling sexy has changed because of where I lived. Currently, I now live with two very open roommates where I can express myself in anyway. I seriously lacked and ached some kind of sexy feeling for awhile. Although now, I wear my leather heels around the house and my body suit so it is super important to dress sexy I guess I would say.

I think before the pandemic started I had been tapping into my relationship to how I enjoy pain sexually or how i understand BDSM. Right before the pandemic hit, one of the last things I did was go to a major leather event in Washington, DC and that was defiantly an experience for my senses. There was so much going on and there was so much I wanted to explore but unfortunately due to the pandemic and due to being immunocompromised I cut off any sexual activity with other people at least in a physical sense. So, a lot of my sexual exploration has been trying to understand how I feel about these sexual activities, like using whips or like using bed chains which I have in my bedroom. So, I began to navigate that space by myself and explore by myself.

So apart of being sexy for me ties to how i dress and how I present in the things I use. I do live in a group house so I still do find time to dress the way I want like the way I would dress at a party and the way I would dress in the streets. I do present that way like when I wear a dress or lingerie or lipsticks that make me feel sexy in my space and especially with the people I live with. I guess the other way I define the way I feel sexy during the pandemic is when I am in the mood or have time, I spend time masturbating and finding different ways to orgasm and cum.

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David Kern