It’s been a week since it became legal to stay over at someone else’s house, which means casual sex is back on the cards.
Single people across the country have rejoiced, and it’s reflected in Superdrug’s condom sales.
Currently, there’s a 65% increase in online purchases of the contraceptive measure, a 232% increase in sales of lube and sex toys, alongside surges in STI home test kits, erectile dysfunction services and emergency contraception.
They predict this will only continue to grow as people gear up to June 21, when restrictions are meant to winddown even further.
Superdrug’s sales of PrEP, a medicine available for people at risk of contracting HIV, are expected to increase by 300% by the end of the year.
Ruby Rare, a sex expert and educator, says: ‘There’s been a lot of fear around physical contact over the last year, which doesn’t make for a great environment to feel sexy (by ourselves, or with other people), and many of us are feeling touch-starved.
‘We’re craving that sense of freedom, of getting outside our bubbles and meeting new people for all forms of connection, including sex.
‘We’re also ready to have fun and sex is a wonderful way to tap into that, which isn’t emphasised nearly enough.’
She adds that throughout history, ‘sexplosions’ have taken place before after health crises – we only need to look to the Roaring Twenties which followed the Spanish flu pandemic.
‘These moments of euphoria are about celebrating life and coming together as a community to heal. The next few years will really shape what the future of sex and dating looks like,’ she adds.
However, the break some people have experience from sex might leave them feeling out of practice, awkward and lacking in confidence – especially if it appears as though everyone else is at it.
Ruby Rare’s tips for if you’re nervous about getting back out there
- Keep your expectations realistic: This isn’t a race, and you don’t need to tick off everything on your sexy bucket list in the first few months.
- There’s no ‘right’ way to get back to having sex: Find out what’s right for you and communicate that to those you engage with.
- Go at your own pace: Try to appreciate each step as you get back into dating and sex, rather than rushing to ‘catch up’ with peers.
It’s important to avoid comparing yourself if you’re feeling insecure.
Ruby says: ‘Nerves can complicate sexual desire and you may experience mental and physical challenges when tapping into your pleasure, especially if you’re getting back into the swing of things.
‘Communicating about this with loved ones or a professional can really help, as well as exploring products like lube, sex toys, and ED medication.’
As single Brits get to grips with their sex lives again, some people will get ‘back to normal’ with greater ease than others – but there’s no right time to dive back into sex.
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