What happens to your body if you don’t have sex for a long time?
In this era of COVID-19, there is limited hands-on hanky panky, presumably, going on between strangers due to physical distancing constraints.
We asked Toronto sex therapist-coach Carlyle Jansen, and owner of Good For Her shop-workshop space, for her take on some of the wide-range of side effects.
More stress? Yes!
“There’s lots of things that are stress-reliever and sex is one of those, absolutely, and certainly solo pleasure as well as partner pleasure.”
The quicker the sicker
“Definitely sex boosts our immune system in lots of different ways. Basically it boosts your immune system. It’s not huge. We’re not saying, ‘Yeah, you can go out and not wear a mask and you won’t get COVID.’ But certainly it does seem to have some benefit. I wouldn’t use that as your only strategy.”
Heart disease risk increases
“It’s a form of exercise, right? And it gets blood to different places than if you were to pump some iron. It’s definitely good.
“Again, the blood flow goes to the brain and there are studies that have looked at how it has enhanced our brain functioning. Every little thing helps. Your diet. How much you have sex. It’s not the be all and end all. It’s not a panacea.
LOVERS IN A DANGEROUS TIME
How do you practice safe sex during the COVID-19 pandemic when you’re single and ready to mingle or have just started dating someone, given social distancing measures in place for members of different households?
Toronto sex therapist-coach Carlyle Jansen says “to get creative.”
Online dating: “You have to be a little bit careful if you’re going to have video sex, especially if you don’t know the person on the other end, they don’t want them taping you. So making sure there’s nothing identifiable about yourself if you’re doing that. And you don’t have to show your genitals. You can do sexting. So there are creative ways of connecting.”
App-enabled toys: “If we were having sex and I’m in my home and I connect to the app and you connect to the app and you can control the vibration, the rhythm, the station from afar and meet me on video chat.”
Getting within six feet: “It’s pretty hard to have sex together, but you can. You can masturbate while you’re six feet apart again using remote-controlled apps, that kind of thing. And you still have to wash down the surfaces and just be extra careful.”
Delaying the pleasure: “During COVID time, by virtue, especially if you’re isolated, let’s see how long I can draw out my orgasm with this new person that I’m dating. Those restrictions, you can see them as barriers or sometimes barriers can actually add to the excitement. So it’s kind of how you approach it. Do you want to see it as a negative? Or do you want to take advantage of it and use it as an obstacle to heighten the arousal?”
General advice: “If you are having sex with people that you don’t live with please try to limit it to one or two people, keep it the same people, so that you’re not spreading it amongst different households, that you’re keeping it more contained in terms of harm reduction approach.”