By Alice Little for ASN Lifestyle Magazine
Hello, everyone. I’m Alice Little, legal sex worker and educator, here to talk about why it’s so important to date yourself during the quarantine.
Dating around isn’t always easy, and with social distancing mandates and the COVID-19 quarantine, the dating scene got a lot more complicated. Right now, dating can feel like an endless sea of swipes and video chats. If you’re into taking it slow and getting to know someone over a series of months, then you’re in luck. This is the heyday of not rushing into things. But if you’re burning out on meeting bodiless personalities on the Internet without the payoff of face-to-face (or mouth-to-genital!) companionship, you’re not alone.
Whether or not you stick it out on Tinder until the country reopens, there is something you should do during this time of isolation: date yourself. Not only will it be good for you now, but it will also benefit your future self. Dating yourself breaks up the monotony of yet another pizza-and-reruns evening. Plus, it can do wonders for your mental health. Even if you have a partner, you should still find some time to see yourself on the side. So, let’s talk about how to do it right.
Ask Yourself Out
Okay, so maybe you don’t have to literally ask yourself on a date. But you should put some thought into the activities you want to have planned — as much thought as you would normally put into a date. Don’t take the easy way out and do frozen pizza and Netflix. Dream up something thoughtful that you will look forward to all week.
Think about the activities you loved as a child. Are there any you could reenact? Finger-painting, putting on your swimsuit (if you have a yard) and running through the sprinklers, and playing with bubbles are all underrated ways to spend time that adults should do more often. If you’d like to go on a more sophisticated date, find a fun skill that you can learn online or visit one of the many remote tours available from museums all over the world. If you have any instruments lying around, break them out, and learn a new song. Plan a picnic with a beautiful charcuterie board. Lying on the grass and picking out shapes of clouds or stargazing are also great activities that can help put the focus where it belongs: on you.
You could pick a themed night. You could cook an Indian-inspired meal, learn some Hindi on Duolingo, and then watch a Bollywood film later on. Or, select a decade you like (the roaring '20s, for instance), make a recipe that was popular then, and learn a dance and some slang from that decade. If you have the means, you could order an outfit in advance that matches the theme.
Next, plan a thoughtful dinner. Perhaps learn to cook a style of cuisine that you haven’t tried before to break up the repetitiveness of whatever you typically eat. Make something that you would for company, something that shows effort and attention. Or, if you’re a terrible cook, order takeout that you haven’t had in a while — splurge if you can. Important side note: don’t forget dessert. And tip the delivery person like you’re trying to impress someone. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something you will remember. You deserve that.
Take Care of Yourself
Get ready for your date, just as if someone else would be joining you. Don’t skip any steps. Instead, do a better job for yourself than you would for anyone else because you’re already in a long-term relationship with yourself.
Next, set the scene. This means if you’re a bit on the messy side, now’s the time to get through the looming pile of laundry and make your bed. Tidy up the kitchen so that a tower of dishes isn’t intruding on your date. And then set the table with some candles and don’t use disposable dishes. Get out the nice set.
Make sure your favorite outfit — the one that makes you feel the sexiest — is clean and pressed before the night of your date. On the day of, be sure to stay hydrated so you feel your absolute best. Consider a luxurious bath with candles. Turn on some relaxing music. Put on your favorite scent or smell some relaxing aromatherapy oils to set a calm mood. Coordinate your jewelry, if that’s something you typically wear. Don’t forget to brush your teeth; good breath is an essential part of a date, even if you’re alone. Make sure you look and feel as good as possible so you can fully enjoy the time you’ve set aside for yourself.
Show Up for Yourself
Here’s the most important part: don’t cancel, and don’t water down the date. Cut out several hours — a full evening, if possible — for you to enjoy yourself, and then make sure you do everything in your power to show up. Don’t spread the evening out over a week, making dinner one night, taking a bath another. Doing the activities in succession will give you the most bang for your mental health’s buck.
When the date begins, offer yourself a cocktail or glass of wine (the bottle you’ve been saving!) if you drink alcohol. Check your date out in the mirror and compliment yourself on something physical. Set a pace for your dinner and activities that makes each part feel special and relaxed while leaving enough time for the best part.
Many of the best dates end in sex, and this date is no different. What’s important is that you avoid your typical routine. To seduce yourself, you’ll want to put in more effort than normal. You should go for a full seduction.
Get out some massage oils if you have them, and give yourself a foot massage. Use a feather to tantalize your favorite sensual spots all over your body — and maybe even find some new ones. Try out the new toy you’ve had your eye on. But no matter what you do, keep the screens off. Save the tried-and-true porn flicks or fantasies for tomorrow, when you can masturbate as efficiently and quickly as you see fit. Tonight, though, is all about romance. Take it slow, and touch yourself everywhere before you even think about touching yourself intimately. When you do, try different rhythms, pressures, and styles of touch than you usually do. Have a goal of finding one new thing you like. The key word is exploration. And the quarantine means you have some time to finally try it.
Check out TheAliceLittle.com for more articles about sex work and sex education, and to find out why I’m the #1 earning legal sex worker in America and an internationally acclaimed BDSM presenter! Or, reach out to me directly to book some of my time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared in the June 2020 issue of ASN Lifestyle Magazine.