DEAR DR. JENN,
When the coronavirus pandemic began, I decided to leave my apartment and go stay with my parents in the suburbs. Three months later, I'm still sleeping in their den, which is also my dad's office. There is no lock on the door, and he comes in and out when he needs things. A girl has needs... but I’m not sure how to satisfy myself with such a lack of privacy. Not to mention, the whole situation stresses me out so much I think it will take me longer to get there. Help. — Rolling solo
Many people are feeling tense from an ongoing lack of privacy. Holding off on getting off may be manageable when you're home for just a few days over the holidays, but going months is easier said than done. After all, spending so much time with family can cause elevated stress levels, and when you add a global pandemic on top of it the need for a release becomes even greater.
Plus, unlike sex with a partner, which can spread coronavirus (which sounds off the table for you right now anyway), masturbation doesn't hold the same risks. "Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after,” according to the New York City Health Department.
No, this is not the time for your most theatrical O, but it doesn't mean you can't still go to Pleasure Town. Here, a few tips for masturbating quietly during coronavirus.
1. Create some privacy.
Do your best to create some boundaries and privacy at your parents' house (or wherever you're staying, be it a friend or other relative's abode). There are a few ways you can do that. You can tell your parents that you need some privacy so you can meditate. That way they are less likely to disturb you.
Another option is to simply ask them to knock before coming into the room, in case you might be changing. Along those lines, you might want to ask them if they would be willing to put a lock on the door. You could let them know that do you really value your privacy, especially when you're sleeping, and would like to have the reassurance of the lock on the door.
When all else fails, the bathroom is the ideal private spot. Even in the most intrusive of homes, most people respect bathroom privacy. This is where bathtub faucets and shower nozzles come in handy!
2. Get some portable goodies that are quiet.
Once you've established some privacy, or everyone is asleep in the middle of the night, you're going to want to make sure you can do your thing without it being obvious. While touching yourself is the most discrete option, many women rely on a vibrator to expedite climax. Unfortunately, this is not the time to plug-in your Hitachi wand. Luckily, there are tons of small, quiet, and portable vibrators on the market out there that can fit in your purse. Most options are also waterproof, so you can use your vibe for some shower action, too.
3. Try silent foreplay.
Staying at your parents' house is not the time for sex FaceTiming with your partner for all to hear. Instead, try an erotic novel or a more raunchy read like Nancy Friday’s buffet of sexual fantasies in My Secret Garden. If you decide to get your fix via porn, make sure that you wear headphones or keep the volume off (you can even look at GIFs to be sure it's legit silent). Fortunately, the fantasy that goes on in your head is silent, so that is still a great warm-up for your solo play.
4. Use your imagination.
Make your situation work for you. Maybe you had some glory days in that very same room that you want to revisit. Or, try to come up with fantasies that you can use to get yourself off where you are prevented from making noise. Use your imagination to make the best of what you’ve got going on. Then, enjoy yourself — but try not to scream.
In Hump Day, award-winning psychotherapist and TV host Dr. Jenn Mann answers your sexiest questions — unjudged and unfiltered.