Sexually frustrated singles, couples, and polyamorous people are itching to feel intimacy again.
As more people get vaccinated, we can’t stop sharing our biggest hopes for a hot vaccine summer.
Horny folks told Insider they’re ready for “ho phases,” no underwear in public, and spontaneous dates.
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Two years ago, the four floors of Hacienda Villa, a Brooklyn brownstone that houses a polyamorous and sex-positive community, were bustling with 100 sweaty bodies hugging, kissing, and caressing one another.
But when the pandemic hit in full force in March 2020, Hacienda Villa’s touch-friendly philosophy was flipped on its head. Residents were asked to avoid mingling with people on other floors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The busy roster of regular sex parties and intimate brunches was put on hold indefinitely.
Elsewhere, singles, monogamous couples, and other polyamorous folks hunkered down in their homes, hoping they could soon return to normal life. But that return never came.
A year later, the effects of prolonged isolation continue to mount, and horniness is chief among them. Regardless of relationship status, a lack of human contact has made us crave touch and intimacy more than ever, as evidenced by skyrocketing sales of sex toys and record-breaking dating-app use.
As the days get warmer and vaccinations increase, it seems every conversation inevitably winds its way to one question: What are your “hot vax summer” plans?
‘I’m most looking forward to having a ho phase’
Hedonism is common after periods of mass isolation, according to Dr. Nicholas Christakis, a social epidemiologist and Yale professor.
Cue the “whoring 20s.”
After going through a breakup during the pandemic, Mia Sherin now craves carefree nights where anything could happen with anyone. For safety reasons, she felt like her only pandemic dating options were consistent hookups with one person or a new relationship. She wasn’t interested in either.
“I’m most looking forward to having a ho phase,” Sherin, a 21-year-old Chicago resident, told Insider. “In my dream ho phase, I would be able to go out with friends, flirt with guys, and have the freedom to hook up with people solely to pursue my own sexual desires.”
Do you have a titillating “hot vax summer” story? Get in touch with reporter Julia Naftulin.
One 28-year-old woman who asked to remain anonymous was similarly blunt. “I mean, I don’t have anything to say other than I can’t wait to reclaim my title as the make-out bandit at the bar,” she told Insider on Instagram.
For others, a return to the dating scene is a priority.
“I’ve put my dating life mostly on hold for the last year, and I’ll be honest, it’s been kind of lonely,” said a 26-year-old woman in New York City who asked to remain anonymous. “The thing I’m looking forward to most is actually being able to date again and feeling like it’s safe to do so.”
Chanakya Ramdev, 29, a cofounder of Sweat Free Apparel who’s based in Canada, is over swiping left and right to find companionship. This summer he plans to get off the dating apps to meet someone and form an intimate bond in person.
To make up for lost time, some singles are brainstorming adventurous date ideas they haven’t considered before. That’s the case for 25-year-old Tatyannah King in Philadelphia, who’s planning a serial-killer-themed date for the warmer months.
“I’m currently planning on going on an overnight date at one of Chicago’s most haunted hotels this summer, the Congress Plaza, where America’s first serial killer, Dr. H. H. Holmes, used to search for his victims,” King told Insider.
The downtime has also given jaded singles with previously lackluster dating lives a glimmer of hope.
“I’m unfortunately a heterosexual woman, and I’ve learned not to look forward to anything when it comes to men,” Shenequa Golding, a 35-year-old in Queens, New York, told Insider. “But if I allowed myself to dream, I’d enjoy a great date on a sunny day with a brilliant, beautiful Black man.” The rendezvous, Golding said, would involve burgers, “X-Men” discussions, and “one beautiful, intense kiss.”
Sofiya Alexandra and Courtney Kocak, hosts of “Private Parts Unknown,” a comedy, sex, and travel podcast, said they’d both spoken to their long-term partners about experimenting more once it’s safe.
For Kocak, the dream is to head to Amsterdam’s Red Light District and have her first-ever threesome with her boyfriend and a sex worker. After getting an erotic massage in Japan last year as part of the podcast, Alexandra wants to further explore her personal pleasure with another one, this time from a woman.
Kenneth Play, the polyamorous cofounder of Hacienda Villa, is also a sex educator who specializes in teaching men how to give pleasure to women. When Play was stuck inside with his primary partner during the pandemic, he realized the balance of sexual favors was off.
“I look forward to having some really selfish sex, because I realized that I tend to over-give and not receive much. And my ability to receive is robbing of me of my own experience,” Play told Insider. “I’m excited to try out a different version of myself.”
As the summer nears, the Hacienda Villa events team is creating its biggest roster of parties yet to satiate an influx of requests from the thirsty, Play said.
Others are excited for everyday pleasures that fell away during the pandemic because of a lack of human contact.
Tiana Glittersaurus Rex, a sex educator, erotic-content creator, and event curator based in New York City, spent much of the pandemic on a secluded New Jersey farm with her mother.
“Oh my gosh. Cuddles, kisses, my a– being grabbed, and walking down the street in a skirt with no underwear,” she told Insider.
The pandemic made getting it on more difficult for everyone
2020 was a wash, sexually speaking.
In a 2020 survey of 5,000 singles by Match.com, 71% said they’d had no sex during the pandemic, while nearly one in four said they’d had sex with a platonic roommate. Even partners who cohabitated succumbed to sex-life spirals, a survey from sex researchers at the Kinsey Institute suggested.
Alexandra told Insider that she’d had plans for a sexy lockdown with her husband but that they fell by the wayside when a wave of deaths ensued.
“When the pandemic was just starting, Courtney and I were like, ‘We’re going to do this great series for the podcast. It’s going to be the Kama Sutra challenge. You’re locked up. Let’s just get sexy,'” Alexandra said of her cohost.
“Then my grandpa died, and I was like, ‘Oh, guess I’m not f—ing forever now,'” Alexandra said. “There’s been so much death and grief and trauma that very few people are having sex with each other. I think it’s been mostly vibrator town.”
Taylor Sparks, the founder of Organic Loven, an online sex-toy shop, said sales of vibrators on her website had skyrocketed since lockdowns in March 2020.
But vibrators might no longer be cutting it for the sexually frustrated. The Kinsey Institute survey, conducted in March and April 2020, found that masturbation frequency had already decreased from about once a week before the pandemic to a few times each month, on average, for men and women.
There are already signs this summer will be the horniest one yet
As more and more people get vaccinated – or dream of post-vaccination life while they wait to become eligible – intimacy is at the top of the to-do list.
Sparks, who also creates resort- and cruise-based events for the sex-positive community as an erotic-travel curator, said people in the polyamorous and kink spaces had already found ways to satisfy their sexual appetites.
Sparks, who is polyamorous, is vacationing at a Florida resort where the sexually free can lounge nude around the pool, grab drinks with other swingers, and partake in group sex.
Swinger cruises to Europe have been postponed multiple times, and regulars are champing at the bit to go back, she said.
It’s not just polyamorous people who are itching for kink. According to Tiana Glittersaurus Rex, the lackluster year is making traditionally vanilla folks more open to sexual experimentation.
Rex, who also performs on camming sites like OnlyFans, said that during the pandemic her clientele was more sexually and demographically diverse, and more willing to tip her. “People are seeing that there are more options out there, and their curiosities are being piqued more,” she said.
Though sexual activity has decreased among many couples during the pandemic, there’s been an increase in the sharing and execution of sexual fantasies, according to Justin Lehmiller, a sex researcher and the author of “Tell Me What You Want.”
A Philadelphia couple joked about hosting a post-pandemic orgy, posted a flier about it, and got 80 genuine responses. In early March, the men’s fashion brand Suitsupply launched an ad campaign called “The New Normal Is Coming” that featured a photo of saliva-filled orgies, with a single suit; it soon became social-media fodder. Sen. Bernie Sanders implored the Senate to end the pandemic in part so that young singles could get back to dating.
On social media, the first signs of a sexy summer are blooming.
“Both my seventy something mom and a relative got asked out in the vaccine line. Im telling you ppl are ready. This summer will be wild,” Kaitlyn Greenidge wrote on Twitter.
It makes sense: People often use sexual fantasies to deal with extreme stress, according to Lehmiller.
Meanwhile, spontaneity beckons.
“Will I end the night alone with a bowl of cereal at 3 a.m.? Having the best sex ever and feeling like a sexual goddess? Or maybe just having a funny story to come out of it? Right now, I know I’ll end the night at 11 p.m. watching the next eight-episode reality show Netflix puts out,” Mia Sherin said.
“I want a ho phase so I can have some adventure!”
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