The New Normal of Sex and Relationships

How can you find love at a time like this? With social distancing and restrictions on physical contact still in place, will we have to find new ways to seduce a partner and create romantic connections? The answer probably is yes. Many of us have had to postpone the moment when we meet our new romantic interest face to face for the first time (sigh). On top of this, the six-foot social distancing rule and constant hand sanitizing is anything but romantic- it robs us of the freedom we enjoyed up until now. And after a few laughs and a few flirty comments, when it’s time for the first kiss… you might just find your kiss hampered by a face mask, or even postponed for a few weeks while you wait for your test results to come back to prove you’re both virus-free.

Just thinking about this is enough to send shivers down our spines (and not the good kind). And yet, it’s already the reality for many people. At the same time though, our need to find love and create new connections has only increased. To address these current affairs, the second episode of ‘Pillow Talk’- Durex Sri Lanka’s stepping-stone initiative to promote sexual education and normalize open conversation on sex- aired live on Instagram on Thursday, the 26th of November 2020. The episode featured Host Danu Innasithamby and celebrity guest Shermaine Willis discuss ‘Dating in the New Normal’. Let’s go straight into round 2 then!

Dating with a distance

Love, dating and sex have drastically changed since the pandemic began. As Innasithamby rightly says, “First time in our lifetime and in our parent’s lifetime that we have come to a standstill where the world has to find new ways of living- we cannot touch and hug people as freely as we wanted to. Romance with them will be a bit scary.” The threesome of fear, a lack of freedom and loneliness has resulted in even the most traditional of us turning to online platforms- such as Tinder, Bumble, Facebook, Instagram and other dating apps in the hope of meeting someone new- to support us through these difficult times and to help us greet each new day with hope, excitement, and enthusiasm.

So now that we have to date with a distance, we have to take well-known dating formulae and adapt them to the new world order. New technology is our most valuable ally when it comes to meeting, contacting, speaking, seducing, and sharing with new people. The apps “promote accessibility and convenience” as Shermaine mentioned, and offer a safe and fun way to keep the spark alive.

Pick-up lines: the foreplay of online dating

Social isolation has us indoors and out of the social scene, and the perfect way to step up your online dating game is a great pick-up line. The fundamental formula for a show stopping opener is timeliness and there’s nothing more timely than COVID-19.  Today’s your lucky day because we’ve got a huge load coming your way- here’s a roundup of our favourite Coronavirus pick-up lines:

  • Is that COVID in my lungs or has your smile just left me breathless?
  • Are you an N95 mask? Cause I want you on my face.
  • You can’t spell virus without U and I
  • If COVID-19 doesn’t take you out, can I?
  • Hey Babe! Can I ship you a drink?
  • Even during the corona pandemic, the most contagious thing is still your smile.
  • Is it hot in here or is it just our fevers and shortness of breath?
  • One-ply? Two-ply? Neither. The only thing I’m looking for is your re-ply
  • Since all public places are closed, I’m checking you out instead.
  • Are you COVID-19 because if I had you I wouldn’t leave the house for two weeks straight
  • That mask brings out the beauty in your eyes.
  • Can’t spell quarantine without ‘U R A Q T’
  • If you were a restaurant who shut down dining-in, would you let me pick you up at the curb? See you tonight?
  • The government says we need to stay 6 feet away but I want to give you 6 inches.
  • Can I take you with me and work you from home?
  • Our love is like COVID-19. No one saw it coming and we move fast.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Come over if you are thick.
  • Wanna play Coronavirus and get spread on hard surfaces?
  • Are you looking for a naughty boy? Because I only washed my hands for 19 seconds

So next time you are initiating a conversation online, try one of these funny ice breakers. At least you’ll get laughs, if not love.

Sex: a performance vs an experience

You dim the lights, set the mood, put on a desired soundtrack and turn on the recording camera…mmhmm…..where were we now? Oh yeah, sex seems to have a lot in common with the ‘lights, camera, action’ of showbiz productions. One thing that shouldn’t be common though is performance anxiety. The youth today experience nervousness about their body and abilities majorly because of the fake impressions of sex portrayed by the media- and this actually hinders them from enjoying a successful and satisfactory sexual experience. Open dialogue on sex is necessary to resolve fake perceptions about sex- here’s to pleasure, not pressure!

The answer to pleasure before, during and after

Talking about pleasure, nothing ruins a sexual experience like an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease (STD). Lucky for us, no pressure here- condoms to the rescue!

A common myth in Sri Lanka is that condoms and pleasure are mutually exclusive- that condoms can bore your sex life or ruin your intimate moment with someone- and this couldn’t be further from the truth. As Shermaine explained, “Sexual pleasure or healing is not just the insertion of a penis in a vagina; it’s more about understanding your partner’s body and emotions and really trusting the process of this delicious unfolding. It’s the whole operation- the buildup, the foreplay- and if you have all the good reasons to practice safe sex then a little condom isn’t going to bother you because pleasure is about more than that. Safe sex is better than having sex without it and getting contaminated with diseases- better safe than sorry.”

So, protection is the answer to pleasure before, during and after. Condoms can help steer your sex production clear from reproduction, and can even enhance your performance- so it’s a win-win situation!

Variety is the spice of life: choose your cool

Protection today comes in a wide variety of flavours, fragrances and textures- “condoms are way more interesting than going to a candy store,” as Danu comments – amen to that! Safe is the new cool, and with condoms- you get to choose your kind of safe- how cool is that? What’s more, you can even enjoy a late-night snack or breakfast in bed while at it!

Sexpert tip: we spoke about doing things a little differently in the new normal- and a new condom flavour might just be what you need to bring a little magic into your sex life post-COVID-19.

So there you have it folks- Episode 2 was an awesome twosome and we hope it went a little way in helping you stay positive (while testing negative!) during this new normal. May we soon find that Barney Stinson’s rule ‘new is always better’ has some truth in the current status quo as well.

Have you tried out an online dating app? What are your go-to pick-up lines? You can let us know in the comments section below, and can even hit us up with any questions you would like Durex to answer in their third and final episode of Pillow Talk (stay tuned @durexsrilanka). Till then, remember to always keep it safe and sexy!

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