By: Fatima Mechtab
The global Coronavirus Pandemic has forever altered the course of humanity. How we have learned to cope with isolation, how we socialize, and our health and safety approaches have changed us on a personal, professional, and economic level. But how does this relate to sexuality? What will our new sexual normal look like? And particularly for those who have not had physical access to their partner(s), how does that impact sexual self-care when it comes to solo individuals?
These interviews will shine a spotlight on the views of those within our vast, sex-positive community. While we have all affected this universal phenomenon, it’s important to capture the particular experiences and opinions of how people are coping from day today. From educators to artists to performers, the COVID-19 has put a unique strain on our sexual freedoms and expressions. Let’s explore how these individuals are approaching sexual-self care during a time of isolation.
Q: Introduce yourself; who are you, and what do you do?
A: My name is Tatyannah King and I’m a virtual sexual wellness coach for Blex technologies, international speaker, a graduate student at Widener University studying sex therapy, and sex blogger for various digital platforms such as Swoon, The Odyssey’s only published content channel for dating & relationships, and tabú, a comprehensive website that advocates sexual and mental health. I’ve also been featured in popular sources like xoNecole, BUSTLE, and The Irish Independent. In between coaching, speaking at sex conferences throughout the world, and blogging, I also occasionally host in-home lingerie parties.
Q: How have you been coping with the COVID-19 crises? What are some ways you have been staying upbeat and positive?
A: I’ve been doing the best I can, but I’m an extrovert, so naturally, I gain energy from going outside of my apartment and being surrounded by people. Now that COVID-19 has caused restrictions for being in public, I’ve focused on connecting with people via voice messages, Zoom, and Facetime. I used to hate using voice memos and any type of online communication with video, but now I appreciate it because they’re the closest options that feel like being with someone face to face. Also, this may sound nerdy, but take summer classes in my graduate program has helped me stay upbeat and positive. The dual program at Widener University in Social Work and Human Sexuality is very unique, and my attitude in class is different than it’s ever been in school before because what I am learning now is genuinely fun and relevant for my career goals to become a clinical sex therapist.
Q: What are some ways that people can practice self-love/self-sensuality while in self-isolation?
A: People can practice self-love/self-sensuality while in self-isolation by getting in touch with what truly makes them feel empowered. For me personally, there was a time during my junior year in undergrad where my friends and I were in a stressful time in our lives. It was near the end of the semester so many of us were getting ready for finals and figuring out how we wanted our futures to look after college. So naturally, we isolated ourselves to focus on our goals. One night my former roommate, a friend of ours, and I finally bonded and talked about how stressful our semester has gotten and then we randomly started gossiping about guys we used to consistently talk to and date. Suddenly we came to the realization that all three of us were involved with the same guy a few years before, and didn’t realize it at the time. However, instead of getting mad and down on ourselves, we decided to throw host lingerie parties and celebrate self-love/self-care. During the lingerie parties, our friends and I would dress up in robes and our best lingerie, do each other’s nails, take cute group pictures, do karaoke, and play games like “Never Have I Ever” and “Pin the Dick on the Dude.” It was the perfect example of embracing self-love because we were revitalizing ourselves by celebrating our bodies and sharing our favorite sex tips with each other, which also helped others figure out ideas of what they could potentially enjoy as well. Of course, a huge in-person party isn’t ideal under quarantine, but at least people have the option to do this virtually with their friends or even by themselves.
Q: Why do you feel that this is important to practice?
A: Self-love and self-sensuality are important to practice because they motivate you to make healthy choices in life. You begin to feel a sense of confidence and that translates to the empowerment you feel in multiple areas of your life.
Q: In your opinion, will people continue down a path of self-reflection/self-love after the crises has ended? Or do you think people will go back to seeking outside validation?
A: I definitely feel like people will take the path of self-reflection after this pandemic has ended. During times of crisis, it’s natural to fully examine your life and analyze your needs and desires because we never know when we won’t have access to certain things anymore, such as freely surrounding ourselves with others without being 6 feet apart. This pandemic has allowed me to reflect on how I need quality time with others and how I express communication through physical touch. I’d like to think that others have reflected on themselves as well and will continue to do so after the pandemic has ended.
Q: What is the one thing found in your home that is bringing you joy during isolation?
Honestly, “PET”, the pink clitoral sucker that I was gifted with by OTOUCH has been the best item in my home that has brought me joy during isolation. It’s a heating silicone massager that mimics a sucking motion. It’s the first time I’ve used a toy like this, and it’s definitely one of my favorites EVER, which is saying a lot because I have too many sex toys to count.
Q: Where can our readers find out more about you and your services?
Fatima Mechtab is a professional freelance writer, event producer, content creator, and marketing maverick. She has been an active member of the sex-positive community for almost a decade and has worked as an organizer within the LGBTQ+ sector. Her articles have been published on such sites as SDC.com and High Canada Magazine, and she is currently a fiction ghostwriter for Foxon Publishing.