Since I made the decision to suspend our yoga practice due to coronavirus, over a million known cases have been reported in the United States and 100,000 people have died. In Dallas, over three thousand known cases help Texas’ total slowly creep past 56,000.
In light of the rapid changes associated with the pandemic, we are forced to rethink our day-to-day lives. Now that gyms and restaurants are re-opening, we are left with the options of joining in or continue to keep our distance. The new guidelines put in place are meant to keep us safe during day to day activities, but do these guidelines apply to our sexual lives and practices?
I find myself rethinking what it means to have a sexual practice amidst this new world. How we explore our sexuality is undergoing a shift. A matter of months ago, bars, apps, and bathhouses made finding sex as easy as ordering food on GrubHub. You would ask and discuss, hopefully, about your partner's sexual health status and maybe use a condom for protection. Now, there is more than catching an STD in play—getting off with another guy could put us at risk of exposing ourselves to this new, potentially fatal illness.
The shift away from hooking up with other men can show us how much, or how little, we’ve become reliant on another to satisfy our sexual needs. Self-isolation provides us an opportunity for self-exploration. Take this time to better understand your sexuality. It begins with finding how your body and mind work during arousal.
We all know masturbating feels good. However, self-exploration is much more than just getting off—it’s a ritual of pleasure. Have you ever thought about masturbation as a ritual? If you haven’t, chances are you treat it like one. You probably do it similarly each time. Do you create a space for yourself when you explore your body? Is it in your bed, the bath, on your yoga mat or live on a cam? Do you light candles, listen to music, watch porn, or use poppers? Are you ecstatically stroking until release? Do you edge for an hour? A day? A week?
Now is a great time to acknowledge your ritual. Bring awareness to it. Re-create it. Expand upon it. Tapping into the state of arousal is powerful. You are never more honest with yourself here. You follow desire and release shame. It is primal and natural, lasting only for a brief moment. Make it count. Get lost in it and go deeper. You’d be surprised about what you can learn from yourself in this space. This is a sexual meditation.
Yoga practice doesn’t end when you leave your mat. You are putting what you have learned into practice. During this cautious time of re-opening, remember that your personal practice has never been more important.