1. Coming Out Of Your Sexual Shell, by Chantelle Otten

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    As lockdown restrictions start to ease and the options to see a few friends, go out for dinner, or maybe even date, all become possibilities again, it's easy to feel a little bit overwhelmed with choice.

    We may also realise that the tracksuit we have been wearing while making our sourdough bread and binging Netflix is all we have worn in about two months. While amazingly comfortable, we may not be feeling super sexy and ready to party.

    We have built ourselves amazingly cosy little lockdown shells that have kept us sane in isolation, but how do we emerge from the cocoon, and embrace our sexual selves?



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    Getting back to basics

    Let's start by getting ourselves dressed and ready for the world (while staying at home). We're all out of practice feeling like ourselves outside our homes, so get dressed in something that makes you feel good.

    Maybe you have a dress you love, a pair of pants that you rock, or maybe even some favourite jewellery – whatever makes you feel like you! You don't need to go out straight away, but let's remember how we used to feel a little bit.

    Speaking of empowering clothing, if we're wanting to ignite some sensual energy a great place to start is sexy lingerie. Now, this may mean different things for different people. To me lingerie is any clothing or underwear that is designed to make you feel sexy. That might be a leather-look basque for one, or matching underwear for another!

    Dust off your favourite sexy underwear and see how quickly you start to feel sensual or treat yourself to some post-lockdown lingerie – something that makes you feel excited (and maybe a little horny).


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    Explore your body

    Once we have our lingerie ready to go, we may need to get reacquainted with our bodies. Particularly if we have not been isolating with a partner, we may feel a bit out of sexual practice, but trust me, it's just like riding a... bike.

    It might be a good idea to remember what those sensual caresses and pleasurable touches feel like before we go out on that much-anticipated first date. Masturbation, self-loving, dialling the rotary phone, finger painting, charming the one eyed snake... I think you get the idea!

    You are the best person to ignite that erotic passion inside your body, you know exactly how you like to be touched and you know what your body needs. If you're reading this thinking, "I have no idea how I like to be touched", then all the more reason to find out!

    Have a nice shower or bath, put the lighting on low, and let those hands wander! The longer we go without sex, the harder it may seem to re-ignite sexual passion. But we only need a single flame, so let's start it from the comfort of our rooms before we tackle the rest of the world.


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    Create goals

    Now we're feeling more sensual and empowered and ready to have some amazing sex! But... where to start?

    My go-to would be to create some goals we want to achieve sexually now that we have some freedom. Think back on your time in lockdown and pinpoint what you missed most, what you were craving, what you were fantasising about or wanting the most, as all those things can start creating a very exciting to-do list.

    Maybe there are things you used to do that you can't wait to do again, maybe there's a particular partner you've been separated from that you can now reconnect with.


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    Try something new

    This list might even inspire you to think bigger and broader, not just about what you miss doing, but about things you haven't done that you've always wanted to. Now might just be the time!

    Give yourself permission to dream BIG – we need to be aiming for great sex, so get creative. There are so many ways we can incorporate fantasy into real life, from lingerie and sex toy kits, to erotic literature and games to get you in the mood.

    Once you've written your erotic dream list, you might need to go back a step to that self-loving phase... particularly if you're being a bit descriptive!


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    Be kind

    Overall, be kind to yourself. These have been some extremely difficult times for so many people and it's okay to feel overwhelmed.

    We don't have control over much in the world at the moment, but making our sexual needs and desires a priority is something we have full control over.

    It's also okay to want to make them a priority – you never have to feel guilty about wanting to experience pleasure.

    Pleasure is a right for all people, and re-igniting our sexual selves can actually make us feel that little bit more normal. And I think we can all agree that normal would be really nice about now!


    Chantelle Otten is an award-winning sex therapist and relationship specialist in Melbourne, Australia. You can follow her on Instagram, and find out more at chantelleotten.com.


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