It seems like every time I turn around there is messaging about how important sex is to your health and happiness. While the benefits of sex are obvious and important, often overlooked are the benefits of not having sexual intercourse for a period of time-AKA, the “dry spell.”
But what constitutes a “dry spell” exactly? Plenty of people consider a dry spell a bad thing and something they should avoid.
But is it?
Can a dry spell actually be a juicy experience?
The answer is “yes,” as long as you have the right mindset. Here are some tips to help shift your perspective and highlight what you can do to not just “get through it”, but actually enjoy the time you have sans sex.
Doubt the dry spell “drought”
A dry spell or “sexual drought” has been described as “the prolonged inability to secure a sexual partner, even though you would really like one.”
I suggest you reframe this period of time and call it something else. Instead of looking at this as a “dry spell”, which suggests that it is thrust upon you involuntarily, reverse psychologize yourself: tell yourself that you are not allowed to have sex for a certain period. In this way, you will build up your desire for sex without the accompanying scarcity mentality of “ugh, I am not having any sex!”
Some people like to commit to a period of chastity or “revirginize” themselves. You don’t have to be a monk or pious, you can create your own intention for this time. The key here is to not treat this “dry” time as if you are a victim of circumstance, but rather as the chooser of quality future sex.
Don’t take it personally
Easier said than done, but try not to fall into the trap of feeling like this dry spell is about “you.” Don’t start doubting yourself and your attractiveness or sexiness. The lack of sex for a period of time isn’t about “you” or your sexual worthiness.
Getting it on…in your head
In order to see this time period of…let’s say “perceived inactivity” as a good thing instead of a bad thing, you need to define what “sex” means to begin with. “Sex” is not just coupled, sexual intercourse. The term encompasses a huge variety of activities, a lot of which you can do alone.
In fact, you can even have sex in your head, in the form of fantasies. You can have phone sex. You can sext someone you think is hot. There are many ways for you to be and feel sexual without actually “doing the deed.”
Go f*ck yourself
Realllly indulge in some hot, steamy masturbation. Get to know your body. Try new fantasies in your head. Break out the sex toys and vibrators. Try a fleshlight.
Getting to know your own body will pay dividends in the end. This is a time to focus solely on yourself and your body and take any and all responsibility for your pleasure off another person.
Tame the voice in your head
Don’t let anyone (including yourself) judge you for this break time. I had a sexless relationship that continued many years and once I left and started really exploring sex with other partners, I became slightly paranoid that I would return to that sexless state. Now I value quality over quantity. Your sexual worth is not the number of times you have sex. A dry spell could simply be considered an exhale after a large inhale. Don’t give it any meaning.
Tame the voice in your head when it steers you to a worn-out old story about “not getting any.” If you decide to do some self-care and make a commitment to masturbate, say three times a week, does the voice in your head tell you it is somehow less important than intercourse? If so, tell that vulture on your shoulder to beat it…and then go beat off anyway.
Cleanse your sexual palate
You can look at this time as a fresh start. Similar to when you eat ginger to cleanse your palate before eating the next piece of sushi, a “sexual downtime” can help you receive the new flavor of your future sexcapades.
When you do start to have sex again, you can set different intentions and priorities for your sex life. It is also a good time to get tested to ensure you are ready to jump back in the game.
Uplevel your sex game
Take this time to figure out what sex means to you. Journaling is a great idea here. Do an audit of your sexual history. Write out how you felt before, during, and after some of your best sexual encounters. Find a common theme. If increasing your sexual performance interests you, take the time to read about biohacking your ED issues with Gainswave.
Why not also see this time as a chance to ramp up your sexual prowess? I am a huge fan of setting sex goals. Every January, I create a list of sex goals for the year. Set new intentions for what your “hell yes” sex life will look and feel like in the future. How many times a week do you want to bang? What type of partners?
If you are in a relationship, what do you really want your partner to do that they are not doing? If you are in a relationship and you haven’t had sex in a while, ask yourself why, and then have a good conversation with your partner. Try using this questionnaire to discover your mutual desires/kinks. Take a class to learn about anal or maybe shibari. Let your creative juices flow.
Flirt and tease to build sexual tension
Not having sex can be like pulling back a rubber band. If you build sexual tension during this time, when you are finally unleashed, it could be a nice release! Creating and building sexual tension can actually be good for your brain, your bottom line, your creativity, and even your health. This is a great time to work on your flirtation and teasing skills to help build the sexual tension in your life.
You could look at this time as one long continuous act of foreplay! Have an intimate conversation, use compliments, whisper in someone’s ear, lick or bite your lips, or hold your partner’s gaze longer than normal (not too long or it will get creepy). You can flirt with strangers and see how it makes you feel. Not having sex as an end goal can be freeing!
Prepare for sex
Sexual cycles ebb and flow. Know that you will come out of it. Don’t fall into the trap of not grooming or taking care of yourself. Exercise. Focus on feeling attractive and good about yourself. Practice taking hot selfies. To listen to more about dry spells, check out this episode of the podcast.
Don’t give up, your next hot sex could be just around the corner!
Emily Anne is a bestselling author, sex coach, and educator, who specializes in helping people expand their sexual horizons through BDSM and kink. When she’s not obsessively talking about sex, she’s hiking through the Hollywood Hills. Get some sexy education on her Instagram feed!