Whether you’re single or in a relationship, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about having a partner. Increasingly, people are choosing to focus on self-love.
We polled our Twitter followers about their attitudes to V-Day and found that over half of those in couples said they wouldn’t bother celebrating – but nearly a third of single people said they were planning to.
Making it about your pleasure doesn’t have to be selfish – nor does it have to be a second-best option if you have no one to celebrate V-Day with. There are many reasons why taking the opportunity to explore your own enjoyment can be of benefit – not only to you but everyone else in your life.
You’ll be in good company
We recently surveyed 500 of our customers and learned that a whopping 77% of respondents – of all ages and relationship statuses – are planning to experiment with masturbation this year, higher than any other sexual activity we questioned them on. So if you choose to focus on self-love this V Day, you probably won’t be the only one!
Focusing on self-pleasure is a good reminder that sex comes in many, equally legit forms. Partnered sex is just one form. Masturbation is another
If you’re not enjoying being single, setting time aside with a favourite (or brand new and exciting) sex toy or lube will remind you how much fun you can have on your own. Or you could invest in a VR porn headset or an ethical porn subscription. Make a date with yourself!
April Lampert, host of the Shameless Sex Podcast and my colleague at Hot Octopuss, says: “Valentine’s Day can bring a flood of emotions and those emotions can be less than romantic or loving for some, whether you’re single or partnered. Why not try committing to a self-care day this year instead of obsessing over V-Day social media posts or going out to an over-priced and over-packed restaurant for dinner? Approach V-day with the intention of nurturing, loving, and celebrating yourself.”
2) Taking time for yourself can improve your partnered sex life
Couples who put a lot of pressure on each other to fulfil their sexual needs can end up finding their sex lives become fraught with resentment. Expectations are a real passion killer, and no night carries more expectations of romance and passion than 14 February.
While the majority of people who answered our Twitter poll weren’t planning to celebrate Valentine’s Day, one of our followers told me that even though she’s in a 6-year relationship, she only started to celebrate V-Day when she realised it could be a solo activity.
“My boyfriend and I have always hated Valentine’s Day, because it just seems really fake,” she said. “If anything it was a turn-off and early on I used to feel overwhelmed by all the expectations, certainly not sexy. But one year we decided to take a day OFF being a couple, taking time to enjoy ourselves separately. It made the next time we had sex way more exciting and special and now we do it every year.”
Making a deliberate choice to take the night off satisfying each other and focusing on satisfying yourselves – and then perhaps reporting back on what you discovered – may be a great way to refresh your relationship.
Rebecca Lowrie, somatic sex coach from Sexual Alchemy, agrees: “Self-love is the foundation for good relationships and amazing sex. Without that, you become reliant on something or someone outside of yourself to fill you up. It’s an awful thing to do to yourself and your partner. Practising self-love means that you come as a ‘full cup’ to your relationship, and if you both do that, you are overflowing with love (and sex!). Otherwise, you are just trying to fill each other up from your own empty cup. So whether you’re in a relationship or not, your first relationship is with yourself.”
3) Masturbation is the best way to get your Vitamin O
It’s scientifically proven that masturbation and orgasms are good for your health, reduce stress and can even improve performance at work. Finding your way to orgasm is often easier when you’re on your own, as you can focus purely on what works for you. So masturbation can be a more reliable way of getting your ‘Vitamin O’ than partnered sex.
4) Self-love helps you learn about your body and what works for you
Learning what works for your body is one of the best ways you can improve all aspects of your sex life – from strengthening your orgasms to making partnered sex more enjoyable. Nobody can read your mind, and every body is different (particularly if you are dealing with health conditions, disabilities or sexual trauma). Making Valentine’s Day time to spend really focusing on what gets *you* off – what kind of touch, what fantasies, what sex toys – could be an investment in your sex life for the rest of the year.
Focusing on self-love doesn’t have to mean masturbation, though. It could mean giving yourself a sensual rather than sexual experience – booking yourself an amazing massage or a haircut – or it could mean going to a swingers’ club or hiring a sex worker if those are things you’ve always wanted to do. And if our customers and followers are anything to go by, by doing this you’ll be getting involved in the latest Valentine’s Day trend: self-love.