The continued lockdowns have made real life dating difficult to say the least. People, including myself are swiping on dating apps to our heart’s content. Virtual dating is on the rise and I’m loving it, in fact, I kind of prefer it. In this blog post I’ll be expressing the positive benefits from my virtual dating experiences in lockdown and why I think virtual dates should be considered before real life meet-ups.
Since the world wide pandemic began, we have been somewhat forced to reinvent parts of our lives. Social distancing has forced us to adjust to new ways of living and socialising, new ways of greeting, new ways of shopping and new ways of catching transport. Now when I’m meeting someone new I experience such a strong dissonance between whether I should shake their hand or give a bow in honour and when I’m in public and someone comes into my personal space I feel somewhat offended. But the importance of staying in contact with people from a distance (such a paradox) has become ever more present.
Connection and Virtual Dating
Most of us highly value a sense of connection within a romantic relationship and connection can be determined by many things. For me, I know when I have a connection with someone when we can have an in-depth conversation about interests we’re both exclusively passionate about. I also know that I have a connection with someone when I can sit comfortably in silence with them, either just being or doing seperate things.
I’ve found from my virtual dates during this lockdown how truly important a connection is as a catalyst for intimacy and romance. In a real life dating scenario, typically both parties will dress to the nines and go somewhere public with many distractions in order to avert the eyes and the conversation away from each other to avoid potential awkwardness. There will be talk about how good the food and wine is, or how great a certain painting is with it’s strokes and textures. Discussion of whether dogs or cats are better or if pineapple truly does belong on pizza.
Comparatively in the online world of virtual dating there is much less room for small talk. It’s just me and you staring at each other through a screen, nowhere to hide and nothing to distract the gaze. It’s vulnerable and the conversation is deeper and more personal. Discussion of goals and aspirations are at the forefront and fantasization about what the first in the flesh encounter would feel like. Daydreams of what the other person going to smell like, how confident will their stride be, and will they look as gorgeous as they do on the screen?
Bonding and No Pressure For Sex with Virtual Dating
Virtual dating for me has made way for genuine bonding with another person and not just a lusty short stint. If I vibe with a person in real life and am attracted to them, after our first date I feel my own sense of pressure to sleep with them. I’ve experienced this pressure since a teenager and I know I’m not alone with this issue.
I’ve spoken to many women who have previously struggled or still struggle with this sense of pressure we put on ourselves. I believe it comes from a core value of wanting to totally please the other person in a self sacrificial sense and is intertwined with a fear that if I don’t sleep with this person, they won’t like me.
Virtual dating has removed this struggle for the obvious reason of not being face to face. There is absolutely no pressure for sex and for me that is the most comforting thing about it. I feel no burden to keep the other person happy.
Virtual dating has allowed me to learn how to genuinely bond with another human being and has optimised my conversational skills. It’s also tested my beliefs and values on certain topics, allowing me to expand my mindset and way of thinking. I’ve learnt to be able to respect another persons point of view and at the same time stay true to my own.
Not only has virtual dating increased my conversational skills but it’s also heightened my active listening skills. My focus is sharper and my word processing faster. Intimacy is essential for bonding and diving into personal questions helps accelerate a connection. Being vulnerable and listening to ones vulnerability helps each of us feel better and boosts self-esteem.
With Virtual Dating, It’s Easy To Leave
If you’ve matched with someone and the texting is great so you decide to hop on Zoom for a virtual date but things aren’t turning out how you envisioned, it’s easy to leave. You can easily say “Hey, this isn’t really what I was expecting, I appreciate your time and energy for jumping on this call with me, I’m going to hang up now” then you press end call. It’s all over and remember you don’t owe anyone more that the previous statement.
If once you’ve jumped on video call with someone and they begin being vulgar without your consent, you don’t have to say anything, you are allowed to hang up and block. On the other hand if you want to address the reason why you’re ending the call, feel free to do so and I hope the person on the other hand will listen and learn from it! It’s so much easier to leave via virtual dating than in real life and for this I am so grateful.
Games and Virtual Dating
Due to the lack of face to face interaction it can be fun to get creative and keep the date engaging. I’ve been playing ‘Questions you actually want to answer‘ a card game made by Flex Mami. You can get a deck, along with many of her other cool card games and homewares at the Flex Factory. Flex factory stock ‘Never Have You Ever’ a super fun game that can be drinking game. (drink responsibly!) If you want to get sexy you can play strip poker and there are even online battleship websites where you obliterate the other persons team and feel good watching them be blown to smithereens.
Virtual Dating and Zoom Sex
While there is certainly no pressure to have online sex, it’s great when it happens! Being a sex worker I film myself to sell as online content so I feel really comfortable in front of a camera. I imagined that virtual sex was just going to feel like work and was pleasantly surprised how wrong I was.
With online sex work there is a delay in response to the media I film. So I will film a scene, upload it, send it out and then hear about it. With online sex, I could instantly see the reactions in the face of my date as soon as they happened and it turned me on so much and encouraged me to keep going.
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There was a synergy and a strong attraction even with a screen and several kilometres between us. It was like we ‘linked’ up and we could feel each others pleasure as it was happening in real time and I must say I had one of the best orgasms of my life. Equally there was no pressure to perform, I took my time and the anticipation of taking my clothes off slowly and showing him my body was so hot.
In conclusion, virtual sex has been remarkably liberating for me. It’s helped me become more flexible within my behaviour and I’ve learnt a lot about myself and how I interact with people. I encourage everyone to jump on a virtual date before taking the face to face plunge. If you’re someone who’s lacking a little bit of confidence not just with dating but in general, going online and watching yourself talk to another person is really helpful for coming out of your shell so to speak. Socialisation is important for us and virtual dating proves we can still be intimately social and build genuine connections through a screen, and not only build a connection but FEEL a connection. Have fun and stay safe! (not sponsored by Zoom ;P)
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