Mask Kissing: Pent up During the Pandemic of 2020

Article by Dorothy Darker

Rob Novinger, CEO of the store’s parent company, Channel 1 Releasing, told Penthouse there’s been a spike in online ordering from the retailer’s digital storefront.

“For us, the surge certainly doesn’t replace the volume from our physical stores, but I’m not complaining,” Novinger says. “What I have noticed is people are really stocking up on the basics—just like people are doing with toilet paper. Lube, cock rings, dongs—BIG dongs. I think people must be utilizing their time at home for anal challenges.”

Novinger also notes a jump in local online orders from regulars who before shopped in-person.

When this Chi Chi LaRue’s Circus location does open its doors again, visitors are in for a treat, with all the erotic art, stylish Instagramable interiors, pink and orange color schemes, elaborate role-play costume and fashion items, aisle of lubricants, coffee-table books, and more.

But until that day comes, online is the way to go. And any product that can liven up staying at home is to be appreciated.

“Time for more self-love!” Novinger says with a smile. Then he adds, “I think that explains the surge in vibes, lube, and dongs. It’s a super strange time, but I think it’s pushing people to discover new things that maybe weren’t part of their normal routine.”

As for Andrews, “safer at home” in Las Vegas, she agrees that self-pleasuring is no doubt on the increase. “I’m going to assume a lot of people aren’t getting laid right now,” she observes. “If you’re single, I would think getting laid would be difficult.”

Elaborating, she adds, “I think people are going to be coming up with new ways to masturbate. With the whole camming thing, there are hi-tech devices where the other person can control your experience by using an app on their phone. I think there’s going to be more stuff like that—so you can participate with the other person.

“Before this whole thing began, I wasn’t really used to jumping on my computer and having whole conversations with people,” Andrews says. “I would schedule a Skype meeting every once in a while—but this is my third one today. I think this kind of communication is going to become more a part of everyday life moving forward.”


Sex Expert: Creativity Is Key

Los Angeles-based clinical sexologist Stephanie Hunter Jones, PhD, counsels clients who are negotiating new ways to hygienically hook up and feel sexy virtually.

“I think people are going to have to get very creative,” she says, “and that could be a good thing.”

Staying sexual during Covid-19? Here are four more observations from Hunter Jones:

Social distancing will take some getting used to.
“Clients I help to open up sexually and explore sexual experiences, they’re having a difficult time because they’ve had to tone that down. Some are limiting to one or two partners.”

Virtual reality is the new reality.
About half of Hunter Jones’s coupled clients are swingers. “They’re doing things virtually, to be as safe as possible. Zoom found out about it and they’re trying to crack down, so there are independent servers popping up to host new platforms.”

Singles might enjoy “no-touch” games.
“You can have conversations, enjoy a glass of wine, and get to know each other online because that’s the reality of what we’re living with right now. When it comes to meeting in public, yes, we have to wear masks, but you can use it flirtatiously. Maybe reveal your face a little at a time.”

Sexiness is healthy.
Feeling good helps support mental health and the immune system. “Sex is just one aspect of our sexuality. Sexuality is an essence of energy that lives within us. I’ve been working with clients during this time to get in touch with that essence—that passion.”

Dorothy Darker is only too happy to wear a face mask and keep a six-foot distance while riding out the pandemic in Los Angeles. She loves her dog and binge-watching Japanese cooking shows.

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