I’m Social Distancing With My Partner’s Family. When Am I Supposed To Masturbate?


Two weeks ago, I packed a bag in anticipation of social distancing with my partner at his parents' beach house and threw in my vibrator — not as an aspirational gesture, but as a precaution. In my mind, I was heading out of New York City for 14 days, max. And if my partner and I were on entirely different work schedules, how nice would it be to have my portable little friend, on-call? Little did I know that several days later, the state would issue a stay-at-home order, and our pod would gain two new members: my partner's sister and her boyfriend. Now when am I supposed to masturbate?

Yes, I know there are more pressing questions on everyone's minds — including mine. When will the pandemic be over? How many people will lose their jobs? Will my grandmother survive the virus? But amid these grand, sweeping concerns, lie tiny seeds of selfish uncertainty, our libidos among them.

Here's the thing: I really do like my two new social distancing buddies. Four is the perfect number for playing card games and alternating cooking dinner. I also appreciate having another family "outsider" making awkward decisions — like whether we can search their mother's drawers for a wine opener — in solidarity with me.

But they rarely leave the house, which is a massive win for flattening the curve, and a huge L for my clitoris. And while I have no qualms about masturbating in a house with other people (just ask my college roommate), the lock on our bedroom door is broken. His sister or her boyfriend walking in on me? That's not something I need to work out in therapy.

I tried, once, last week, to do the deed in the morning, while my partner was in the shower. But I was so tired that it felt like a chore, sucking all the joy out of the word "joystick."

On Tuesday, I attempted to time my business to their weekly grocery run. But the second I heard their car backing out of the driveway, I got a FaceTime request call from my mother. And when I promptly denied, she kept on ringing me until I was forced to answer. That woman! Always smothering me with love and concern!

Which brings me to last night. Drunk on half a bottle of red wine and feeling frisky after watching an episode of Sex and the City, I meandered over to the room my partner is using as an office space and kissed him on the cheek.

"I'm still working," he said, shrugging me off.

"Hmph!" I retorted, before retreating to my room.

But I refused to admit to defeat. I poked my head into the hallway, and confirmed that the coast was clear. Where were they? I didn't know, and I didn't care. Grabbing my bag, I pulled out my vibrator, turned it to its quietest setting, slowly began lowering it down my torso, and —

"Do you want to watch Game Of Thrones with us?" My partner's sister whispered from the other side of the door.

I sighed, succumbing to my fate.

"As long as there's popcorn involved."