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Illustration by Brittany England

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Novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, “corona”: The virus that’s sending hundreds of thousands of folks into self-isolation and quarantine goes by many names. (Official name? SARS-CoV-2 for the virus, COVID-19 for the disease.)

But “the world’s worst cock block” doesn’t have to be one of them.

How? Technology. Jess O’Reilly, PhD, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast explains:

“App-enabled and remote-controlled toys allow you to have sex with a partner from miles and miles of distance — or from the recommended social distance of 6 feet.”

You read that right: There are toys your partner can control without physically reaching between your legs to press the teeny tiny little buttons!

Language matters

While “social distancing” means keeping physical distance between yourself and others, it also implies keeping an emotional distance. In these challenging times, it’s important to stay connected with your intimate or romantic partner(s).

That’s why we’re starting to use the term “physical distancing” instead of “social distancing.” We believe you can stay physically distanced while maintaining — and even strengthening — your intimate connections.

Finally, some good news: There are legit, health-backed reasons to get off right now.

For starters, orgasms release stress-busting hormones and endorphins.

And pandemic = stressful times.

Orgasms won’t make you immune to the new coronavirus (or any other virus or germ, for that matter), but they have been shown to help the immune system, says Dr. Jill McDevitt, CalExotics’ resident sexologist.

Hey, every little bit helps.

HEALTHLINE’S CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

Stay informed with our live updates about the current COVID-19 outbreak. Also, visit our coronavirus hub for more information on how to prepare, advice on prevention and treatment, and expert recommendations.

Have a live-in bae you wanna take it to the next level with?

“Remote-controlled sex toys allow your lover to take the helm and control your toy from a distance,” explains Searah Deysach, sex educator and owner of Early to Bed.

And don’t worry, you’ll get use out of the toy even when isolation’s over.

They’re easier to operate than other toys, so you’ll want to keep it handy, McDevitt says.

She adds: “Remote-controlled toys are also an awesome option for folks with disabilities who don’t have the dexterity to operate the buttons on a toy.”

We-Vibe Chorus

OK, OK, so this toy is technically designed to be worn during P-in-V sex, but that’s a little tricky to pull off while 6 feet apart.

That’s why O’Reilly recommends repurposing the toy for some Quarantine Fun.

“Have the vulva owner use it solo, then pull in the other partner from across the room, apartment, or house via the We-Connect app, which will allow them to control the toy from afar,” she explains.

Just be prepared: This toy is intense.

“It provides both internal and external stimulation, which means it’s more likely to lead to blended orgasms — clitoral and G-spot — which people say can feel more full-bodied and intense.”

Buy the We-Vibe Chorus online.

Screaming O Premium ergonomic vibrating panty with remote

About 6 inches long, this vibrator is ergonomically designed to secretly slip into a pair of panties and vibrate against your labia.

It comes (heh) with a black lace thong, but if you like something a little more full coverage, go ahead and slide this silicone toy into your briefs, boy shorts, or granny panties.

Then, let your play partner cycle through all 20 of the toy’s deep and rumbly settings.

Buy the Screaming O Premium vibrating panty with remote online.

CalExotics Lock-n-Play wristband remote panty teaser

This is a great option for those who enjoy some high-powered clit action. This panty vibrator is I-N-T-E-N-S-E.

“It locks into your underwear with magnetic flaps (kind of like a maxi pad), so after it’s in place, it’s completely hands-free,” McDevitt explains.

“From there, it can be controlled from the remote that comes with it from up to 32 feet away,” she adds.

Make the whole shebang even higher tech by having one partner in one bedroom, the other in another, and getting on FaceTime so you can see each other while you get it on.

Buy the CalExotics Lock-n-Play wristband remote panty teaser online.

b-Vibe Rimming Plug 2

Why wait until things “return to normal” to explore the pleasure potential of your bum? Spoiler alert: You shouldn’t!

The b-Vibe Rimming Plug does the ~standard butt plug thing~ (aka provide a sustained feeling of fullness).

And it features seven vibrator patterns designed to stimulate all the nerves along the opening of your anus.

The remote works from 30 feet away, so try incorporating the toy into your next mutual masturbation sesh.

Start by touching yourselves in your typical way. Then, when you’re good and turned on, grab some water-based lube (like the Sliquid Sassy), and tease your back entrance with the toy before easing this bad boy in.

Buy the b-Vibe Rimming Plug 2 online.

Hot Octopuss Pulse Duo

Have a penis or strap-on cock? Want to get off without doing much work? Try the Pulse Duo, which is basically a vibrating iteration of a hard shell taco.

Use a generous amount of lube to help slip your penis inside the toy.

Then, Julia Margo, co-founder of Hot Octopuss, says: “You can use it as a static stroker, letting the toy do all the work, bringing you to orgasm with minimal effort.”

Or, you can grip on to the toy and slide it up and down your length, the way you would your own hand.

During isolation, bring your partner into the mix by handing over the remote.

Afterward, if your partner has a vulva, they can straddle you and grind against the base of the toy where a second motor lives so you can get off together.

Buy the Hot Octopuss Pulse Duo online.

MysteryVibe Crescendo

There’s no competition: Crescendo is by far the most versatile sex toy on the list.

For starters, it’s literally as bendy and flexible as a pipe cleaner, so you can contort it into whatever shape best targets your it-spot.

Second, it can be connected to the MysteryVibe app (which works up to 30 feet away). Your partner can tap through the preprogrammed vibration settings or create one of their own.

Our advice? Unless your partner’s the next Jimi Hendrix, stick to the preprogrammed settings.

Buy the MysteryVibe Crescendo online.

Longtime long-distance couples and for-the-time-being “long distance” couples, this is for you!

“App-enabled toys can be paired with a sex toy so that a partner who’s thousands of miles — or two blocks — away can control the device,” O’Reilly says.

Obvi this is clutch for partners who are #SeparatedByQuarantine. But even during “normal life,” these babies are pretty rad.

“They can breed excitement, enhance connection, and build anticipation,” O’Reilly says.

App-controlled sex toys also a good option for folks who have mobility issues or require hands-free play.

We-Vibe Moxie

Smaller than an apple core or pen USB drive, the Moxie is a flat panty vibrator that can clip into any pair of skivvies (or leggings, TBH) with a strong magnet that keeps the toy *right* where you want it.

“This is the perfect toy to wear around the house if you live with your partner, or to use with a long-distance boo,” O’Reilly says.

She recommends putting the toy into place, pairing it with your partner’s app, then hopping on Skype or FaceTime for some virtual sex.

“You can experiment with different speeds, rhythms, intensities, and vibration patterns — all while chatting, texting, or communicating via video,” O’Reilly says.

Buy the We-Vibe Moxie online.

Vibease remote control vibrator

Sextech nerds to the front.

This pink cutie doesn’t just sync with an app that allows your partner near or far to play with the settings. It can also vibrate in sync with in-app audio erotica. Seriously!

If the audiobook says “I’m touching you softly,” the toy vibrates at a low intensity. And if the audiobook says “I’m touching you roughly,” the toy vibrates at a higher intensity.

These are wild times we’re living in. This toy makes ’em even wilder.

Buy the Vibease remote control vibrator online.

OhMiBod BlueMotion Nex1

Love when your clit is the start of the show? This is the vibe for you.

Shaped like a thumb with a bulbous tip that’s designed to rest against and pleasure your pearl, this toy is designed to slide into your panties and get you off.

It can be controlled with the remote that comes with it or a Bluetooth-connected app.

Note: Unlike the other app-connected toys on the list, this app only works as a controller if you’re within 30-ish feet of each other.

Buy the OhMiBod BlueMotion Nex1 online.

We-Vibe Ditto

Butt plug? Check. Vibrator? Check. App-controlled? Check. Can stimulate your prostate? If you’re a person with a prostate, also check!

“The We-Vibe Ditto is a vibrating butt plug that can be used by people of all genders to provide deep, rumbly vibrations inside the body,” Deysach says.

“The addition of the app connectability means that your partner can use your device to control the speeds and functions even when you’re miles away from each other,” she adds.

Buy the We-Vibe Ditto online.

Hey, the NYC Health Department said it: “You are your safest sex partner.”

So if you have a go-to sex toy or stroking method, you’ve got the state’s approval to go ahead and use that.

But, Deysach says, “While you’re practicing social distancing, prostate (P-spot) and G-spot play can be a fun way to explore pleasure points you may not have explored previously.”

As a refresher:

  • Folks assigned male at birth have a prostate, which is a walnut-sized gland that’s about 2 to 4 inches inside the rectum, toward the penis.
  • Folks assigned female at birth have an erogenous zone known as the G-spot, which is located about 2 inches inside the vaginal canal, on the stomach-facing side.

Both of these spots are super nerve-dense, so stimulating them with pressure, vibration, or light touch can be incredibly pleasurable. Some folks even report P-spot or G-spot orgasms.

“Using your hands can be a great way to get started, but tools and toys like dildos, prostate massagers, and G-spot wands can make it a lot easier,” Deysach says.

So, here are some of the best.

Pro tip: P-spot and G-spot stimulation is way more fun when it’s combined with other sensations, so stroke your penis, rub your clit, or touch another erogenous zone of choice while you play!

Njoy Eleven

Eleven (yes, 11!) inches long and made of stainless steel, this is perfect for folks who enjoy pressure (but not vibrating) against their internal pleasure zones.

Each side features a bulbous end of different sizes, so whether you need a big or small surface area, the Eleven is here to get you off.

Pro tip: Pair it with some silicone-based lube, like the Sliquid Silver.

And if you’re into temperature play, go ahead and pop this bad boy into the freezer 30 minutes before use. Trust, the sensation is marvelous.

Buy the Njoy Eleven online.

Le Wand rechargeable vibrating massager

One look at this toy and you’re probably thinking, No way is that going inside me. Well, you’d be right.

As is, the Le Wand massager is a cult classic external vibrator that can be used to stimulate clits, bits, balls, bum cheeks, nips, and backs.

But add the curved G-spot and P-spot attachment to the head, and you’ll be making yourself scream in no time.

Buy the Le Wand rechargeable vibrating massager and curve silicone attachment online.

Will a new sex toy cure COVID-19 or make these unknown times any more, well, known? No. It can’t.

But: “Finding time for pleasure right now is so, so important,” Deysach says. “We’re all stressed, cooped up, and dealing with a whole new reality.”

And remote- and app-controlled toys allow that pleasure to be solo or partnered — even if you and your partner don’t know the next time you’ll be seeing each other IRL.


Gabrielle Kassel is a New York–based sex and wellness writer and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. She’s become a morning person, tested over 200 vibrators, and eaten, drunk, and brushed with charcoal — all in the name of journalism. In her free time, she can be found reading self-help books and romance novels, bench-pressing, or pole dancing. Follow her on Instagram.