Discover the forgotten part of wellness routines.
I’m a woman with many tried wellness routines. I’m great at exercising daily for my mental health and sticking to my morning and evening skincare routine, but one aspect of my self-care that clearly lacks attention is my sexual wellbeing. It’s important, but I’m easily distracted and have never considered it an essential cornerstone.
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Luckily for me, sex wellness apps are on the rise. At the height of lockdown I downloaded Kama and can’t listen to my favorite podcasts without a promo for Dipsea. No doubt you know others like Coral, Ferly and Rosy. How would a daily sexual wellness practice as prescribed by one of these apps affect my mind, body and spirit?
The expert opinion on sexual wellness apps
I think a sexual wellness practice could greatly improve my well-being. To test my hypothesis, I decided to embark on a journey of experimentation. Before starting, I reached out to three local experts to understand the benefits and roles of these apps.
“Sexual well-being is an important pillar of overall well-being,” notes the relationship coach Stephanie Rigg. “But for a lot of us, it’s something that’s way down the list … a lot of people treat sex as something they do and not as part of who they are.” As a certified sex coach Georgia Grace tells me, “We’re starting to appreciate it not just as an afterthought, not just something that’s indulgent or radical.”
Sexologist and sex educator Lauren Franz believes that “anything that gives more space to talk about sex and make people think about how sex works in their lives can create a world of good”. Apps can play a crucial role in building healthy habits, boosting confidence, and helping us understand our sexuality.
This in turn promotes better sex. “How are you supposed to communicate your needs, wants and preferences if you’ve never taken the time to research them?” asks Stéphanie.
Your choice of app is a personal matter, determined by your interests, questions and needs. As I embark on daily use, Georgia always notes the decision “comes back to intent. What are you hoping for from this?”. I was personally hoping to find out if just doing, thinking, or learning about sex for at least five minutes could benefit me.
The three week trial
As any routine starter will tell you, it’s important to cultivate the time and space (both mental and physical) for the habit at hand. I set my daily reminders, made the bed with fresh linens, put my headphones on the nightstand, and selected my apps: Kama (free), Dipsea, and Ferly (both offer seven-day free trials).
My hope was that a daily sexual wellness practice would help me be more engaged with my body, be kinder to myself, and get me to unwind after a long day.
kamaa pleasure-oriented app with hands-on exercises, meditations, and daily content from an in-house sex coach, walked me through guided masturbation. A 30-minute course offered tips on finding the “electro spot”.
The app frequently reminded me that these practices aren’t just for pleasure, but also provide a gateway to better sex and intimacy with one’s body. My Kama practice consisted of activating all the senses, paying attention and releasing pressure and goals.
Similar, Ferly nudged me to be more mindful. Since I’m less focused on physical practice here (although there are guides for that too), I chose the Cultivating Desire course. Designed with cute checklist-like modules, each with integrated theory, practical applications and exercises with the opportunity for reflection.
My last contender was Dive. The app, sold as “sexy and short audio stories,” embraces eroticism in a way that feels modern, playful, and a far cry from the modesty of Mills and Boon’s bodice rippers. For a week, I treated myself to a 10-minute episode every night that followed Jack and Gia’s sexy romance. I closed my eyes, leaned back on my pillow and let my mind wander as I surrendered to the ASMR sensations.
As Georgia tells me, “It’s also interesting to see how the category is actually expanding to include other aspects of your overall well-being.” Not only did I engage in sex-oriented content—which helped build arousal and explore eroticism—but each app offered additional sleep and breathwork exercises. Come for the sex-positive content, stay for the relaxation – sexual wellness fits the bill.
After dabbling with these apps for three weeks, I learned to enforce a daily practice — of almost everything — that kind of takes the shine off. Without a specific goal, I would dive in and out of class, just picking what seemed to “speak to me” at the moment.
Unless, of course, it’s a dipsea story (which I’m considering now pay for – a crazy idea from the girl who refused to pay for the efficiency of a public transport app). You can’t get me to sit still and meditate for five minutes, but I’ll stop it all for a good story. When I listen, my heartbeat slows and I breathe deeply again. My body, mind and soul achieve maximum relaxation.
Nothing is perfect. “These spaces almost always have a function of selling something as well…that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s something we all need to remember when we’re diving into a spa,” says Lauren.
Part of me worries about the gamification of sex and the commercialization of our simple needs. The other part of me? It is more than happy to indulge and seek pleasure in any way that works.
For more ideas on how to get in touch with your sexual side, click here.