How I Do It: 'After lockdown and years of no-strings sex, I want a partner'

How I Do It: 'After lockdown and years of no-strings sex, I want a partner'

For this week’s How I Do It, we hear from Emma Burnell, 46, who tells us all about a week in her sex life – a week that was supposed to have seen the end of all lockdown restrictions.

But, alas, it wasn’t to be.

London-based Emma has described the pandemic’s impact on her sex life as ‘disastrous’.

She had previously vowed after the breakdown of her last relationship to ‘f**k like a man’ – by which she means without a care in the world for commitment or consequences.

While she had big plans for the end of lockdown, the Government’s announcement postponing the ending of all Covid restrictions meant she’s had to put those plans on hold.

Not only that, but the isolation she faced living on her own during lockdown has made her crave the love and support of a partner once again.

However, she’s been burned before, and still finds herself wondering if it’s safe to love someone again…


I have a new job, which is great for so many reasons.

Firstly, it’s part-time which means I can fit in all the other different aspects of my life.

Secondly, I really needed some structure and – especially this week – some distraction and focus.

The world was supposed to open up again and frankly, so were my legs! I had plans to go to a ‘party night’ where, after 15 months of living like a nun, I could finally get laid.

Sadly, the Delta variant had other ideas. So today I cancel the wax I had booked for Thursday. What’s the point of going bare down there when there’s no one around to see it?


I quite often have a wank to take the edge off, but it’s so completely different from sex in so many ways.

I may be absolutely guaranteed an orgasm, but it will take me less than 30 seconds to get there. I don’t really get those scenes in Sex and the City where Samantha settles in for hours of self-loving.

But then I am a bit unromantic about it all. I have been known to have a wank just to get my feet warm, so I can go to sleep.

Lads, FYI, those women on Babestation et al. do not do it like that when they’re home.


I’m writing lyrics for songs for my play today, and I am trying very hard not to let my frustration seep into them.

My characters are not experiencing a sex drought – quite the opposite in fact.

The play explores my own mixed feelings about empty sex and even emptier love. Is there any other kind?

I hope so, but at 46, unless it really is that guy who broke my heart in my 20s, I still haven’t found the love of my life.


Today, I was supposed to be having a pre-sex pampering day to get ready for a party tomorrow.

Instead, I am reading a book on local economics and doing a jigsaw puzzle. How rock ‘n’ roll.


Tonight was supposed to be the night.

To be honest, for a long while I was in two minds about going back to the parties.

It is definitely a thrill and I really, really enjoy sex (even though I usually don’t orgasm from straight-up sex).

But over lockdown, I’ve been thinking more and more about finding an actual proper partner.

After my last relationship failed, I realised that I had massive (and really quite understandable) trust issues. I wasn’t sure that I believed men were capable of being monogamous, and I was done with being hurt.

So I decided to – as I put it – ‘f**k like a man’. No thoughts, no consequences, just sex.

Now I want a partner again. A year and a half living on your own will do that to you. But I don’t want to settle, and I want both someone who makes me think, someone who makes me laugh and someone who makes me cum.

Without that combination, I don’t see the point.

And I’m thirsty down to my very skin. I want to be touched. I want to be shagged.


Today I got a message from someone I refer to as my ‘Meanwhile’ (someone you shag more than once, but have absolutely no intention of having anything other than a sexual relationship with). He wants to come over tonight.

I’m double jabbed, and anyone remotely vulnerable in my life is double jabbed. F**k it – I’m doing this.

However, I’m not drinking at the moment – not until after the play is done. So I’m going to have to do this sober.

But oh God, I never did get that wax. I’m all hairy (and a little bit grey!)

And there goes the door….


The Meanwhile is a great shag. In charge, and a great mix of enthusiastic, complimentary and directive. Sexy to his fingertips (which he knows how to use well).

We did it twice and I came both times. That’s basically double my lifetime score from penetration alone. I wonder if it’s the wait, the partner or the yoga I’ve been doing over lockdown?

Cuddled up on my own on the sofa the next day (Meanwhile was the perfect gentleman and left sweetly in the morning) I don’t feel guilty or troubled as I sometimes have in the past.

I feel like my body is coming back to life. Like sex is coming back to life.

I will find that partner one day. And when I do, there will be no more parties, no more Meanwhiles.

But until that person comes along, I am going to keep giving my body what it wants and what it has been missing for far, far too long.

How I Do It

In’s How I Do It you get a sneak peek into a week of a person’s sex and love life – from vanilla love-making to fetishes, threesomes and polyamorous relationships, they reveal it all.

Fancy taking part yourself? Email [email protected] for more information.

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