The coronavirus and social distancing disrupts every aspect of public life, and, duh, that includes sex.
As strongly advised by the CDC, social distancing has put a nearly unprecedented constraint on anyone with a libido (and no live-in partner) The queer community is used to fear and unwarranted stigma when it comes to sex, but the coronavirus is unlike any other health issue in our lifetime.
A lot of queer people are anxious, cooped up, and to say the least, horny as AF.
Just to be clear kids, casual sex is NOT SAFE unless you like masks and staying 6 feet away from your partner. (Yes, I think I’ve seen that video too…)
All kidding aside, some people are turning to creative solutions to create intimacy… from a safe distance. Regardless of how they get off, many people are staying in and looking at sexual fulfillment, in a new way.
According to them, Dr. Peter Meacher, MD, chief medical officer at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center says,
“We really recommend as much as possible not engaging with multiple new partners right now. The focus here is harm reduction.”
“The aim is to limit the amount of people that you are coming into close contact with.
For people who have a partner or someone they have sex with often, it might make the most sense to co-habitate for the time being, if possible. We really recommend as much as possible not engaging with multiple new partners right now.
We understand that can be a very difficult decision and don’t take it lightly, but the focus here is harm reduction.”
Kell Rakowski, founder and CEO of Lex, the lo-fi dating and social app that emphasizes text over photos says,
“the community is used to distance and a slower connection of getting to know each other.
I think a lot more people are taking that leap and writing personals. Because they do really want to find people to talk to, and share ideas, and play video games with, or whatever it is.”
Eric Silverberg, co-founder and CEO of Scruff says,
“We’re going to make sure that we can give users all the information that they need to make safe and smart decisions.
Grindr’s messaging on the app goes a step further with a pinned alert on that says,
“Physical isolation doesn’t have to mean social isolation. We are proud that Grindr remains an open platform for our community to safely connect and thrive.”
A spokesperson for Grindr said,
“We are advising users to follow guidelines provided by the WHO and participate in social distancing as recommended by local authorities.”
One 38 year-old Grindr user wrote to them,
“Yes, this virus spreads easily, but there’s nothing you can do. We all gotta eat. Gay men have lived with the threat of getting HIV for a long time, so this virus doesn’t scare me.”
It should. But more users seemed to be getting creative and exploring video chat and broadening their search area. Alex, 25 said on Scruff,
“Why not have fun from the comfort and safety of your own bed? Don’t get me wrong, staying home cooped up with your roommate without an ounce of actual dick is… hard :)”
But being able to sneak into your room to meet a hot French guy online is fun.”
A pause on casual sex might just be a new opportunity to connect more meaningfully. Corey, 37, wrote on Scruff,
“I’ve found a sense of freedom knowing that (hopefully) most guys are not down for ‘right now!’ which opens up more room for a conversation.
I fantasize that I have all this time to get to know someone and that maybe sex won’t be the common denominator after this isolation.”