Dating and Hookup Culture in the Age of COVID

Should I wear a mask when I have sex? Should I even be having sex right now? Do I need to wear gloves when I…. you know? Should I wear a mask down there? She spit in my mouth, now what? Can I use GermX as lube? Should I get tested for STDs as well as COVID? 

Source: vogue.xl.pt. Published: March 2020 … Credits for this picture: Branislav Simoncik (Photographer)

COVID has changed the way all of us have viewed not only our day-to-day activities, but greater systemic issues as well, but how has it altered the way we view our single lifestyles such as hook up culture and dating? As a 21 year old, sexually active, college senior, I have admittedly participated in the toxicity that is dating apps and hookup culture, but I have definitely had to hit the brakes on that since I realized that swapping spit with folks can give you a lot more than chapped lips and disappointment. Some universities including The University of Georgia and Maryland have put forth guidelines across their university that read, You are your safest sex partner. Practice solo sex, or limit the number of sexual partners you have.” So you heard it here first, to my single ladies (or anyone with a vagina) visit that downstairs DJ, to my single men (or anyone with a penis) go ahead and give yourselves a hand! Whether you have been practicing safe solo sex your whole life, or right when this quarantine began, or this is your absolute first time hearing about the joys and health of safe sex during COVID, I am now giving you permission to STOP seeking random hookups on tinder just to feel a few minutes of unsafe pleasure with someone who could not only be giving you COVID, but also STDs! 

“You are your safest sex partner. Practice solo sex, or limit the number of sexual partners you have.”

Speaking of STDs, COVID is actually MORE contagious than your everyday chlamydia, clap, or herpes, so not only should you be wearing a condom and taking precautions, you should also wear a damn mask. Hook up culture across college campuses is simply incompatible with the prevention of the coronavirus, and while college students’ hormones and sex drive is absolutely through the roof (unless it’s not, then that’s okay too, baby), a nut followed by awkward cuddling for 8 minutes is not as important as safety and health. 

Now, while we single folks should mostly be focusing on lone rangering it in the bedroom, we may still want to put ourselves into the dating field in order to meet some other single people who are taking this pandemic shit seriously. So, for those people, I offer a couple quarantine dating tips:

Know What You’re Comfortable With and State it

Be sure you know what you’re okay with, and know what social distancing means to you. Whether it be a zoom date, texting/calling, going on a walk (while keeping your mask on), dinner on the patio of Billy Jacks, making them send a picture of their negative COVID test, wearing full body hazmat suits and doing the WAP dance on the quad, WHATEVER your comfort zone is, TELL THEM, COMMUNICATE, MAKE IT KNOWN!!! And make sure you ask them as well, but if they’re not comfortable with what a quarantine date looks like to you, then move on. 

Consent is KEY

Consent should ALWAYS be a must no matter the context, but it has definitely become more important as of late. If you are wanting/hoping to get physical with someone after multiple video dates and text conversations, or if it’s your first time meeting this person (I don’t judge), make sure they are comfortable with it well beforehand. Even texting the person you’re interested in and asking, “If we were to meet in person, would kissing be an option?” While I have to admit this does sound fairly lame, it is so much better to be safe than sorry about these sorts of things, especially in these times. 

Credits for this picture: Jonah Deaton (photographer/model) https://www.facebook.com/jdphotographyky/

The most important thing I can tell you is to have fun and enjoy being single, but don’t take yours or your possible partner’s safety for granted. Keep yourself safe, but do what you can to maintain your health while still having fun and getting yourself out there. Do not underestimate the power of a good ol’ zoom date, or a masked walk in the park, but never forget that while unprotected, unmasked sex can be fun, it cannot compare to the notion of safety and health you provide yourself by simply doin’ a little DIY. 

One thought on “Dating and Hookup Culture in the Age of COVID

  1. “Even texting the person you’re interested in and asking, “If we were to meet in person, would kissing be an option?” While I have to admit this does sound fairly lame, it is so much better to be safe than sorry about these sorts of things, especially in these times.” <– I super don't think conversations like this have to be lame — the anticipation & transparency about a willingness to express consent is BOLD & SPICY!

    Like

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