At a time when many are being told to self-isolate because of the coronavirus, Daniel Warner asks how can we ever have a sex life if we’re all social distancing?
Now as long as you’re both consenting adults then virtual sex is the only sensible and safe way you’re going to get any of the action you require. We are all going to have to change our behaviour, especially if we go into lockdown for a period of time.
This isn’t the first time as gay men a virus has come along and laid plans to stop us getting laid. When it comes to sex and being afraid of what we might catch or pass on, well, this isn’t our first time at the rodeo but unlike HIV, there’s nothing we can take or use to protect ourselves if we want to grab this particular bull by its horns and ride it all the way into town.
The coronavirus is here and it looks like it might here for a long while, so what’s the answer? How are we ever going to get our rocks off and pull our pants down when there’s a new virus in town?
At the time of writing this our bars are emptying, our clubs are closing and our saunas are taking the heat like they never have before, and not in a good way. As for the apps? Well, I don’t know about you but I’m thinking that guys are going to be even more unlikely to turn up for a one on one, a threesome or a group session. Think about it, we’ve been told that just shaking hands with someone who has the coronavirus puts us at risk of contracting it and shaking hands doesn’t even count as foreplay.
Social-distancing means that we have to keep at least two metres apart and that’s a pretty big distance, especially when most of us only measure each other in inches.
I don’t want to scare you, me or anybody else. I grew up in the 80s and came out in the 90s, a time when we were taught that sex with men was a terrifying thing and one wrong move, one broken condom or even just a one night stand could mean you’d contract HIV and that would be the end of you.
It wasn’t helpful advice, all it did was cultivate a sense of fear and guilt. Those were scary times and some of us didn’t survive them but now we have options, even if we want to bareback or be ‘unsafe’ we can, there’s a safety net for all of us with PrEP, PEP, U=U and still the trusted and well used condom – I mean well used as in popular, not well used as in passed around!
The coronavirus is different, it’s not transmitted sexually (as far as we know) but if we get close enough to someone who has it, then it’s pretty certain that we are going to get it (again, as far as we know). So what’s the answer? If we can’t meet then how are we ever going to see each other naked again?
I think there is a way for all of us to get around this ‘Don’t you dare reach out and touch’ advice. So many of us have shared photographs of our junk, our trunks, our jocks and our socks (change the ‘s’ to a ‘c’ if you like) with guys we’ve met on the apps so maybe the way forward is to now ‘Go Live’ with these intimate portraits.
You only need to look on Instagram to see thousands of guys with a ‘Fans Only’ profile, and what do fans get? Well they normally get to see the whole damn thing. I’m not suggesting that everyone starts their own private show for money, although with so many of us now having to wonder how we’re going to pay the bills, the rent and whatever else, there’s nothing wrong in being creative with the way you earn your cash.
Almost everyone has a camera phone, a lap top or a PC and all of these allow us to keep in touch with our nearest and dearest. The coronavirus has (at the time of writing) put an end to the thought of us getting physically close to anyone, especially those who we think might look better naked.
Within a couple of weeks it may be that FaceTiming, Live Streaming or Skyping is the only way we can actually see those who we want to reach out and touch.
Now as long as you’re both consenting adults then virtual sex is the only sensible and safe way you’re going to get any of the action you require. We are all going to have to change our behaviour, especially if we go into lockdown for a period of time. Social distancing is hard enough but if your sex drive overrides your senses and you don’t have a partner, then you’re going to have to look at other ways to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need.
I know we are not all natural exhibitionists and some of us don’t like the idea of getting naked, so cam sex isn’t going to be for everyone. The only other outlet for those of us who were shy before social distancing become the word of the season is to make good use of the porn sites or the DVDs you already have in your collection.
The coronavirus may hit our community hard but we have survived these things before. As gay men we’ve already been made to live through an age of fear, guilt and regret about our sex lives and our behaviour and we are definitely over that. For a while this virus may mean we have to be selective and more careful about who we want to take our clothes off in front of, in the meantime, there’s nothing stopping us doing exactly that. We might just have to do it on camera rather than keeping exactly two metres apart.
For now social distancing might mean you’re the only one in the room but it doesn’t mean the coronavirus needs to stop you having an audience.