Covid-19 came along like a drunk guest at a wedding party and punched the groom, pissed on the cake, knocked out the DJ and ruined the honeymoon. Daniel Warner asks if any of us are managing to consummate any kind of relationship now Covid-19 keeps turning up uninvited and spoiling the party?
It’s pretty much seven months to the day that I wrote my last article for Boyz asking how we were going to navigate our way through a (at that point rumoured) lockdown and still manage to have a sex life. My column was full of optimism about doing things virtually and making use of our camera phones and Zoom meetings. How it ended up was everyone was Zooming everyone else but that was for work, and work and sex never really make good bedfellows, unless you’re getting paid for it.
Seven months on and I had truly started to wonder if sex was even a ‘thing’ anymore? I mean, who was having it? I certainly wasn’t and a couple of my friends had already grown tired of only having their right (or left, I don’t want to discriminate) hand for company. For a start, we were on lockdown so it wasn’t like we could go to a bar or a club or a sauna to get that special kind of attention that only one man can give to another. Of course you are allowed to have more than one man if you want to, but Covid-19 had even put a stop to that.
So how have we dealt with it? Have we all become celibate now we’re not allowed to have a group of guys round and have our very own penis party? Being celibate means there’s not much to celebrate especially if you love sex, and even if you don’t love it, you just like it a little, not being allowed to have any at all means a little can go a very long way.
Researching sex when you’re not supposed to be having any brought up some real questions for me. I was kind of surprised that the unshockable me had become a little bit prudish. Covid-19 had made me anxious about any kind of human contact so listening to friends who had discovered new ways of meeting guys without the use of apps, bars, saunas or clubs opened my eyes in a way that made me uncross my legs and realise that yes, sex is still a thing and yes, lots of guys are still doing it.
Firstly, let’s talk about the apps. At the start of lockdown they had tried hard to reinvent themselves by throwing online quiz nights and stripathons. I’m not sure how well these went down but it definitely wouldn’t have gone down as well as a real life guy with a real life mouth kneeling in front of you.
I think one of the apps even had a ‘Spelling Bee” competition, but nobody logs onto an app at 2.30am looking for good dictation, I mean, that’s not even how you spell good dick. So what’s going on with the apps now? I logged on to three well known and most popular ones this past weekend and apart from a few profile pictures of guys wearing masks (probably the kind of guys who’d never normally show their face but are happy to show half of it now) it seemed like everyone had grown tired of being told what they couldn’t do so had now decided to go ahead and do everyone.
I don’t mean to blow my own horn (if I could I would) but the parties I was invited to and the places I got to see (very special, intimate places) made it seem like it was an absolute overspill of sexual frustration. I saw invites for group parties like it was last call at a sex club and the guys waiting in line for the sling were out of the door.
What have we been doing since our sex clubs and saunas have been closed? Apparently there is still one of our saunas operating but you have to get on a very exclusive guest list. The details I know are sketchy but you turn up in your mask and you leave in your mask. Once you get in the door everything comes off until you get off. When sex is made to feel like something we shouldn’t be doing, who are we to judge those who still manage to keep doing it?
Finally, and this is what I find the most wholesome and charming way of gay men adapting to a sexual drought: One of my friends has taken to meeting other men the old fashioned way, and by that I mean behind trees and bushes in the middle of the night. I mean, what is he doing wrong? He’s outside, he could be wearing his mask if he wants to, there’s probably a couple of tree stumps between him and whomever else is out dick hunting in the dark so they are socially distanced, and they are also getting their daily dose of exercise outside in the coronavirus free fresh air. He also discovered that he was allowed in the park after dark after living in the area for almost twenty years. So there you go, Covid-19 taught him that open spaces can lead to hands on intimate places.
However you’re getting your sex is up to you. It’s been a long and hard seven months and at this point it looks like it’s going to get even longer and harder and if that thought doesn’t make you want to run out and have sex, then it’s time you started having it again.
Sex is and always will be a huge part of our lives, to give it up completely is a difficult ask. However you cope with it is your own decision, nobody should judge you, we are all responsible for ourselves.
Photo from Lured2 by UKHotJocks available from gay stores and online