So You Want to Hook-Up in a Pandemic

Dating is real weird right now. I spent months (5 months, 1 week, and 3 days to be exact) quarantining with family, which was great, but not exactly conducive to dating or hooking-up. At one point, I reached a point of such desperation, that I actually had a conversation with my aunt and uncle (who I was living with) about my having met someone online (one good thing about quarantine was the dating apps) and that I wanted to go engage in some “non-socially distanced activities” with them. You know things are bad when you voluntarily enter into a conversation with your family about the details of your sex life.

I ended up not hooking up with that person while I was living there because the logistics were hard, but as soon as I moved back into the dorms to start my last year of grad school, I was able to start actively thinking about how we were going to safely meet up in person.

I think it goes without saying, but communication is key. Communication is always important in a sexual interaction, but the stakes are even higher now, and it’s critical that you talk about things before you meet up with anyone. Talk about the things you’re each doing or not doing (taking public transportation, going into work, eating at restaurants, seeing friends indoors etc.) and decide whether you’re comfortable with that. Different parts of the country are at different stages of reopening and have different case counts, and that can also be a part of your calculus about whether you’re ready to spend unmasked time with someone inside (though I guess outdoor sex in a private place while wearing masks also works). It’s important to be upfront, not only about what you’ve been doing, but also with what you’re comfortable with. If you don’t want to hook-up with someone who spends time in an office or takes the subway, that’s okay!

To be extra safe, consider changing your behavior for the two weeks leading up to your date. Quarantine strictly, or tweak some of your normal activities to reduce your exposure so that you can feel confident going in that you’re both covid-19 free. If your city offers quick and free testing, consider that (but know that a negative result doesn’t mean you definitively don’t have covid-19). You should also talk to the people you live with to see if they’re okay with you meeting up with someone outside of your bubble/pod.  

Once you’ve figured out safety logistics I think it also makes sense to talk about sex. Make sure you’re on the same page with your likes and dislikes. It doesn’t make sense to go through the whole rigmarole of planning a safe hook-up to get to the moment and realize that you only like oral sex and they only want to have intercourse. In the “before-times” that was annoying and frustrating, but now it would be even more disheartening. So talk! Some people might find this awkward, but it’s really good practice to voice what you like. Do it over text if that feels easier than talking on the phone. We haven’t been socialized to have these types of frank conversations about sex, but now more than ever it’s important to talk with your partner about all of this stuff, from pandemic safety to sex.

Stay safe and enjoy the brilliant feeling of touching another human! Contact us for more tips on achieving a satisfying sex life.

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