IN MY ORBIT: Sex in The Age of COVID-19

IN MY ORBIT: Sex in The Age of COVID-19
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

POST WARNING: This article may not be safe to read at work, and children under 15 probably should not be looking over your shoulder.

Okay, you’ve been warned! That said, the headline should give you a good indication of the direction I am headed. If COVID has taught us anything, it is how much the government wants to manage and control every aspect of our lives; I am sad to say that sex is no longer between consenting adults, but you, your consenting partners, and the County Health Department.

Don’t act surprised—we all saw it coming.

If you do a search for “COVID-19 Safe sex” or some variation thereof, you’ll get guidelines from various state health departments. Maybe it lists all 50, honestly, I didn’t scroll that far. Along with the County Health guidelines on how to practice “safe sex”, there are also bon mots and “wisdom” from “experts” publishing at the usual places: Cosmopolitan (“Sorry, but Doggy-Style Sex Isn’t Really Safer Than Missionary When It Comes to Spreading COVID-19”)—bummer; Men’s Health (“So, Uh, Is It Safe to Have Sex With People at This Point in the Coronavirus Pandemic?”)—singing vs. sex, hmm..; and… Miley Cyrus?

It’s true, Miss Tongue-Flicker went on the Howard Stern show to talk about how she’s holding it down.

“I do a lot of FaceTime sex – it’s the safest sex. I’m not getting COVID,” she said in the new interview with Stern.

I don’t know about you, but I rest easier knowing that Miley is meeting her sexual needs safely. Definitely a load off.

Tongue still firmly in cheek, this is from a satire site, although very few people can tell the difference anymore. It’s been passed along and retweeted as “real news”, and it really does set the tone for the rest of the article.

“Belgium Health Minister Maggie de Block has put a ban on all non-essential sexual activities of persons 3 or greater in indoor areas.

“Health Minister de Block announced today that, effective immediately, “non-essential” sexual activities of 3 people or more are banned in Belgium to combat the spread of COVID-19.

“De Block said she was forced to act swiftly because of Belgium’s reputation as being the “beer-drinking” and “group sex capital of Europe.”

But the phrase “truth is stranger than fiction” applies here. Sex in the age of COVID is something that certain states are taking very seriously. The New York guidelines rank highest in the Internet search, followed by… you guessed it: California. Frankly, I am amazed King Gavin didn’t deem sex non-essential and forbid us from comingling.

Well, it’s kind of close… Take a look at this tweet thread by San Francisco Board of Supervisors Matt Haney:

Haney claims he is being sarcastic, while trying to be factual. Okay. When Haney received the expected ratio tweets, he backpedaled:

Knowing these dictatorial champagne elitists as I do, I seriously doubt it.

Dr. Mike Solana is also not buying it.

Los Angeles County Department of Health recently updated their COVID Guidelines for Safe Sex. The PDF file is about 4 pages, while New York’s guidelines on COVID Safe Sex is 3 pages. California goes a little longer because it also has to factor in such guidance as:

  • You should limit close contact — including sex — with anyone outside your household. If you do have sex with others outside of your household, have as few partners as possible and pick partners you trust. Talk about COVID-19 risk factors, just as you would discuss PrEP, condoms, and other safer sex topics. Ask them about COVID-19 before you hook up.”

Then, after warning you to limit your sex partners from those outside your household, there is this guideline that begins on Page 2:

  • “If you are considering a play party. It is important to note that large gatherings of any type are not safe during COVID-19. Close contact with multiple people should be avoided. Below are tips to reduce your risk of spreading or getting COVID-19:
    • Go with a consistent sex partner.
    • Pick larger, more open, and well-ventilated spaces.
    • Wear a face covering, avoid kissing, and do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer frequently.”

We recommend you don’t have a “play party”, but in the event you are considering it, here is how to do it safely? Make sure you pick “larger, more open, and well ventilated spaces” to have your play parties in, and here’s some recommendations on local barns and fields where you can make that happen.

Okay, I made that last part up—But what the?!

Some guidelines are less bizarre than L.A. County, some are par for the course. Apparently, British Columbia encourages the use of “glory holes”:

  • “Use barriers, like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact.”

Still not getting it, I had to look up the definition of glory holes.

“A glory hole is sexual slang for a slot in a wall in which a man inserts his penis for sexual stimulation by someone on the other side.”

I have thoughts, but I’ll keep them to myself.

This recommendation from Page 2 of the New York guidelines is quite hilarious:

If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates.”

There are suggestions on how to do that, but I’ll leave it up to your imagination. Know that it involves electronic devices and digits. That’s all I’m going to say.

This portion from the New York guidelines is probably my favorite too:

  • “Make it a little kinky. Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact. ”

There’s that wall option again. Who knew?

The second runner-up would be this one from the L.A. County guidelines:

  • “Washing up before and after sex is more important than ever.
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    •  Wash sex toys with soap and warm water.
    • Disinfect keyboards and touch screens that you share with others.”

Keep it clean, people. Keep it clean.

I think that ship sailed with the play party section.

This is an accurate depiction of the best way to have Safe Sex in the Age of COVID. Who would have thought that The Naked Gun could be so prescient?

I have never been more thankful to be happily married during this time. Although I’m still fascinated by the “glory holes” concept. Let me go check my lease about altering walls…



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