Coronavirus is one of the most sexually frustrating diseases of our lifetime. Every couple is suddenly long distance as quarantine and shelter-in-place laws begin to split us all up. Every single person’s odds of a hookup are suddenly shrunken down to zero as aggressive Tinder flirting becomes the only safe outlet. Lucky for us, New York State has been kind enough to lay out the do’s and don’ts for sexual relations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Above all, New York stresses this is not the time for orgies, but it is the time for masturbation. You can’t spread COVID-19 if you’re the only one you’re coming in contact with. That being said, you absolutely must wash your hands and your sex toys for 20 seconds using warm water and soap afterward, just in case. The next safest sexual partner would be one of your roommates. After all, if one of you comes into contact with coronavirus, chances are you all will soon enough anyway. At the same time, most people don’t want to jump in bed with someone they’re living with (unless they’re living with a significant other). So while the government of New York State may want to stir drama in people’s living situations, it’s probably not the best idea.
In general, though, it is a good idea to limit the circle of people you have sex with. While there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can travel through seminal or vaginal fluid, it is very efficiently spread through kissing. Thus, if you do have sex with someone during this time, it should not involve any makeout sessions.
But a lack of sex isn’t what’s making everyone feel so lonely right now, not really. Sex isn’t what people miss about their significant others now that they can’t see them for probably months to come. They miss sharing the day with each other, going on romantic dates and just talking in person. So how are couples maintaining that human connection they crave while they’re separated?
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A good way to stay connected is to maintain the same routine you had before coronavirus ruined everything. If you normally have dates with your partner on Friday nights, keep that going. Netflix Party allows you to watch movies at the same time as your partner, even pausing your partner’s movie when you pause yours. Although you can’t cuddle up for this kind of movie night, you could FaceTime each other the whole time and chat over the movie just like you would in person. It might also be fun to bake or cook something at the same time as each other, so that you eat the same meal that night. If you normally hang out after classes, you can still call each other after your online classes. If you like to go running with your partner on Tuesday afternoons, you can use exercise apps like Strava to share your routes and times with each other. Although you won’t be able to do your normal routine in person, there’s no reason to drop it completely.
If your partner doesn’t live too far away, you could meet up and take six-feet-apart hikes together or have adorable picnics on opposite ends of the picnic blanket. Although most indoor date activities are down for the count, at least the weather is getting nice enough for most outdoor excursions.
But far more important than following New York State’s sex guidelines and maintaining your old schedule with your partner is having open communication. Make the time to talk to your partner. Vent about how much you miss them; rant about how much you hate COVID-19. Although you can’t cuddle or hold hands or chat in person, there is so much you can do to emotionally support your partner and prevent the loneliness of quarantine from taking hold.
Rebecca Maher is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.