One of the longer term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be the social re-arrangement of physical proximity and boundaries, and sex. And similar to a new fluid bonding, we must find ways to manage this safety. It’s at a new and very dangerously different level. The new fluid to be boundaried is exhaled aerosolized COVID-19 micro-droplets.
Dating & relating safely
We can see this occur in the general population that is “currently dating” , i.e. seeking new relationships, across the entire range of relationship commitment and sexual desire. It’s not clear today whether any of this will remain feasible for enough people.
From a distance
It’s quite possible to date safely from a distance. Yet for local and non-cohabiting partners, I can only advocate that each party fulfill a rigorous program of repeatedly documenting a negative infection status. This involves continuous testing and that is ethically dubious at best. The deepest trust in each other’s disclosed movements, habits and protective gear discipline are minimums.
Lengthy period of risk
If the initial studies are correct, human immunity from COVID-19 may be short lived. That adds up to a lengthy period of risk for U.S. citizens, and every corner of the world. The number of COVID-19 mutations is within epidemiologists’ comfort zone. Yet, there are many other factors that support the prediction of a long term global recovery and readaptation.
COVID-19 effects on sexual boundaries could be most readily visible within sex positive cultures. For 40 years, 20-50 annual conference events have offered large amounts of kink education. They have cultivated an evolved community of sophisticated, learned and experienced educators.
As evidence that the sex-positive community is familiar and tolerant with medical (and epidemiologic) issues, there’s been no known attempt to stage a physical (as in, not virtual) sex positive event (none of the recklessness that characterized some of the economy prematurely opening.) No one now is quite sure how long the delay till the next physical event will be. There have been some projections, but these may now be premature.
Streaming video via a growing number of platforms is the foundation of sex-positive community education activity. But the truth remains that the gradual re-opening of local economies in the U.S. has blundered into a major resurgence of infection. No one has a currently viable solution that would allow physical touch sex-positive events to sucessfully continue operating over the long term.
Adapting to pandemic stress
Many folks within sex-positive communities are experiencing a significant or drastic drop in their ability to erotically or sexually express themselves. What happens to people when their erotic or sexual activity is suppressed by stay-at-home orders, and that dreadful-but-necessary term, social distancing?
Sex-positive parties have of course found a home on Zoom and other platforms. And people have looked for ways (and hopefully found them) to have a better sexual relationship with themselves.
If undertaken in earnest and without shame, adult masturbation can form a new foundation for renewed partner sexuality. It’s all a part of the Narratives approach.