Even as communities inch closer to re-opening in a limited fashion, the strain of physical distancing and social isolation is weighing heavily on many individuals. Families are missing loved-ones, friends are starved for normal conversation and for single adults, the topic of intimacy carries with it many questions and concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. Governments around the globe vary on the advice they offer citizens in an effort to balance health and safety while recognizing the human need for physical touch.
According to a recent New York Times report, officials in the Netherlands suggest that singles find one partner to have sex with during COVID-19 lock-down. A “sex buddy” for the pandemic would limit exposure while giving people much-needed physical intimacy. But not all regions are as liberal with their advice on the matter. In many American cities, guidelines suggest that people who do not live in the same household avoid sexual contact and instead engage in “virtual intimacy” with video chats, sexting or phone calls.
However singles decide to proceed with regard to sex during the pandemic, it’s always important to have good communication and take health precautions like using condoms, avoiding kissing anyone who is not in your small “bubble” of social contacts, washing hands frequently and avoiding riskier sexual practices.
Couples who live apart may have already decided to move in together for the duration of the quarantine if they feel they can remain in one household until the stay-home orders and restrictions are lifted. Of course, if either partner is not feeling well, they should avoid physical contact and self-isolate until they are better.
Because you are still your own safest sexual partner during the pandemic, it’s no surprise that sales of sex toys have experienced sudden growth over the past two months. Sexual activity, alone or with a partner is a healthy way to alleviate stress and boost mood with the release of hormones like dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin. Now may not be the right time to get on Tinder and meet up with new people in person, but webcam “dating” and messaging can offer some social interaction and could be the start of something that blossoms into more.
Learn more about sexuality in later life by following this link to the National Institute on Aging.