Canda’s Chief Public Health Officer urged people to use precaution when dating and engaging in sexual activity. In a public statement, Dr. Theresa Tam counseled people to avoid kissing and to consider wearing a mask when engaging in intimate activity.
While weighing a mask during intimacy could be awkward, Canada’s new public health edicts will hopefully serve as a reminder that we should weigh the risk/benefits of physical intimacy before hopping into bed with someone. I do think the public health statement will encourage deeper reflection among single people.
In fact, what I have seen is that the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines have sparked a sort of Renaissance of the courtship process. People are being more prudent and mindful about who they are engaging with physically, even if it’s something as simple as going on a date. In just a matter of months, we have gone from a very hookup-oriented society with Tinder apps and friends-with-benefits situations to a society where we really pause and consider before we make sexual decisions.
Casual sex becomes a lot less appealing when single people have to consider not only their own health but also the health of their loved ones. Now when you meet someone at Tinder or bring them home after a night at the bar, you’re not just potentially putting yourself at risk of STIs or unwanted pregnancy or other concerns.
You’re putting everyone in your bubble at risk of coronavirus because you don’t really know where your new partner has been or if they have been socially distancing or if they could potentially be carrying the virus. It’s a completely different set of concerns to take into account and it’s causing profound reflection about why we are having sex and whether it’s really a wise, loving choice that we haven’t typically seen in our culture lately.
The coronavirus pandemic is also causing people to talk more about sex and sexual health, which can be a net positive across the board.
All of the COVID-19 fear has caused people to really ask questions when they consider dating someone or engaging in physical activity. It’s making them think about whether or not they want to kiss, or cuddle, or whether the relationship has forward momentum or is just a one-and-done affair.
People are really talking more about what they want and need from a partner, and also about how they can keep each other safe, inside the bedroom and outside the bedroom. I think that’s really a really good thing and hopefully, a trend that we see continues even after the pandemic ends.
All of this mindfulness and consideration before leaping into intimacy will ironically lead to even more pleasure in the long run.
When kissing and other forms of intimacy come with a risk, and you weigh your options and decide to go ahead with it, you’re going to be much more present and much more committed to making it the best time possible. It won’t just be mindless or meaningless, especially if you’ve gone so long without being able to enjoy that kind of intimacy. So it will be that much more special and exciting.