by Roxanne Tellier
Sum-sum-summertime! Toronto is in the middle of what seems like an unending heatwave. (And was that a tornado that just whizzed through my neighbourhood?)
But, to be honest, I don’t mind the heat that much. I’m already staying inside most of the time, except to feed the critters, water the plants, and hit the ‘senior hour’ at the grocery store, because that’s where all the cool kids hang out.
Around the house, I can wear minimal clothing, and the lockdown means much fewer people just ‘dropping by,’ so my COVID hair and added avoirdupois aren’t the issues they’d be were I trying to socialize.
No, I don’t mind summer too much. Winter, now winter I truly hate, because winter hates me. Winter means dark days, depression, cold, damp, and my old bones crying out for warmth. I was born in winter, and winter will probably be the death of me.
Summer’s okay. Well, except for chocolate. Summer wants to melt my chocolate. But apart from that, I’m good.
How about you? How’s your sex life? Let’s talk about sex, baby. Porn. Over-active hormones. The basic human need for people to interact, flirt with each other, get together, and press the flesh, nudge nudge wink wink.
Sex will always, always, always be more important to the passionate person, attempting to harness that raging and undeniable libido, than nearly anything else but raw survival. In the middle of fleeing a zombie attack, it is virtually guaranteed that at least one person will be unable to stop themselves from dropping trou and getting it on, be it with the living and/or the dead.
And that’s just as true during a once in a century, global pandemic.
Of course, that drives ‘spiritual leaders’ insane, because they know, from personal experience, that their doctrines are worth nothing in the face of passion. Sex is a stronger impulse than the need to worship. You’re a lot less likely to be tithing if you need that money to find and keep a honey….
What I’m saying is – it’s human nature to want to find a partner. And usually sex is a large part of the partnership. And nothing anyone says is strong enough to stop a human with a high sex drive and raging hormones from inserting part A into part B. It’s going to happen, even in the middle of a pandemic.
It happened when people worried about dying from venereal diseases like syphilis or gonorrhea. It happened when getting the crabs was a social faux pas. It happened when herpes came along, and when HIV/AIDS arrived on the scene. We still got together. We still gambled our sexual health on those people with enough chemistry to entice us to let down our guards, because no one that good looking could possibly be carrying a disease. You know that’s how we rolled.
Prior to this outbreak, Tinder, Bumble, Grindr, Happn, Hinge – all of those apps sat unashamedly on the phone screens of people of all ages and inclinations. People loved being able to ‘swipe right’ to see who else might be out there. And they still do. Libido. Curiosity. Boredom. Swipe, swipe, swipe.
So now, they’ve got these new ads on TV for dating companies, promising to match people up, regardless of people being locked down. People around the world will always crave human connection. But these ads make me laugh, then shake my head. Human nature. People gonna hook up, no matter what or when.
I’m just not sure that watching people watching other people, and critiquing how they cook, exercise or iron their clothing, is really the right way to encourage a prospective dating client.
In this new normal, many people can’t actually be physically together – they can’t touch, kiss, hug, have sex – but they experience virtual relationships, over their laptops, on Zoom, by phone. Some will decide to ‘Netflix and chill’ simultaneously. They’re bonding, they say. It’s just that they’re physically miles apart.
Seems to work for at least some of them. To me, I just wonder when the novelty will wear off, like it did with the Tamagotchi virtual pets. I wonder what ever happened to mine. I haven’t fed it since 1998.
Remember a couple of years back, when everyone was worried that teens would ruin their future sex lives by getting addicted to sex sites like Pornhub? The worry was that people – not just teens – would become desensitized to the idea of having sex with others, because of how easy it would be to have sex with yourself, the person who truly knows what turns your sexual crank.
Today, there are few adults, male or female, that have not visited a porn site at some time.
I remember reading similar warnings when vibrators and other sex toys became ubiquitous. When the people enjoy that much control over their own sexuality, governments get nervous. They need people to be controllable.
And remember all those magazine articles taking the sides of those people who had high, low or zero sex drives, and how to deal with those ‘needs’? (Spoiler alert; any level is fine. But you’ll be happiest if you partner with someone who is on the same wave length.)
This COVID thing … it’s a doozie. The virus has been found in saliva, semen, and feces. You can barely tell if you’re coming or going.
Luckily for you, most world governments have laid down some info on how to deal with these urges. They’re advocating masturbation, as a good way to keep it to yourself. Just be sure to wash your hands and sex toys with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after getting your self on.
They’re saying that you should be good to go if you’ve got a steady partner, that you live with. But they do warn that close contact, including sex, is best kept within a small circle of friends. Oh, you naughty government, with your wicked advice!
So where does that leave our wannabe Leisure Suit Larrys? Not in a great place. That ‘thing going on’ is gonna be a problem.
While we’re talking about partners, spare a thought for those of us who are in relationships. About a month into the lockdown, it was already getting hairy. We have all discovered that there CAN be too much togetherness. As a friend said recently, “It’s true that we’re all going to be so happy when we finally can get together with those we love and have missed. Just not those people that we’ve been locked down with… those people can go to hell… “
But hey! Look at the bright side. A research paper came out today that should radically kickstart a search for a vaccine and cure – the state of the penis is implicated. There may be erectile dysfunction to worry about! Ventilator/Schmentilator. If there’s a penis somewhere that is unable to erect, we must sound the alarms!
“ Despite being a trivial matter for patients in intensive care units (ICUs), erectile dysfunction (ED) is a likely consequence of COVID-19 for survivors, and considering the high transmissibility of the infection and the higher contagion rates among elderly men, a worrying phenomenon for a large part of affected patients.
… Endothelial dysfunction, subclinical hypogonadism, psychological distress and impaired pulmonary hemodynamics all contribute to the potential onset of ED. Additionally, COVID-19 might exacerbate cardiovascular conditions; therefore, further increasing the risk of ED. Testicular function in COVID-19 patients requires careful investigation for the unclear association with testosterone deficiency and the possible consequences for reproductive health. Treatment with phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5) inhibitors might be beneficial for both COVID-19 and ED.” (NCBI.NIM.NIH. GOV.)
Truth be told, there’s always been some people who like to be in relationships, but would really rather not deal with another person, in person. They don’t want the hassle of dealing with someone else’s needs. Or smells. Or laundry. For those people, this quarantine is a little slice of heaven.
Still, I know there’s hope, down the line. Someday, there will be hugs again. At some point we’ll all emerge from our caves like hibernating bears, and stagger about, clutching at each other.
And all we’ll have to do is get over our terror of other people’s COVID cooties.