AGAIN: No, the Pandemic Won’t Fundamentally and Permanently Change Our Sex Lives
One of Calico’s big anxieties in life is the question of whether she’s repeating herself, at any given time, as she speaks or writes out her thoughts. Keenly aware that people can take such repetition as a sign of disrespect, or as an insult to their intelligence, her own forgetfulness makes her fear that she’ll unintentionally reiterate the same points to the same person, making that person feel like Calico thinks they’re dumb, or perhaps senile, when in reality, Calico simply did too much damage to her short term memory back in her college days.
Other times, of course, Calico is well aware she’s repeating herself, but she’s doing it anyway, because other people keep raising the same questions, arguments, claims and hypotheses.
It is in that spirit that, despite the guarantee that she IS repeating herself, Calico feels compelled to again address a persistent question that keeps coming up, in one form or another, repeatedly during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
So, cut Cal some slack and don’t hold it against her (or not against her alone, at least) if you feel like you’ve heard it all before as you read her latest post, “AGAIN: No, the Pandemic Won’t Fundamentally and Permanently Change Our Sex Lives”
by Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com, Pandemic Isolation Porn Entertainment For Women and Couples
It seems like throughout the ongoing pandemic, I haven’t been able to go more than a day or two without reading an article that questions whether certain human practices and behaviors will survive the Age of COVID-19.
Some of these practices and behaviors are longstanding and central to many human lives, others are less so. Likewise, some of the rhetorical questions involve things I don’t care about at all, like the question of whether the pandemic will be the end of the keto diet. (To be fair, I don’t know what the keto diet is – although I am at least relatively certain it isn’t the national legislature of a country called “Keto.”)
I’m a bit more interested in whether the pandemic will spell the end of the ACT and SAT tests, but only because I took one of those tests way back in the day and might mildly regret that any bragging I do about my high score might be lost on my future grand-nieces and grand-nephews.
“Will This (Insert Thing That Obviously Won’t Happen Here) Happen?”
And then there’s the recurring questions about the impact of the pandemic on our sex lives – with the most recent example being a Boston Magazine piece titled: “Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Marked the End of Casual Sex?”
That sound you just heard was my head bouncing off my desk repeatedly.
On the bright side, unlike some other rhetorical questions, this one is very easy and quick to answer: No, the pandemic does not mark the end of casual sex. It may well mark a long pause on casual sex for most people and the end of it for some others.
Hell, the pandemic may even mark a long pause in the sex lives of people who don’t really need to put their sex lives on pause, but anybody who thinks humanity, writ large, is going to forever stop having casual sex because of COVID-19 is out of their damn mind.
The Enduring Question: Did the Headline Writer Read the Article?
As is so often the case with headlines like this one, my frustration here turns out to be strictly with the headline writer, who I assume is not the same person who wrote the article, because Jonathan Soroff’s piece comes to the same conclusion my brain did, albeit following a much longer review of the question.
While Soroff acknowledges that the end to our current, collective, self-imposed lack of sexual adventurousness likely won’t come “until there’s either a vaccine, a viable treatment, or a cure for COVID-19,” he and the experts he spoke to don’t appear to expect the sexual gun-shyness to extend to live after the pandemic. For that matter, one of the experts Soroff spoke with seems less than certain that the gun-shyness is resilient enough to withstand certain forms of serious temptation in the middle of the pandemic.
“If two people are to meet, the ‘other’ must now meet a much higher standard of assurance that he or she is safe,” said Cornell University psychologist Ritch Savin-Williams. “But, if they’re really hot? Well…”
On the question of lingering effects of the pandemic and whether it will seriously curb the amount of casual sex taking place after the emergence of vaccines and more effective therapeutics, Savin-Williams said “I seriously doubt it’s more than a pause.”
“Once there’s a vaccine, there will be a return to previous behavior,” he added, “so I see only temporary abstinence, repression, or sexual anxiety.”
Those Who Don’t Know History Are Doomed To Repeat It – Where “It” Is Dumb Rhetorical Questions
Another academic, David Bell from Columbia University’s Irving Medical Center, suggested that people don’t have to look all that far back into human history to get clues as to how readily our sexual desires overcome societal constraints, even ones that may seem monolithic when we look back at them.
“I would argue that the Victorian era had a socially constructed appearance of properness, but sexual contact – though not talked about or celebrated – was still an essential part of humanity,” Bell said. “In a more modern context, HIV, a known sexually transmitted infection, altered behavior, but did not shift us toward a new Victorian era.”
In other words, if HIV, a virus far more directly associated with sexual contact than SARS-COV-2, didn’t mark the end of casual sex, even within the communities most impacted by the virus, why should we expect COVID-19 to have that sort of impact?
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