Have Fun Enforcing This New Lockdown Sex Rule, UK
With much of the world hunkered down, sheltering in place and staying at home, we’re all growing at least somewhat accustomed to having troubling — and hopefully temporary — restrictions on our liberties put in place. With all the talk of social distancing, mask wearing, large-gathering-avoiding and other things we’re being asked to do, it takes a pretty unusual regulation to stand out.
Enter the UK, with what is being described far and wide as a “ban” on having sex with someone who doesn’t live in the same household you do. Is that really what the regulation says, though? And even if it is, can such a regulation be backed up by anything other than a governmental finger wag and the implied tsk-tsk that comes with it?
Calico explores these questions, compares the UK’s new regulation with the local ones she has been living under over the last several weeks and gives you the results in her latest post, “Have Fun Enforcing This New Lockdown-Sex Rule, UK”
By Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com, Socially distanced Porn For Women and Couples
When it was first announced the governor of my home state (Arizona) had issued a “stay at home” order, quite a few of my local friends freaked out. Not in a “let’s grab our guns and head to the state capitol to protest” kind of freakout, more of a “crap, I don’t have enough shelf-stable food (or toilet paper!) stocked up to avoid leaving my house for two weeks” kind of way.
But then we looked at the small print of the order, which specified that anybody who was on their way to engage in “essential activities” was fine with being outside of their home – and, more to the point, nobody would be required to prove they were involved in such an activity in order to be left alone to go about their business.
In other words, to call what Arizona imposed a “lockdown” suggests a pretty loose “lock.” It was more like a “slipknot tie-down,” or maybe a “(just do the governor a favor and) stay home” order.
One Question: Is “I Just Really Need to Get Laid” Considered a “Reasonable Excuse”?
Our governor’s not-so-easily-enforced order sprung to mind again today, because I’ve just finished reading several articles about a COVID-19-inspired rule imposed in the UK under which it’s forbidden to have sex with someone who doesn’t live in the same household as you.
Or does it?
As the Mashable post I just linked to explains, the public health regulation in question doesn’t actually say you’re forbidden from having sex with anyone who doesn’t live in your household. In fact, the word “sex” makes precisely zero appearances in the regulation. It does state, however, that “no person may, without reasonable excuse, stay overnight at any place other than the place where they are living,” and it then lists a variety of “reasonable excuses” that does not include “getting it on,” “knocking boots,” “making the beast with two backs,” “hooking up,” “doing the nasty,” “making feet for children’s shoes,” or any other euphemism for sexual intercourse with which I’m familiar.
When asked whether the regulation was properly interpreted to include a ban on having sex with someone from a different household, a spokesperson from the Department of Health and Social Care told Mashable’s Rachel Thompson that “changes to Coronavirus Regulations mean people can spend time outdoors, including private gardens and other outdoor spaces, in groups of up to six people from different households. However, everybody should act responsibly and continue to strictly observe social distancing rules.”
The spokesperson added that “individuals who participate in a prohibited gathering will be in breach of the regulations, and the police will use their common sense and discretion in all cases.”
I’m not sure I’d call that answer crystal clear, but I do suppose that strictly observing social distancing rules would preclude the possibility of legally having my boyfriend over for a quickie – if I had a boyfriend and not a husband, and lived in the UK and not Arizona, that is.
We’ve Got You Completely Surrounded… So Please Put on Your Pants
Quite apart from what the regulation says, there’s the question of how the police will go about enforcing such a thing. Thankfully, as officials confirmed to The Mirror, the cops in England are not poised to kick down people’s bedroom doors and tell them to come out with their hands up and their knickers down.
The police will be “allowed to use their discretion,” a spokesman for the Prime Minister told the Mirror – and will not “have powers to enter people’s homes under the regulations.”
“What they can do is enter homes where they suspect serious criminal activity is taking place under separate and existing laws,” the spokesman added.
Look, I’m no barrister, but to me it doesn’t sound like the UK’s “sex ban” has any more teeth to it than Arizona’s “stay home (please?)” order did. This is not to say I think people should be flouting their government’s order to indulge in high-risk hanky-panky, regardless of where they live – just that if they choose to take that risk, it doesn’t sound to me like they’re adding a significant risk of being prosecuted on top of the chance they’re already taking.
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