In July 2020, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) added new recommendations for COVID-safe sex.
“Use barriers, like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact,” the BCCDC wrote, to the surprise of many.
While a year ago we might not have thought that the government would advocate for the utilization of the glory hole, it’s clear a lot has changed in regards to the way that we relate to each other. No longer can we touch, hook up or get freaky without thinking about how to keep ourselves and those around us as safe as possible from the coronavirus.
We know that it may seem a little odd that we’ve chosen to produce an entire issue and survey dedicated to the sex lives of our readers and writers. But given the incertitude of the moment, we thought it would be the perfect time to take an internal ‘temperature check’ by bringing back our infamous “annual” survey and ask in no uncertain terms, how the hell are you fucking this pandemic?
With over 300 respondents from all different genders, sexualities and views on sex, we were able to anonymously ask the uncomfortable questions that none of you actually asked for.
Let’s get into it!
While we didn’t want to block by gender for all of the responses, we thought the above questions gave some interesting insights into some of the different experiences of sex that people of different genders might be having.
Sex during the pandemic
In March 2020, the BC government put out a range of physical distancing restrictions to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. These restrictions have ranged from creating a bubble of only six people to only interacting with members of your immediate household. With these restrictions, meeting new people, engaging in dating and having casual hookups brought about a new plethora of barriers and concerns.
While under half of surveyed respondents reported having a casual hookup since distancing orders came into effect in BC, those who did took varied measures to keep themselves and their partners safe. Before a hookup, most responders asked their partner about their attitudes towards COVID-19 and if they were experiencing any symptoms. About one third asked their partner about their current number of close contacts.
An even smaller number took further steps, ranging from washing their bodies before and after sex, intentionally limiting the amount of kissing to asking their partner to get a COVID-19 test beforehand.
One quarter reported not taking any safety measures during their COVID-hookup.
For most of us, staying safe has been a priority over the past year. And during a pandemmy, you are your own safest sex buddy. From what you told us, it seems like you and yourselves are getting along just fine.
For some of us, one of the main ways we’ve become accustomed to meeting people is through dating apps. With physical distancing restrictions and many establishments closed, we were curious to see how dating app usage has changed.
We were also curious about why you were using them at all. Most of our survey respondents said they didn’t use dating apps. Around one-third of total respondents were looking for a committed relationship. About the same number of people — approximately one quarter — were looking for attention, friends with benefits and/or just to meet people. Twenty-seven per cent of you just wanted attention (honestly, same).
Only 16 per cent were looking for one-time hookups.
Where people are having sex on campus
This one is pretty self explanatory!
This article is part of Autonomy, The Ubyssey’s 2021 sex issue. You can read more here.