Lessons from the Dutch on the impending quarantine reprise.
On the whole, quarantine is unsexy. The listlessness, the isolation, all do little to, well, light loin fires. Intimacy, in all its standard iterations, is hardly available to us as we settle into our thrice-monthly shower regimens. And while we continue to creep closer to official and unofficial re-openings, we also have it on good authority that this will not be the only moment of outbreak —and a quarantine resurgence is plenty likely.
Now, being that we have a bit of foresight this time around, does that mean we ought to spend a little time guaranteeing ourselves a more effective mode of achieving intimacy before lockdown #2 begins? Naturally, across the globe, there has been quite a bit of public discourse surrounding this particular question.
Months ago, the City of New York urged its residents to consider sleeping with roommates—being that intra-home sex might be the best way to refrain hook-up-starved city-dwellers from flooding the streets (the bill also made an important nod to masturbation, which is always fun messaging coming from government officials). In a slightly bolder mandate, as of June 1, the English government has implemented what’s been referred to colloquially as a “sex ban.” The bill—which does not apply to members of the same household—forbids indoor gatherings, which it classifies as “when two or more people are present together in the same place in order to engage in any form of social interaction with each other or to undertake any other activity with each other.” So, in other words, sex appointments.
On the contrary, the Dutch have taken a slightly more lax, decidedly European approach to things. As of last week, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) released a statement encouraging single folks (referred to comically in Dutch lingo as “singletons”) get themselves out there and claim some long-term sex buddies. According to The BBC, the press release urges citizens to “meet with the same person to have physical or sexual contact (for example, a cuddle buddy or ‘sex buddy’), provided you are free of illness… Make good arrangements with this person about how many other people you both see. The more people you see, the greater the chance of (spreading) the coronavirus.”
So where does that leave you, as we prep for a potential second wave of quarantine? Should we dub this summer the new cuffing season? Should you go dutch and find a friend for The Apocalypse 2.0? There’s no definitive answer here. Of course, you should, at all costs, prioritize social distancing. You should spend some time exploring at home. This is a healthy time to really familiarize yourself with your own body—to up your masturbatory game. And while we know sleeping with your roommates may give way to some fraught social dynamics in the future, take some cues from New Yorkers and...consider your options. Then lastly, if a “sex buddy” does, in fact, feel like the best option for you, make sure you’re both on the same page about quar restrictions—and you’re both prioritizing the same precautions. Meet up outside and make sure you’ve got some chemistry before you take things indoors. Have plans for safe ways of moving back and forth between your residences and make sure the other folks in your “pod” are in the loop, too. Then...enjoy your quarantine 2.0, but this time, make it sexy.