Depending on your closest inner circle, you have either been quarantining and health screening for a private island trip, or you’ve been at home reading the news of Emily Ratajkowski and Sebastian Bear-McClard’s incoming baby. With EmRata and the many other cool celebrity pregnancies of late, you may be fooled into thinking a baby boom is upon us, a by-product of all the sex we can’t stop having, right? May I take this moment to thank you for taking a break in your wild frotting to read this article.
Back in March, when the world paused, many people predicted a baby boom, all of us rampant rabbiting and breeding like bunnies, coupling up as the virus raged outside. We’d read about all the new normal sex we could have—more time, more toys, a ceiling harness you don’t have to pack away each morning—but most of us found ourselves sitting motionless on the sofa, tired and anxious, watching the normal people get their ends away. This pandemic doesn’t have the same flavor of the post-war euphoria that instigated the last slew of sprogs. The 1940s fuccboi season was a unique global honeymoon period, perhaps because, people weren’t confronted with constant push notifications about staying six feet apart.
I can’t be the only one who’s reading miserable news alerts not feeling super-duper horny? The incoming election isn’t giving me the twinge either. Libidos aren’t often fortified by depression, anxiety, and fear. Lockdown, with its opportunity to meet in the bedroom at any time of the day, was also an obstacle to sex. There’s something so brutally un-horny about a day on Zoom staring at your little self-square as your morale erodes, even if having sex straight after is the only reminder you exist below the waist.
We’re all trying our darnedest to be sensible, so the streak of naughtiness that might instigate a roll-around is dulled by competitive social distancing and impending economic collapse. There’s a certain un-eroticism of 24-hour enforced co-dependent living in comfy clothes. My grooming plummeted when I stopped having to leave the house; I gave up all superfluous sprucing, psyching myself up for a 10-minute shower with body hair best described as “seventies.” And all the knowing exactly what your partner is up to every second of every day deletes the mystery, the hot space in your head for imagining them close to you.
Sex cues are few and far between because everything is irritating, your patience is worn as thin as a Durex Fetherlite. Dressing up as doctors and nurses is still a traditional kink but strikingly close to reality, and loses its potency when the only dirty talk is about the germs on groceries. Stress-managing your home-prison doesn’t leave infinite space for hand jobs. Rubber gloved digits grappling at your crotch mightn’t be your thing, but neither is being caressed with chapped, calloused over-washed hands. The sterile whiff of sanitizer is not the same as lighting a sensual Byredo candle and having an early night. In London, we were encouraged to Eat Out to Help Out, which is fine if you’re in the mood.
I understand the illicit thrill of rule-breaking—your ex sliding into your DMs, encouraging you to break curfew in an Uber in nothing but a trench coat and no knickers—but it’s illegal, chaps. Great sex is about knowing a person, of losing yourself in them (or them in you, cough cough). Their easy familiarity is soothing like daytime TV. Rip-my-blouse-off carnality is great, but have you ever had sex that reminds you of your own vitality? That makes a lifeboat of two in a stormy sea? That lifts your spirits, even if only for an hour? That lifts your spirits, even if only for an hour? Perhaps skip the hoovering and schedule a life-affirming quickie before your next Zoom. In these intolerably unsexy times, human connection’s all we’ve got; it’s essential to feeling alive. Just make sure you do it safely.