Is this the end of casual sex? I don’t think so.

A few weeks ago, I was swiping through Hinge and planning my next hook ups workshop. Now, here we are – in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s been a real trip. Workplaces shutting down. Friends going into isolation. First the people in charge recommended that we don’t hang out in large groups any more (which meant no more swinging), then they said it was best to stay away from groups of friends (no more threesomes), and now it looks as though we might need to avoid people entirely (no more Tinder hook ups!)

Well, fuck.

I live alone, and I don’t have a full-time partner. My options for getting laid just got a whole lot slimmer.

It’s taken a couple of weeks for me to come to terms with the loss of my regular sex life. There’s been a lot of drinking (and some drunken crying). It might sound trivial, especially considering so many people are getting sick or losing their jobs right now, but I think it’s valid. Being deprived of touch, connection and intimacy is going to affect almost everyone.

Is this the end of casual sex? Are we going to forget how to do this stuff? Will our culture be shoved back into the Dark Ages of sex, an era where we’re only allowed to sleep with our spouses in case we catch the next big disease?

I don’t think so.

Sex and physical touch are basic human needs. Even if it feels as though everything is falling apart, I don’t think that will change. Here are a few reasons I reckon casual sex ISN’T over…and some ideas on ways we can keep our sex lives ticking, even while we’re doing the right thing and staying home.

Now’s the time to practice picking up…online, obviously.

Isolation is an opportunity to practice connecting with new people.

This might sound ridiculous, given that we’re trying to stay as far away from other human beings as possible! But the fact is, we’re learning to connect online more – that means more Skype calls, more social media, and more online dating. If you need practice talking to people – or want to make some new friends easily – now is a great time.

Before all this stuff happened, choosing to meet in person for a date was still a big deal. The effort (and anxiety) of leaving the house and getting close to someone new meant that most of us didn’t make the effort unless we found a really good match.

Now, the stakes are lower. If you find someone you like, it’s easy enough to fire up the ‘ol video chat and see if you get along. A Skype date is easier to organise than a meeting in real life, and it only takes a few seconds (or perhaps a few minutes, if you need to put on some pants).

Want to practice your conversation skills? There are thousands of bored folks stuck at home who will probably be only too happy to talk. And if you’re lonely and need to beef up your social circle, I guarantee you’ll be able to find others who feel the same.

I suspect it’s about to get easier for all of us to find dates – even if we only get to meet them online.

We’ll find new ways to get sexy

Dirty chat, sexting, Skype dates, Discord servers, sexy email. We need to start getting creative about the ways we do sex.

Remember the 18th century, when some dude could write a love letter, send it by mail coach, and wait days for a reply? You can rediscover the joy of writing something thoughtful via email. You can swap sexy pics with your friends…or strangers, although I tend to leave my face out in case I end up on a porn site. More on that later. Dirty talking to someone hot over the phone is fun – I know because I did it often in the days before we all started messaging each other on Instagram.

Of course, this stuff requires effort and practice. It’s not the same as getting drunk then dropping your pants in someone’s bedroom. But it sure is satisfying.

It might feel like forever…but it’s not.

It’s easy to worry that when all this is over, we’ll be stuck in a Handmaid’s-Tale-style era where being promiscuous automatically makes you a suspected carrier of the plague. But I’m guessing the opposite will happen. When we’re finally able to leave lockdown, we’ll be in a world that has a new-found appreciation for connection, physical touch and intimacy. And most of us are going to be very horny.

I want you to be prepared.

You know those movies where the hero or heroine lives in a mountain cave practicing martial arts for ten years so that they can become a superhero and fight crime? This is the dating equivalent. Our time in isolation means we can reflect on our experiences, learn more sexy skills and then, once this is all over, get back out there and do even better than before.

Learning to communicate, learning to dirty talk, getting creative about how you do sex and connect with others – this stuff is crucial for having a successful sex life in person, too. Now’s the perfect time to practise so you’re ready for the sex festival that’s undoubtedly going to happen once we’re all released back into the wild.

Are you with me?

As we get through this, I’m going to keep posting my thoughts on good dates and good sex. I’ll talk about some stuff that might come in handy while you’re isolated…but I’ll also cover all the regular in-person skills too. Because we can’t afford to let ourselves forget how to have great sex.

This isn’t the end of casual sex…it’s just the beginning of something new. Let’s be ready.

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