Some gays just can’t seem to stay home…
If you’re on the apps –– Grindr, Scruff, Jack’d, etc. –– you’ve seen the warnings. “Please stay home. Social distancing will help slow the spread of COVID-19. For this reason, we ask our community to limit connections online, rather than in-person.”
Despite regular in-app warnings, a 24-hour news cycle of bad news, and a growing number of infected persons, some gays can’t seem to keep their hands, genitals, or at-home workout routines, to themselves.
Last week, I published a poll on Twitter asking queer men if they’ve been solicited on the apps since being told to isolate –– 68% said they had. Worse, a survey published by NPR and PBS NewsHour on March 17 found only 56% of Americans consider the coronavirus a “real threat” despite a death toll exceeding 35,0000.
Jason, 34, who is currently on the apps to chat, sext and exchange pictures, says roughly half of the people he communicated with still want to hook up. “One guy honestly didn’t understand he could get it from a community spread,” he says. “ So I sent him the link to the Government of Canada site.”
Mark, 28, shares a similar experience. “I had a guy ask if I was into public cause his family was home for quarantine,” he says. “I was like, ‘I’m literally only leaving my house for groceries and you should be doing the same’ and then he blocked me,” he recalls with a laugh. “I can’t believe how many people are still logging on and looking to hook up.”
While COVID-19 cannot be spread through sexual intercourse, it can spread through saliva, and the act infringes on the social distancing mandate of six feet. “You are your safest sex partner,” the New York City’s Department of Health published in their “sex and coronavirus disease” guide. The document insists you limit your sexual experiences to those inside your household. So if you’re single or isolated alone, you’re shit out of luck.
With nothing but time in isolation, gays think they’ve gotten crafty, skirting around, or completely ignoring, the mandate. Several Instagram accounts have amassed to call these people out. Some are offering free face masks during hookups (“mask 4 mask”), others are seeking a “quarantine bae” to have regular sex with, and others seem to think doggy-style is safe.
Of course, all of these “solutions” are ill-informed and irresponsible. But this offer, published by Twitter user @dnlmccghy, takes the cake:
“Got a letterbox?”
“Could fuck you through it, reduce the risk.”
The tweet went viral for its obscurity, but indicates a lighthearted attitude toward the pandemic. It’s speculated that gay men, in particular, are less-pressed about sex and coronavirus due to our past with HIV where sex was associated with fear. But, as many articles and experts have already explained, the two are dissimilar, and you still need to stay home.
When telling others that he won’t hook-up during the pandemic, Connor, 25, is often met with silence, a block, or outright antagonism. “Do you just consistently talk down to everyone on here? Does it make you feel better about yourself? Please return to your parents’ basement.” One Grindr user responded. “You realize we could chill six feet apart right? And wash our hands,” wrote another.
Not all of us are willing to put peoples’ lives in danger for dick, and many are adhering to the rules. “I think a fair bit of guys are using the apps for chat,” Jason says. “But, like, really dirty chat – seriously. It’s absolutely filthy.” Others have become less discreet about their kinks. “Some boy tried to spring his incest fantasy on me,” Thabiso, 27, says.
Most agree that since isolation, sexting has gotten dirtier and if the sexting is good, they will favorite profiles for future endeavors. Some shared that they’re enjoying the app more than ever as they’re able to connect without jumping straight into sex. It’s an idea that seemed unfathomable pre-pandemic.
As the days grow longer, isolation, combined with a buzzing horniness has inspired alternatives, and many have taken to Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime to get off. If you’re up for it, virtual orgies are available as well. Not to mention, there have never been more gay men on OnlyFans and stores are also hosting incredible sales to snatch up sex toys.
Each of these options are responsible alternatives to physical intimacy. It might not be as good as the real thing, but for now, the real thing is closed for business. While staying home is certainly not the sexiest option, it is the correct one for the time being.
Some gays just can’t seem to stay home…