This is what some people have to say after avoiding sex for a whole year:
Bret, a 39-year-old in Oklahoma
“I had sex last on March 8, 2020. I had a busy work week ahead, and to cut the stress, I found random trade on Grindr like any single gay on the go would do. I made the choice to not have sex since then for my safety.
Then I was vaccinated as a part of the Moderna trial in September. I found out I [had received an actual vaccine] in January and have continued to be sex-free because the dangers to others is still unclear. Vaccinated people may be able to pass it on to others, and I would feel terrible if I got someone else sick. Now that more and more people are vaccinated, I hope my situation changes soon!
My attitude about sex has changed a bit. I have found a lot more productive uses of my time. I’ve never been a fan of masturbation, so I have poured all the extra time usually used for Grindr and trips to the bar on self improvement. I’m reading three new books a week and have lost 60 pounds during the pandemic. Even after things are back to normal, I’ll likely invest less time in looking for sex.
I feel like I learned a lot about the people around me and who prioritizes pleasure over their safety and the safety of others. It will be hard to sincerely trust those people again after all this. When I see people still risking it and hooking up, I try not to judge, but I am a Virgo and can’t help myself. I totally feel like a martyr and am calling people out left and right for endangering themselves and others.
On a scale of 1-10, my sex drive is at 200.”
Sandra, a 50-year-old living in France
“The last time I had sex was a little more than a year ago. I am a happily single woman, and my ex and I would regularly hook up. I had other brief affairs, but he was, so to speak, my ‘regular,’ probably because it was comfortable being with him. Then last year, on March 16, our country went into lockdown: We had to work from home, we couldn’t travel or mingle with anyone outside of our home. To me, and to many, the situation was shocking and a real source of stress, as we didn’t know much about the virus. It didn’t even cross my mind to go against the rules laid out by our government and the scientific community, so I decided my regular hookups had to stop right there, right then. I’m a teacher, so I’m in contact with students and colleagues every day. Sex seemed like a definite no-no!
At this point, a year later, I can’t say I miss sex. I even got used to playing it solo more than I usually used to. Even my relationship with my ex has changed: I’ve stopped fantasizing about our next encounter and I decided I didn’t want to see him anymore. On a scale of 1-10, I’d say my sex drive is a five. I have had a few offers from guys I really like, and turning them down hasn’t been difficult at all. Quite a change from my usually sex-driven self!”
“I’ve grown closer to myself, sometimes further away. It’s complicated. But I believe that is why my next sexual experience with another will feel different. I’m optimistic it will be special.”
- LISA, 24
Jade, a 25-year-old living in North Carolina
“Well, to be fair, it’s been a little over two years since I have had sex. I’m a lesbian, so sex is already arguably a little harder to find, but the pandemic has of course exacerbated that. Before COVID, I just hadn’t really met anyone worth having sex with since my last hookup. And then, once the pandemic hit, I just stopped pursuing casual hookups and dating altogether.
I’m high-risk, and the person I live with is also high-risk, so it seemed like the obvious thing to do to not put myself in situations where I’m very likely to catch or spread the virus.
Honestly, I’m afraid I’m going to forget to have sex if I keep going without it. But even that does not concern me that much. Maybe it’s because of the medications I take, but I don’t really care for having sex right now either way. I’m pretty indifferent.
I see all these people not just risking it all for casual hookups but for parties and vacations too, and I feel like I’m making a mistake forgoing sex even though I also see it as the right thing to do in my situation. Still, out of 1-10, my sex is probably like a one, which is probably why not having sex for so long doesn’t seem like that big a deal to me.”
Roger, a 50-year-old living in Austin, Texas
“I’m a bi/pan/queer divorced cis male who last had sex in either late February or early March of 2020. I had been seeing a pansexual polyamorous married woman ― who had a lesbian as her primary sex partner, married to an asexual husband ― for a short time and having lots of fun with her when all hell broke loose. I wasn’t willing to continue seeing someone who had other partners, as I am high-risk for COVID-19-related complications and I also have a kid who goes back and forth between my home and the other co-parent’s home.
We texted about the lockdown situation and were like, ‘OK, well, let’s just be friends for now and send each other memes until we’re able to pick up where we left off.’ Once it became apparent that this [gestures around at everything] was going to be a longer-term situation, texting kind of dropped off. Around the time of lockdown, I also had plans to meet up with someone from OkCupid who seemed like a great prospect, but again, lockdown interfered with it, and as things like SXSW started getting canceled and people were hoarding toilet paper and such, we decided yeah, maybe let’s try to stay in contact with an eye towards meeting up at a later date. We texted a few months later just to say hi, but that’s been it.
So yeah, it’s kinda sucked. Good news is that I’ve been in therapy and am coming to terms with perhaps only being sexually and not really romantically attracted to women, so this rather long dry spell has been good, as it’s forced me to take a look at what I want out of relationships and to look forward to perhaps one day maybe actually trying to date a male-identified person, instead of just hooking up with them.”
Lisa, a 24-year-old living in St. Louis, Missouri
“This pandemic was [about] more than sex or lack thereof. It was about survival, grief, fear, pain and hope. This last year has uncontrollably tested me in intense and unexpected ways. In the past, my sexual journey has been questionable, purposeful, uncomfortable, fulfilling and sometimes magical, but I chose to grow closer to myself and finding my own pleasures in life inside and outside of the bedroom. Learning to touch and enjoy my fragile yet rapidly changing body (thanks, COVID-19, for pushing me to make homemade bread) has taught me more about my sex life than actual experiences with different people.
Culled from Huffpost