The pandemic has changed a lot about how people approach sex, especially if they generally prefer no-strings-attached arrangements to traditional relationships. Now that more locations are relaxing distancing restrictions and businesses everywhere are opening back up, many people are looking to get back to the business of living life.
A lot of folks are unsure as to how to proceed though, especially when it comes to dating and enjoying a little casual sex now and then. The fact of the matter is coronavirus has likely changed hookup culture forever, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Here’s a closer look at how things may be different as the world continues to adjust to the new normal.
1. People’s definition of “safe sex” will expand.
People’s desire to hook up with strangers or enjoy sex on their own terms isn’t going anywhere, so neither will hookup culture. Just as HIV didn’t stop people from having sex outside the context of a committed relationship, neither will coronavirus. You will likely see people expanding their views on what it means to stay safe and talking more openly about it.
As it is now, we’re already seeing people wanting to know what someone’s history with the virus has been before meeting in person or taking things further than a simple conversation. Whether or not someone’s been exposed and how isolated they’ve been within the past few weeks are things folks are asking about. Sexual activity thought to possibly spread the virus (e.g. anal sex or rimming) are things people are thinking twice about doing casually as well.
2. Virtual first get-togethers will continue to be big.
Whether or not people are strictly looking for something casual, the pandemic has made virtual first dates over FaceTime or Skype trendy for the time being. At first, it was a necessity as shelter-in-place orders prevented people from going out and socializing as usual at their usual hangouts. Now it’s continuing to catch on as people continue to be more selective as to how they socialize in person.
Virtual first dates give people a chance to vet someone as a possible fit before taking that next step, whether that’s a sexual encounter or an in-person romantic date. It gives hookup lovers a chance to make sure someone looks like their pictures and see whether the attraction they’re feeling translates into real-time interaction before someone makes the trip to the other’s house as well.
3. Hookup apps will become even more popular.
The increasing reliance on portable technology paired with ever busier schedules has already made hookup apps super popular. People could meet sexy, attractive singles anywhere and on their own terms without the need to socialize the old-fashioned way.
Expect hookup apps and mobile platforms to continue blowing up as people look for alternatives to gathering at crowded bars or nightclubs to meet new people. Not only are the apps safer from a health standpoint, but they increase the likelihood of connecting with someone who’s open to the idea of taking things to the next level right away.
4. People will be reevaluating what they truly want.
There are two types of people out there when it comes to how folks feel about having spent months at home at this point. Some people are chomping at the bit to get back to living life the way they did before. Others found the experience enriching and used their time in isolation to think about what they want from their professional, social, and romantic lives going forward.
In other words, some people will come out of the pandemic knowing for a fact that the casual approach is the best one for them when it comes to sex. Others may find they’ve reached a point where they’re ready to open themselves up to more. There will certainly be those out there who are super eager to get back to the excitement that comes with hookup culture, so no worries. It isn’t going anywhere!
5. Some will turn to FWB arrangements as a happy medium.
Some people simply aren’t wired for committed relationships and the pandemic won’t change that. However, many will decide they’re ready to explore possibilities like friends with benefits connections over continuing to hook up with one stranger after another. FWB lets people enjoy everything they love about keeping things casual sexually, but they’re able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they’re hooking up with someone “safe”.
That said, don’t be surprised if more of the folks you meet through your favorite hookup apps are interested in hooking up on the regular if things go well. They’re likely looking for a way to adapt without giving up an approach to sex that works for them. What are you looking for? How has the pandemic changed your approach to dating and sex?