Sex. It’s one of Eckerd students’ favorite activities to participate in aside from partying . . . I mean studying on Kappa Field. It’s not rare for STDs to be floating around campus throughout the school year, but now there’s a new disease to be worried about.
As we gradually return to Eckerd following the peak of a global pandemic, I wanted to see how Eckerd students were viewing and practicing sex. Three people were interviewed about sex during the pandemic and granted anonymity due to the sensitive information they gave: an on-campus senior, an on-campus first-year and an off-campus junior.
Source one, our anonymous on-campus senior had little fear of being infected by COVID-19.
“Before I would only have one, maybe two partners, for several months, and since May I have had three new partners sex wise and have been on several other dates,” source one said.
All three partners and the people they went out with were found on dating apps or social media. They would only meet in public places first, such as bars or restaurants. While source one always carried their mask with them, a lot of the people they went out with weren’t as prepared.
“I found basically all the guys to be reluctant to wear a mask, even into places we absolutely had to, which was awkward,” they said.
Aside from the usual sexual precautions such as condoms, birth control and trusting that their partner is clean, source one protects themself from COVID-19 by only having sexual interactions with people they trust have been safe. They would talk first and ensure they had no symptoms, hadn’t been around people with COVID-19 and agreed on wanting to be safe and healthy.
“I believe underclassmen might be more hesitant to have sex but I believe upperclassmen won’t have their sex lives changed at all because they will just continue to have sex with the people they had before,” they said.
However, on-campus first-year currently has four sexual partners and engages in sex multiple times a week.
“They know of each other to an extent. I am not exclusive with any of them but I clearly communicate with them about who else I am hooking up with,” they said.
This is exactly what we want to hear! Communication is key when it comes to sexual engagements, even more so during a pandemic because coronavirus can be spread without even having sex.
During quarantine, source two refrained from having sex, but as COVID-19 rates lowered in their state, they started having sex again with two different partners.
Being on campus now, source two said, “I feel a little safer due to the fact that we’re pretty much in a closed environment. The school population is pretty much our quarantine group, but I could definitely be safer.”
When I asked source two about practicing virtual sex to be safe instead of in-person sex, they said, “Virtual sex is whack. I tried it out and it wasn’t nice.”
Personally, I think virtual sex can be a great option. We do everything else virtually, so why not? Of course, nothing beats the intensity of sex in the flesh, but virtual sex can be super hot and enjoyable. It’s an interesting way to sexually satisfy during situations such as quarantine, or to spice things up when distance is a problem. Dirty talk and masturbating with someone (consensually!) can be a big step out of the comfort zone. Just have an open mind and make sure you’re doing it with someone you trust and are comfortable with.
Ever since COVID-19 slipped into the US, source three hasn’t slept with anyone.
“[Sex] seems dirtier but it also seems more intimate because of the anticipated rarity,” they said.
They are currently living at home and both they and their father have pre-existing conditions that put them at risk for COVID-19. They wanted to reduce the chances of them or their family getting sick by choosing abstinence during the pandemic.
“There’s no way for me to really tell who has been around who and if someone is being one hundred percent clear [and] honest with their interactions, so I’d just rather not take the chance,” source three said.
In regards to sex culture on campus, source three said, “Everyone knew at least one person that had sex with one of their friends and I feel like sex culture at Eckerd now might change to be more sparse.”
Keep in mind that sexual health and satisfaction is an important part of our health, even during a pandemic. It’s essential to our overall wellbeing and should not be neglected during these stressful times. I suggest mastubation as one of the safest and best ways to practice good sexual health and ensure satisfaction. Not only is it great for social distancing, but it also acts as a full mind and body reset that clears away stress and tension. You can use your hands, toys, porn and your mind to sexually satisfy yourself and instantly boost your mood. In the long run, it can improve your self confidence and sex life by allowing you to explore yourself more and learn what satisfies you.
Whether you choose to be sexually active or not is completely up to you. But whatever you do, do it for you and with no shame. If you are sexually active, please be open and honest about feeling any symptoms, testing positive, or being around other people who could have it. This isn’t just about STDs anymore. Be aware of the current climate and have respect and care for yourself and the people you interact with. Wearing masks during sex might be a little extreme, but condoms are highly recommended. Remember (as said by source three), “your life is worth more than a [orgasm].”