Being single, or at least being in a position to date, during the pandemic is challenging. We all crave human touch and interaction. We also all have a level of risk we are personally comfortable with. With the numbers of COVID infections skyrocketing to distrubing levels, what can you do to date, stay safe(r), and still get some basic needs met?
Take All Reasonable Precautions
There are basic and reasonable precautions to take during this pandemic. For almost all adults, getting fully vaccinated should be the minimal step. The vaccines are safe. The booster shots are safe. Just because you need a booster does not mean the vaccine didn’t work. Most vaccines (tetnus, whooping cough, measles, mumps, the flu and more) need regular booster shots. Just because information changes means science learns more. It did NOT lie to you.
Second, getting vaccinated is the only moral option. Our healthcare structure is beyond breaking. Healthcare workers are desparate, overworked, exhausted and suicidal. As the NY Times breaks down, it is the unvaccianted putting the majority of the strain on this system. Stop asking people to work weeks on end, hold the hands of dying people two and three times a shift, all because you are afraid of a little prick.
Get tested as needed. Yes, at the moment in some locations, COVID tests are difficult to come by. However, if you are going on a date and feel a bit under the weather, just get checked. Its the same as getting your STI panel updated before dating.
Wear a mask in public. While it is not 100 percent effective, it is a hell of a lot better than no mask. Arguing that it isn’t perfect is nonsense. If you use birth control to prevent pregnancy of STIs, that isn’t 100 protection but you aren’t running around willy-nilly praying you don’t end up with a kid from some random hook-up, right? Please tell me I am right.
Like your STI status, be honest about your COVID exposure, vaccination, and masking practices. If you are going to have someone give you consent, it must be informed of known risks. If you have been raw dogging the air on public transit, your date should know that and decide if they are okay with it. They need to be honest with you too.
Decide What Level of Risk You Are Comfortable With
Every person has a level of risk they are comfortable with. It is a combination of inborn risk taking traits, knowledge, personal situations, and beliefs. You will need to decide what level of risk is okay for you to take for a date.
- Are you cool meeting outdoors for coffee?
- Are you okay going to see a movie where masks in the theater are required?
- Would you be comfortable eating in a resturant unmasked?
- Are you cool hooking up without asking about vaccination and risk status?
Only you can decide what level of risk is okay for you. You should also respect someone else’s risk level. If someone is cool with eating a meal outside but not inside, respect that and find a place outdoors. If your date wants to exchage vaccine card shots, be willing to exchange that. Asking someone (or pushing someone) to take a greater risk than they are comfortable with is not okay. You may not know their full health situation, who they are around and don’t want to expose to the virus, or other things making them less risk adverse than you.
If the last three years have taught us anything, its that this situation is going to continue to change. Venues and shows will open and close. Mask mandates and vaccine mandates will change. Risk based on the number of cases in your area will continually shift. If you make plans and then the local government decides to close all bars for a week, shift your date night. Its just what has to happen right now.
Alternatives to In-Person Dates
If you are very risk-adverse but still want too explore dating, online dating is possible. You can set up a Zoom/Skype/Facetime date to chat. Or set up a joint Netflix moving watching night. There are plenty of ways to carry out online D/s and sexy play time with well-positioned cameras.
There are still plenty of live shows livestreaming their stuff on Twitch and other platforms. Get tickets to a comedy show and watch it together in bed. Check out your local (or not so local) burlesque troupe (I am a fan of Nom Nom Nonbinary Burlesque in San Francisco). Bring that to the home screen. It reduces the risk expose and still allows for a great date night.
I will aslo put a plug in for Sssh.com. Sssh.com is a video sharing platform designed to share erotic videos and educational videos. You and a partner can watch a sexy movie or how-to for bondage, impact play and more. Its quality is better than that of other streaming and video chat platforms. Its cost is very reasonable. So, add a bit of sexy screen time to a date.
We are in this for at least another year, folks. We need to continue to evolve and figure out what is our personal level or risk tolerance and what we can do to meet our other basic needs.
To any COVIDiots out there who think posting a long conspriacy rant in the comments will do anything, I have to approve all comments first. At the first sign of idiocy, you post will be permanently deleted and I won’t read more than the first line or two. Move on.