In 1990, as a newly created social worker, I was invited to present at a conference on HIV / AIDS in San Francisco what we now call Compulsive sexual behavior disorder and its relationship to HIV transmission. At that time, we had few solutions for people living with HIV / AIDS. Most of them got sick and died. So it was a matter of life and death for the gay community.
At the time, I was a passionate and very committed young therapist who sincerely wanted to fight HIV / AIDS. That’s why I was giving this talk – a talk that eventually became my first book, Speed regulator. But this was my first lecture in front of a professional audience and I was completely terrified. How would they receive me? Would they hear and accept my message on the need to sexual behavior change to stop the HIV / AIDS pandemic?
Well, it didn’t go well. The moment I started to express my concern that I had just walked into some men having sex in one of the bathrooms at the hotel where this same conference was being held, the boos started, “You’re like those idiots who shut the baths,” and “Get back to your scary conservative life, you homophobic jerk. »For my audience, people who are much more sensitive to social prejudices and prejudice as medical science, my message was frowned upon and intrusive.
Here we are 30 years later, facing yet another deadly virus transmitted through close physical contact. And here I am again, expressing a professional message of concern about the potentially fatal effects of casual sex. But this time, I am prepared, ready for and even anticipating negative reactions. I expect some readers to disagree at all with what I am saying in this blog post, and they will wonder how I can be so sexually conservative, critical, unsupportive, anti-sex, and everything else.
If you are one of those people, let me answer with the same answers I gave in 1990.
- Our health and survival is more important than what you think of me or my words.
- Your right to have casual in-person sex does not override greater public health needs.
- Reporting sexual behavior that promotes potentially fatal viral transmission is not sexually conservative; it is simply the right thing to do.
In 2020, instead of talking about men having sex in the bathroom, I wonder why when we can’t walk the streets without wearing a face mask, hookup apps still help people geotag partners. for casual sex. Of course, some of these services have issued warnings – brightly colored, sometimes flashing statements that basically say, “Don’t do what you came here to do, that’s not a good idea.” But after that you are free to connect with anyone interested. So the real message is rather: “Have fun and try not to die.” Just like the warnings we put on cigarettes.
It is not now nor has it ever been my job to judge the sexual choices and behaviors of consenting adults. But today, as during the HIV / AIDS crisis, lives are at stake. In the midst of a deadly viral epidemic, some of our social and sexual freedoms must take precedence over public health. Faced with a disease for which we have no vaccine or a cure, maybe even the most horny of us should step away from casual sex for a while. And maybe the apps that help and even encourage people to have casual sex should put this service on hold until the pandemic passes.
I’m not sure if such a change requires legal action or a public health message or if companies are just deciding to do the right thing. What I do know is that there are many sexual alternatives out there. For example, hookup apps might suggest and facilitate sexting and webcam dating rather than in-person sex. Of course, no one can prevent others from engaging in casual face-to-face encounters. This is as true today as it was during the HIV / AIDS crisis. But can’t we at least suggest less dangerous alternatives?
In “normal times” I think these apps are a useful way for people to find each other. It is also true that some of these services have become more than hookup apps, becoming adult friend finder apps that help people connect for fun, Friendshipand community. That said, these services are still primarily used to facilitate casual in-person sex, and they should do the right thing by shutting down or pushing members into alternative sexual behaviors. Helping people have sex in person is NOT an essential service. Not during a pandemic. And it has to stop.
If you are in a relationship, now is the perfect time to reconnect with your partner at home. If you’re single, now is a great time for sexting, webcam, and lots of other fun sex behaviors. Now is not the perfect time for casual in-person sex.
For some, stepping away from casual in-person sex, even for a short time, can be difficult, as it was for some people during the HIV / AIDS epidemic. For others, it doesn’t matter. Either way, in the age of COVID-19[female[feminine, avoiding face-to-face meetings is not a discussion; it is a public health imperative.
Again, I don’t believe it’s my job or anyone else’s to judge an adult’s consensual sexual choices. Now, however, like all other citizens of the world, I want to see this virus stop. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I want us all to live long enough to have all the sex we want with who we want. But let’s have fun later when we’re in the clear.
Until then, let’s turn off the apps and avoid casual sex in person. If this sounds horrible to you, I urge you not to worry. Try some of the fun alternatives suggested above as a stopgap, and know that all of those in-person connections will be there for you when COVID-19 is gone.