Back in the day I was a whore. Take that as you will, I will not be expanding much further.
And when I say “back in the day” I mean “before the pandemic”. Like a lot of us, we’ve lost a lot of our freedoms due to the airborne virus and after 2 years of constant lockdowns, people are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel…lol With 1000 deaths a week and variants popping up every 3 - 5 business days, I would argue that we are very much still in the trenches of the pandemic. However, mask mandates are being dropped, festivals are back in full swing, restaurants are fully booked - did the last 2 years even happen?
Being disabled (and mind you, newly disabled - I had a minor stroke in 2020), I currently spend the majority of my time reminiscing about the days when I could meet up with friends or strangers on a regular basis without descending into a panic about a life altering disease. I’m taking a step back from social events which in my opinion is the lesser of two evils as contracting COVID could lead to dire consequences/complications. And that is not even adding onto the fact that us who are disabled/high risk and who are from lower socio-economic backgrounds don’t have the privilege to stay at home. A lot of us work in public facing roles so minimising social interaction is our only way of protecting ourselves. Whilst I could repeat a lot of what is being said by those of us who are still worried about the pandemic, I’m not going to. What is truly bothering me right now is that I miss sex. I miss sex with other people, strangers, friends, people’s ex’s (stop judging) - just sex. All types of sex. Trying to organise a link up when there is a lack of protections such as PPE, LFTs, PCRs etc. almost feels like I’m auditioning to be the head of the World Health Organisation. Like I previously mentioned, a lot of people are “over” the pandemic therefore communicating that you’re still taking precautions garners various responses.
I’ve had one guy scoff and completely cut off contact after the mere mention of taking a LFT (which I was bringing over mind you). Another person has been harassing me via email for the past week as “COVID IS OVER” so what is there to worry about; he’s down to fuck!
And I’m not being entirely fair - LFTs are no longer free, neither are PCRs. So how can we protect ourselves when there aren’t many resources in order to do so? I personally don’t have a minimum of £50 to shell out for a PCR. Let’s do the maths. Two PCRs (let’s just assume it’s sex between two people), a couple of LFTs to be safe; that’s a minimum of £120 just to suck on some genitals. Then that’s assuming that the other person can host. Do they live by themselves? Do they have roommates? Do their roommates test regularly? Do you test regularly? How often does your household go out? Do you all still wear masks?
Giving all my potential partners the third degree for a casual link up would put the most caring person off so, I’ve opted into not having sex at all.
I’m largely at peace with my decision as I know that my safety comes first. But a small part of me is jealous. I was just starting to explore my sexuality and what I’m open to (which turns out is quite a lot).Now a whole part of me has to take the backseat.
I used to frequent safe sex spaces (Sex clubs, talks etc.) before the first lockdown but I had finished university which meant I couldn’t afford to attend all the ones that I wanted. What is promising is I’m seeing more pop up in London and across the UK. I would like to attend. It’s just not safe. I’ve even had the chance to talk to some of the organisers about this dilemma but without support from larger entities (i.e. a CUNT named Boris) - there’s not a lot that can be done right now.
Often when I get despondent like this, I look for community. I am lucky that I have made a bunch of friends who also have disabilities and who are constantly calling for better provisions for themselves and others. We meet up as often as our bodies allow us to discuss various or different topics and we give each other the space to be upset or stressed etc.
I can’t talk to them about everything though. Quite a few disabled people who I’ve become friends with are partnered or are navigating the pandemic differently to me. Which is to be expected, we’re all human after all. Although we can relate to the feeling of isolation or navigating wider society - I personally don’t know many people who are in similar situations as myself or who would be willing to talk about it in public.
That’s not to say they’re not horny disabled/shielding people out there, I have yet to find them!. Society doesn’t like to talk about sex publicly, let alone wanting to have sex. Do I need to send out the bat signal? Additionally, I don’t want to be partnered just for the sake of it (partially because I am aromantic so I would rather watch Cocomelon on repeat). It just feels like the only option at the moment.
This pandemic has led me to bare my soul with strangers more often than I would do regularly so if you don’t take anything from this piece, at the very least, laugh at my pain. I’m not expecting much to change in the next upcoming months because the non-masking wearing/anti COVID brigade are strong in numbers. Even if restrictions and resources were put back in place - would people follow them?
Those of you who sympathise, I would implore us to use our imaginations and let’s think of ways we can support those who are staying at home to still be able to participate in activities that fulfil us - like sex.