Quarantine has me feeling hornier than ever, but I feel super conflicted about hooking up since we’re supposed to be socially distancing and I don’t want to get myself or anyone else sick. Still, I spend all this time on Grindr, but then bail at the last minute because of the guilt. If don’t hook up, I become sexually frustrated, but if I do, I’m risking my physical health. What do I do?
-Horned Up But Locked Down
Dear Horned Up But Locked Down,
Somehow, I don’t think you’re the only horny guy going bonkers in quarantine. It’s perfectly normal to feel this way during this time, especially because many of us have lost our jobs or are working alternate schedules from home, so boredom can be a big factor in our lives. What’s a better time killer than perusing page after page of shirtless torsos?
Many of us are also feeling anxiety, which can be an uncomfortable emotion. We don’t know when this crisis is going to end, we are uncertain about our finances and health, and we’re left alone with nothing but the sound of our own voice in our heads. It’s easy to want to reach for something to make you feel good when you’re feeling “squirrely.” Normally, hooking up can be a harmless escape, as long as it’s not negatively affecting your life in some way.
That said, in this case, acting upon your feelings could quite literally be deadly. That “guilt” you are feeling could actually be a lifesaver. We must prioritize the social distancing guidelines to the fullest extent, despite the emotional consequences (especially for LGBTQ people).
Unfortunately, there’s no PrEP for coronavirus, so there’s no way to have a responsible hookup that doesn’t put you or your partner at risk. Even if the guy you’re chatting with swears he has no symptoms, you can’t know for sure. Many people who carry the virus are asymptomatic.
Part of looking for a hookup online, however, is the fantasy. It’s the idea that if you just look a little bit longer, eventually you’ll reach “the one.” It’s the anticipation of that Ricky Martin look-alike that keeps us going sometimes, and there’s nothing wrong with fantasy during this time. Grindr can be harmless for some virtual foreplay, or maybe to line up something in the future when all the restrictions end.
If you’re still feeling frustrated, there are still things you can do. Go on a cam site and have all the virtual sex you want. Or stick to some of those good, old-fashioned adult videos. I know it’s not the same thing, but just think of how good your first hookup is going to be after all these months of pent up sexual energy.
You aren’t alone, and we’re all feeling frustrated in these bizarre circumstances. Stay safe first and foremost. You’ll thank yourself later.
Jake Myers is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, with a specialization in LGBT Affirmative Psychotherapy.