A polyamorous view on sex in lockdown

Anonymous 12 June 2021

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of InQuire Media

Image courtesy of cottonbro on pexels

Don't have sex because you will get coronavirus and die! Don't have sex in the missionary position, don't have sex standing up, just don't do it, OK?

How many of us not living with a partner can honestly say that we aren’t guilty of hooking up in lockdown? When the UK first went into lockdown, we were told by Boris that it would only take a few weeks to return to normal. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one quietly dismissing the new virus so that I could sneak off to get laid during this stage. Yet here we are, a long fourteen months later, relying on Boris Johnson to keep us safe from lockdown number four. Coronavirus is still a very real threat to life but so are sexually transmitted diseases. My argument is this: some STDs like syphilis and HIV, when left untreated can eventually lead to death but we’re all still having sex because it feels good so why should the threat of COVID affect our sex lives?

I’m a polyamorous, bisexual female but I have a lot of monogamous friends. In general, I’ve found that my male friends want sex more than my female friends. There is nothing wrong with this, but it means that I stand out amongst my female friends because I’m more forward about sex. I enjoy sex, I want a lot of sex— it’s fun.

Through my poly unicorn adventures on the Feeld app, I met more like-minded women and I now know that I am not the only woman out there who subscribes to a wilder sex life. So, when the government announced that the UK was going into lockdown, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I began turning to my new friends for advice who just kept telling me to get out the vibrator, but whilst I do have a collection of sex toys, I’m not a teenager anymore. I don’t get a lot out of solo play these days so for someone reliant on others for her orgasms, I had to get a bit more secretive to get through the new normal and no, this didn’t mean fucking my flatmates.

However, the lockdown did not last a few weeks, which caused a lot of poly groups to take a break to protect themselves from COVID. Honestly, the sex break would have been welcomed if I was allowed to see my main partner.

I follow the hierarchal polyamory method. This means that I have one main partner and secondary partners. Whilst this can be a bit savage, it means that it’s more about the sex than the feelings with the secondary partners. I save all the emotional stuff for my main partner. We met at uni and we’ve been together two and a half years and we spend a lot of time together. I spend more time with him than I do with my secondary partners so when it was announced that we couldn’t see anyone at all, my mind went into overdrive.

London can be a very lonely city and I think a large part of the reason that I am polyamorous is for the social aspect of it. It’s great meeting like-minded people and getting something a little extra out of it. So, with my sexual social life coming to a halt, I just couldn’t cope.

This led to some interesting conversations with my flatmates. During peak lockdown, I was living with two guys I had met on Spareroom. To say that we were friends would be a bit of a stretch, yet I was talking to them candidly about how I was struggling to function without seeing my boyfriend. We weren’t ready to move in with each other so this led to the agreement that he could still come over, especially as the two of us in the flat were still working as if things were normal. This agreement forced my polyamory to become monogamy but I had to wonder whether reducing my number of partners was really any safer.

Whilst the amount of sex and sexual partners I get may seem wild and unsafe, that's often not the case. A lot of people who are polyamorous practise safe sex to prevent pregnancy and STDs. Most poly groups demand regular STD testing and a clean bill of health as a prerequisite to hooking up. As the chance of contracting an STD is naturally a lot higher when you’re sleeping with more than one person. This was the same for Covid, as there was testing available, a lot of us were asking for evidence of a negative result. Those who did test positive for Covid almost became blacklisted.

The thing that made both HIV and coronavirus so terrifying is that there was no vaccine or real cure in the beginning. The rapid rate of infection combined with potentially asymptomatic people made it almost impossible to safely protect yourself from coronavirus. So, the threat of Covid should have absolutely impacted our sex lives when 128,000 people have died from it in the UK alone.

Yet, a lot of us were still having sex and we really must ask ourselves why we are continuing to do so. It’s like when you tell a teenager not to do something and they want to do it more. If your latest fling was Covid free when they came to meet you, by the time you met up, one of you could have had the virus. I wish I could say that as much as I like sex, I don’t think that risking your life for an orgasm is worth it, but I would be a lying hypocrite if I did.

There’s a lot of external factors to consider about hooking up. Sex for me is as much about companionship as it is feeling good or making someone else feel good. Everyone's lockdown experience would have been different, but I wouldn’t have got through the pandemic if I wasn’t sleeping with somebody...