Kissing after the coronavirus pandemic: is it safe? | #tinder | #pof

I once dated a guy who produced excessive saliva whenever we kissed. My mouth would literally fill up with his spit. It felt like I needed one of those suction tubes dentists use to remove the excess fluid.

Yep, it was every bit as gag-worthy as it sounds. Yet, despite this particularly unsavoury experience, I still enjoy a good pash. I especially love a first pash. The anticipation of that first smooch with somebody new is one of the most delightful things about dating.

But that stupid cow ‘Rona has taken all the fun out of making out, and now I’m terrified of my first post-pandemic pash.  

It’s a weird time to be single. As restrictions continue to ease, we can now take our dating interactions from online and into real life and think about exploring more than just conversation. And if the chemistry is right and the pheromones are raging, one thing might lead to another… and then what?

Sami Lukis loves a first pash – but after a pandemic? Not so much. (Instagram)

I don’t want to contribute to any unnecessary COVID fear-mongering, but surely kissing is a high-risk exercise, because:

A) Coronavirus spreads through saliva.  
B) Kissing involves an inevitable amount of saliva swapping (hopefully not as much as with Mr. Sucky McSuck Face, if you’re lucky).   

So won’t I basically be playing COVID-roulette anytime I decide to swap saliva with someone new? Unless he’s fresh out of 14-day quarantine, he might not even know he’s carrying the deadly virus. 

Maybe I’m being super sensitive here, but three people very close to me have already tested positive and health officials are still advising us to keep our distance.

Also, many of us are living in what’s called a ‘hyper aroused state’ right now. Dealing with the unrelenting stress, anxiety and unpredictability of this health crisis has made us overly emotional.

“Won’t I basically be playing COVID-roulette anytime I decide to swap saliva with someone new?” (iStock)

I’m well aware that some singles have taken a much more relaxed approach to pandemic dating than I have. A friend of mine has already been on dates with, and kissed, two new guys in the last week alone.  

I guess the pandemic guidelines for singles have been kinda vague. While couples have been happily shagging away, producing a whole new generation of babies (which have already been given the nickname “Coronials”), the Australian Government cautioned singles against physical contact with ‘strangers’.

So, random Tinder hook-ups were a no-no — but what about that guy I’ve been ‘virtually dating’ and getting to know online for weeks? Is he still considered a stranger?

New Zealand reportedly announced a nation-wide ‘bonking ban’, putting the kibosh on any kind of physical relationship between Kiwis who don’t live together. It’s also currently illegal in the UK to have sex with someone from another household.

“For now, I’m just looking forward to reaching first base.” (Instagram)

Dutch authorities have taken a more pragmatic approach, advising singles to choose one “sex buddy” during the pandemic to satisfy their urges and minimise their risk of infection. Meanwhile, the health chief in Denmark announced social distancing didn’t apply to sex, because “sex is good, sex is healthy”.

Most health experts do seem to agree that face-to-face contact is risky. A new study from Harvard University even recommends people wear masks while having sex with anyone they don’t live with.

One of the new pandemic safety measures for sex workers in Switzerland is “there must be a distance of at least one forearm between the heads of the two people” during the service (meaning positions like doggy style, reverse cowgirl and wheelbarrow would be the most COVID-friendly).

So, as the world slowly finds its way back to something vaguely resembling normal, what are we hyper-aroused singles supposed to do?

Live out our Pretty Woman fantasies, with “No kissing allowed. It’s too personal”? Who knew Vivian Ward’s advice on intimacy would ring true 30 years later? 

“No kissing allowed. It’s too personal.” Vivian Ward was onto something there. (Walt Disney Studios)

Avoid getting physical with anyone new until we find a vaccine? That Harvard study also suggests the safest approaches to pandemic sex are abstinence and masturbation.

Or, will the anxiety just gradually subside? Plenty of people still have unprotected sex, despite the well-documented risks of contracting any number of sexually transmitted diseases.

For now, I’m just looking forward to reaching first base and being able to enjoy that special moment, in the moment. 

And when I finally do get the courage to snog someone new, I really hope my first post-pandemic-pash will be memorable — for all the right reasons.

Follow Sami Lukis on Instagram @samilukis




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