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Lockdown: “how dangerous is breaking quarantine to sleep with someone?”

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Megan Murray
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If you’ve been thinking about taking a night off from lockdown for a hook up, you’re by no means the only one. But it might have bigger repercussions than you’d think. 

Lockdown – could it be the longest collective sexual dry spell our country has ever seen? Banned from leaving the house, those quarantining without a partner have been missing out on all those things Marvin Gaye sang about for at least four weeks, with another two on the horizon.

In fact, it seems the announcement of lockdown’s extension has pushed the sexually starved over the edge. 

The long, lonely nights have become a reoccurring theme of conversation within my Whatsapp group of single friends as many of them have become bored of dwindling conversations with dating app matches. After all, what’s there to talk about when everyone’s stuck at home?

Plus, flirting online is no substitute for the excitement of meeting up with someone in person, and everything that comes after. And for those who have been isolating completely alone, enduring weeks without proper human interaction (let alone intimacy and emotional connection) is starting to really effect their moods

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This is something Laura, 30, is really feeling right now. She was furloughed before the official lockdown began and has been stuck in her London flat since then. “This is my sixth week of isolation. My flatmates all moved in with their boyfriends as soon as quarantine was announced but I’m single and didn’t want to go home, so I’ve been completely alone for most of that time.

“A few weeks ago, I started feeling the urge to message ex boyfriends and flings, just for some attention. But it’s passed that now and I’m so close to wanting to break lockdown, jump in a taxi and visit someone I used to date. It’s everything – the thrill of dressing up and actually putting some makeup on, the human interaction and obviously the sex. I’ll admit it – I’m pretty desperate for sex right now,” she says.

While Jazmin Kopotsha, Stylist’s online deputy editor, may have the companionship of her flatmates but she’s missing something more. “I expected to miss a lot of things over this strange lockdown period, but I didn’t expect sex to be the thing to put me on the edge,” she says.

“Is breaking lockdown to sleep with someone really that bad?”

“I have my ups and downs, of course, but there are far too many evenings spent lying in bed plotting ways to break quarantine for a hook up, without putting myself or anyone else in danger. Obviously, it’s not possible and I’m confident that I won’t act on my impulses. But there’s a running joke in my house share that, if on a Sunday night I don’t come back after ‘taking out the bins’, chances are I’ve run for the hills (read: to man’s bed),” she says.

It’s a feeling a lot of people can relate to and if you’re in the same boat, you might be thinking “how bad is it, really?” After all, if you’ve been isolating for weeks on end you could theorise that you’re coronavirus-free and they should be too…

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But science writer Priya Joi (who specialises in viruses), says that the fallout of meeting up with someone for sex, even once, extends coronavirus itself. 

“Some people can’t bear right now to not meet up with someone that they’ve been speaking to on dating apps, or someone that they were seeing before. They’re still taking a bottle of prosecco along to this person’s house and they’re not respecting their own lockdown. 

“I understand why people would want to do this. I understand the need for human connection, intimacy, emotional connection as much as anything else – but you’re putting yourself at risk and the other person at risk, anyone else that you might meet at risk,” she says.

Joi stresses that as well as catching coronavirus you could also get a sexually transmitted disease or become pregnant, and with doctors appointments lacking it could be harder to get any medical attention you might need.

Joi adds: “If you’re sneaking out to go and hook up with someone, you’re not alone. But please, just don’t do it. Just wait until this is over. Because if you’re sneaking out to hook up, just imagine how many other people are.”

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Images: Unsplash 

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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