Over the past couple of decades, casual hookups became easier than ever. With dating apps showing you potential mates nearby, you can now meet someone and get together within minutes.
Add to this society’s increasingly accepting attitudes regarding casual sex, many of us see few reasons not to take advantage of hookup culture.
Even extramarital relations are becoming more acceptable. You can see this from the increasing number of alternatives to flirty dating app Ashley Madison. While an affair is never good for a relationship, polyamory is a more common choice, with many couples deciding that monogamy will not work for them.
However, regardless of how easy and acceptable casual sex has become, it still has its dangers. This was true even before COVID-19. In a post-COVID world, in which we are all well aware of hygiene risks, hooking up with a stranger feels riskier than ever.
There are ways to go about hooking up with strangers in a post-COVID world without putting yourself in danger. Here are some of the steps you will need to take.
Meet in public (and share your location)
These days, it is reasonable to want to limit your exposure to others, even when meeting someone for a hookup. However, going straight to a stranger’s house is never advisable. The reality is that no matter how legitimate a person seems on an app, you can’t be sure they’re trustworthy before you meet them.
Even if you are meeting in a public place, be sure to share your location with someone you trust and who you can confide in. They can keep track of you if you are unable to check in with them for whatever reason. Also, promise to check in with them by a certain time, so that they know when they should start getting worried.
As a man meeting a woman, you may think that there is no such risk involved. However, catfishing is rife and you never know whose home you might be going to. Furthermore, do not underestimate the danger a woman can pose if she is carrying out a scam or planning to rob you. She may also have co-conspirators waiting for you both in a private place.
It might not feel “manly” to share these concerns with friends, but it could be lifesaving.
Follow all possible hygiene measures
When engaging in casual sex, the idea of hygiene can go out the window. You may start thinking that since you are getting so intimate with a stranger, you might as well let go of all hygiene measures.
But as long as the virus is still around and herd immunity has not been achieved, there is still risk involved in any hookup. Follow whatever hygiene measures are possible. This may mean you avoid kissing (or even wear a mask) and wash your hands before touching your own face or theirs.
It is not very sexy, of course, but while we are still dealing with a deadly pandemic, compromises need to be made. After all, we have not had this much easy access to hookups for all that long. Fifteen years ago, you would have had to put in much harder work to find casual sex, even without the specter of a debilitating virus.
Don’t forget STDs
While trying your best to avoid COVID-19, it is easy to forget that disease has always been a risk in casual sex. STDs range in severity, but you should try to avoid even the mildest infections. If you are having a lot of casual sex, this is to protect anyone else you sleep with as well.
Condoms are still one of the most effective ways to prevent STDs without hormonal impacts on your partner. PrEP is an increasingly effective way to prevent contracting HIV during casual hookups, even if the other person is HIV positive.
A combination of measures is always recommended, as it is better to be as safe as possible. However, at the very least use one strategy that is mostly foolproof.
Safe hookups are a little bit more difficult to arrange in a post-COVID world. That being said, they are still far more accessible than they ever were in human history. Don’t take that for granted, and the extra steps won’t seem so cumbersome.