Re-introducing Hook-ups Post-COVID

BAMMER47: How do you expect to recommence hooking up, or at least having sex with someone outside your COVID pod, once conditions permit? When do you anticipate that will be possible?

How do you expect to recommence hooking up, or at least having sex with someone outside your COVID pod, once conditions permit? When do you anticipate that will be possible?


Of course, some gay men have been meeting new bed partners throughout the COVID pandemic, tossing caution to the wind and responding to powerful hormonal urges or pangs of loneliness. Most of us, however, have been more cautious out of fear of the potentially dangerous consequences.


Assuming you haven’t been so bold, when will you feel comfortable renewing such encounters? Will you require prospective sexual partners to show proof of having been vaccinated or a recent negative COVID test? Or will you wait until it’s likely that herd immunity has been established and then be more apt to take your chances without regard to your bed partner’s vaccine or antibody status?


In this respect like many others, the COVID crisis mirrors our experience with the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s before protease inhibitors were introduced (which made living with AIDS manageable and survival a realistic outcome). Proof of HIV negative status back then is generally analogous to having been vaccinated today in terms of providing would-be bed partners with some assurance of the reduced risk of infection from a sexual encounter.


I’ll be 69 in two months and my hormonal urges aren’t as pressing as they once were. For me, the extra comfort of knowing that the general risk of transmission will have been reduced by the arrival of herd immunity make it unlikely I’ll be willing to meet anyone new for sex for several more months.


Today’s photo was taken on the beach in Southampton in 1986, as AIDS was becoming much harder for all of us in the NYC gay male community to ignore. I’m on the left and the fellow on the right was there for the weekend but had no place to spend the night.


Always the Good Samaritan, I generously invited him to spend the night with me. As tends to happen in such situations, we ended up tangling (carefully) under the sheets that night, in a way I wouldn’t feel comfortable undertaking in today’s medically precarious environment (and probably shouldn’t have then).


#MikeBalaban