If you thought a highly contagious, deadly respiratory virus would stop gay and bisexual men from hooking up, you thought wrong. At least, according to a new study by the Center for Sexuality and Health Disparities, University of Michigan.
Researchers surveyed 518 gay and bisexual men, aged 18 or over, who they recruited on Grindr, Facebook, and Instagram. They found that 64% of them didn’t think the COVID-19 virus was cause for scaling back in the bedroom, and 50% didn’t even know they could catch it from a sexual partner.
To be clear: While there is currently no evidence to suggest coronavirus can be transmitted through semen, it can be passed through kissing, analingus, or simply being in close contact with an infected person.
The authors of the study believe the uptick in gay and bisexual men hooking up has to do with them simply trying not to go crazy during what has proven to be one hell of a stressful year.
“Both increased sexual activity and substance use may be coping strategies for the stress of living in lockdown,” they write, noting that guys who reported an increase in substance use were also “significantly more likely to report increases in number of sex partners, anal sex partners and unprotected sex partners.”
“These increases in substance and alcohol use may reflect more opportunities for use (while confined to the home and not in a workplace settings) and may also reflect an increase in negative coping behaviors in response to high levels of stress and uncertainty during the epidemic.”
From the Mayo Clinic:
If you are sexually active with someone outside of your household, consider these precautions to reduce your risk of getting the COVID-19 virus:
- Minimize the number of sexual partners you have.
- Avoid sex partners who have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Avoid kissing.
- Avoid sexual behaviors that have a risk of fecal-oral transmission or that involve semen or urine.
- Use condoms and dental dams during oral and anal sex.
- Wear a mask during sexual activity.
- Wash your hands and shower before and after sexual activity.
- Wash sex toys before and after using them.
- Use soap or alcohol wipes to clean the area where you have sexual activity.