Caution followed by the thrill of recklessness: How singles are dating in the age of COVID-19 – National Post

Caution followed by the thrill of recklessness: How singles are dating in the age of COVID-19 – National Post

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The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, in the Netherlands, attracted attention in May when it released a public statement encouraging single people to choose one long-term “sex buddy” with whom they can have close physical contact, sort of like a bubble limited to two. This seems to be the model informally adopted by single people here, as well. Almost every single person I know has gone through the process at some point over the last four months: meet someone online, thoroughly vet them, and, if they are on the same page, eventually meet face-to-face. So long as neither party is seeing anybody else, the isolation is more or less maintained, and the sex is relatively safe.

Of course, once you settle on a partner, you’re stuck with them — unless you want to further risk the spread of COVID by expanding your bubble to another match. A nice person to text or chat with on FaceTime might not be an ideal sex partner, and chemistry can be difficult to predict through a phone, which means that making the final decision can feel like a gamble. And even promising relationships can take a sudden turn: after two successful dates, Jessica’s new sex buddy suddenly ghosted her. There was no way to know that would happen before biting the bullet and taking the plunge.

In J.G. Ballard’s short story “The Intensive Care Unit,” from 1982, the people of the future almost never leave their houses, never
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