Sex cheat’s tough isolation problem

For those trying to conduct affairs in the age of coronavirus, there is both good and bad news.

The good news is that coronavirus is not spread through semen or vaginal fluids, which means that COVID-19 is officially not a sexually transmitted disease.

Of course, the bad news is that COVID-19 is spread through literally everything else. Even if you could have intercourse from a distance of 1.5 metres, you could catch the virus simply by breathing in your lover's direction.

 

So what does this mean for unfaithful spouses?

Infidelity has always been morally dubious, but COVID-19 has definitely raised the stakes. I mean, cheaters have always run the risk of STDs, and of being sprung by a tech-savvy spouse. Still, it's one thing to risk passing on cold sores or genital herpes; it's quite another to risk passing on a potentially fatal virus.

What's more, being sprung before the pandemic could have been unfortunate, but being sprung during the pandemic could be catastrophic. You could either be kicked out into the mean, virus-rife streets, or forced to remain at home with a spouse who is fantasising about infecting you with COVID.

Kerri Sackville has explored the big issues for those wanting to have affairs during Australia’s lockdown period. Picture: Adam Yip
Kerri Sackville has explored the big issues for those wanting to have affairs during Australia’s lockdown period. Picture: Adam Yip

Of course, if the worse does happen, and you're caught out cheating, you could always make a new life with your illicit lover. But think about it: in the age of COVID-19, this is not as romantic as it sounds. Being trapped together in quarantine is really not the ideal way to transition from "secret affair" to "full time relationship".

You'll go from sexy liaisons in seedy hotels and cheeky nude pics sent late at night to arguing over the toilet paper, dining on tinned tuna, and checking each other daily for fever.

You may as well stay at home.

So infidelity is over, right? People are committing to their spouses, leaving their lovers to their solitary confinement, and turning over a new leaf?

Well, not exactly.

If a cheat is willing to put possible death aside, finding an excuse to escape the house is sure to prove tricky. Picture: iStock
If a cheat is willing to put possible death aside, finding an excuse to escape the house is sure to prove tricky. Picture: iStock

Despite tremendous odds, people are still pursuing affairs. Extra-marital dating website Ashley Madison reports a surge in membership numbers since the coronavirus lockdown, adding 17,000 new members worldwide every single day.

Whether they are making innocuous chit chat, flirting, sexting, or actually planning a meeting in the post-COVID world, that's a lot of people seeking stimulation outside their quarantine relationship.

It is likely, however, that potential cheaters have less plans to, er, consummate their illicit relationships than before the pandemic. Even if the fear of consequences don't deter them from meeting up, it is pretty challenging to manage it logistically in the midst of lockdown.

After all, the classic excuses to "pop out for an hour" are null and void as the world has shut down and all your alibis are in quarantine. There will be no "business trips interstate" and no "late nights in the office".

You will not be "going out for a drink" or "watching footy with a mate". There will certainly be no "quick game of tennis" or "emergency appointment with the beautician".

Nope, you'll be at home, all the time, which is not especially conducive to a quickie in your lunch break.

And besides, who has the energy? What with home schooling and scrounging for toilet paper, scrubbing down surfaces and processing the news, I can barely muster the strength to phone my mum, let alone establish a sizzling sexual connection with a complete stranger online.

But if you're determined to cheat, and COVID-19 isn't going to stop you, think of this philandering fellow who was recently caught out in Italy, log out of your computer, and stay home.

Kerri Sackville is a freelance writer and author of Out There: A Survival Guide for Dating in Midlife. Continue the conversation @KerriSackville

Originally published as Sex cheat's tough isolation problem


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