“There is no greater glory than to die for love” cries Florentino Ariza in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s, Love in the Time of Cholera. No such romance for us today, however. According to the New South Wales state government, an all-encompassing fear of death is what should now drive our passions in the Time of Covid-19.
The NSW State Government’s Ministry of Love, otherwise known as #Playsafe, cheerfully admits that, due to Covid-19 restrictions, many people have been forced to put their sex lives “firmly on hold.. for the greater good”. But don’t worry, if a warm sense of your ant-like sacrifice for the preservation of the colony isn’t quite sensual enough for your satisfaction, then Playsafe has a whole pandemic’s worth of sexy, Covid-safe tips that will help you put the ‘sin’ back into ‘single-stranded RNA Coronavirus’.
“Let’s start by saying that the only truly safe sex to be having right now is solo sex”, warns Playsafe, alongside the helpful hashtag ‘#solosex’ (for those who are into that kind of thing). Yet all is not lost for those insufficiently selfless people who don’t prefer their own navel to a conjugal union, because “say hello to mutual masturbation!”
How’s this for a saucy night in with the missus (or mister [or gender-non-specific-sexual partner]) — the kids are trapped permanently down behind the Iron Curtain in Victoria, you don’t have to wake up for work tomorrow (or ever; you’ve lost your job and the economy is ruined) and you’re self-isolating with your significant other in the second week of an expensive stint of hotel quarantine. You’ve already watched the entire catalogues of Netflix, Stan and Apple TV combined, so how are you going to spice up this evening?
Playsafe is clear;
Step 1: Check to ensure that your partner is in good health and Covid-19 symptom-free
Step 2: Make sure you lay down your rules of engagement and clearly state your expectations.
Step 3: Maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres at all times
Step 4: Sterilise your dildos, vibrators etc. beforehand according to Playsafe’s recommendations
Step 5: Wear a three-layer mask to cover your nose and mouth at all times
Step 6: Put on some Marvin Gaye and commence ‘Mutual Masturbation’ (no touching each other!)
Step 7: Wink at each other from across the room as this is the only outward sign of affection you can make other than the muffled, grunting expectorations that your soggy facemask, thankfully, captures.
Hot under the collar yet?
But what about those poor souls who were without sexual partners at the start of the pandemic (or if you’re one of the scores of Covid-induced divorcees looking for new love)? Under Covid-19 restrictions, even dating can kill Grandma. That’s why Playsafe recommends only ‘#solosex’, “dating apps” and “hot messaging” until the pandemic is over. At most, if you’re feeling particularly risky, Playsafe recommends such seriously sultry-yet-safe dating ideas as “video-chats” eventually leading to “physical distancing walks which will enable you to stay 1.5 meters apart.” How’s 7 o’clock, babe?
But “hey,” the government hears you cry, “before we get down to business, what about the culturally-specific needs of Australia’s Traditional Owners, the First Nations Peoples and their Elders (Past Present and Emerging) #Sovereigntywasneverceded!?”
Well, don’t you worry, because the Ministry of Love has that covered too.
‘Take BLAKtion’, is the aboriginal-specific version of Playsafe, which has its own host of solely ‘BLAK’ focussed sexual health advice. As we all know, indigenous people represent a whole other branch of sexual biology and can’t be expected to use the same bureaucracy as their white oppressors. In other words, “please enter only through the BLAK door”.
So, with Sydney’s own Sodom and Gomorrah at King’s Cross being long-neutered by lockout laws and the diminishing virility of an aging and increasingly puritanical population, and with over 50% of hipsters (readers of Pedestrian media sites) reporting that they were no longer dating during lockdowns, then unless you’re well-endowed enough to span the mandatory 1.5m social distancing radius, the State Government’s Playsafe tips will have to fill the gap in your market until the men in white coats are through with injecting you at some point in 2035. Who needs the ‘One Child Policy’?
In the words of Roz Ward, founder of the SafeSchools Program “Marxism offers both the hope and the strategy needed to create a world where human sexuality, gender and how we relate to our bodies can blossom in extraordinary new and amazing ways that we can only try to imagine today”.
She said Marxism, she meant Covid-19.
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