Now, singles in one European country have been given the bizarre advise to arrange a sex buddy to fulfil “basic needs” during the remainder of the pandemic.
Official guidance from the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands is now encouraging men and women without permanent partners to choose a likeminded individual they can get intimate with in a mutually-beneficial arrangement.
However, they warn that those organising a “seksbuddy” need to be aware of the risks of spreading the virus.
“Discuss how best to do this together,” the RIVM recommend.
“For example, meet with the same person to have physical or sexual contact (for example, a cuddle buddy or ‘sex buddy’), provided you are free of illness.
“Make good arrangements with this person about how many other people you both see. The more people you see, the greater the chance of (spreading) the coronavirus.”
Additionally, they advise against having sex with someone isolated because of suspected infection.
As a substitute, they suggest: “Sex with yourself or with others at a distance is possible (think of telling erotic stories, masturbating together).”
On March 23rd, the Netherlands - who have seen far fewer cases than other countries in Europe such as the UK and Italy - entered what it described as an “intelligent lockdown”, where up to three visitors are allowed into other people’s homes as long as they maintained a 1.5m distance at all times.
The RIVM’s rules effectively made it impossible for those not in the same household to engage in sexual intercourse - something described by critics as a “basic need”.
Writing for Dutch newspaper Het Parool, journalist Linda Duits - who specialises in gender issues - argued that: “Proximity and physical contact are not a luxury, they are basic needs.
“If we have learned anything from the Aids epidemic, it is that not having sex is not an option.”
Restrictions in Australia have also begun to ease as of this weekend with up to five adults now allowed to visit another household, and gatherings of up to 10 people allowed outdoors.
Dr Norman Swan, a journalist and medical professional, had previously said couples who don’t live together could see each other if they are taking all the precautions – and those included no physical touch and keeping at least a 1.5m distance.
“The problem here is you’re not living with them so you’re not quite sure what each other’s doing or who you’ve come in contact with. That’s the problem,” he told ABC’s Coronacast earlier this month.
The Department of Health also offered its views telling News.com.au it was a “matter of common sense”.
“Limiting contact with an intimate partner who shares your home is really only necessary when a person is unwell. Otherwise, continuing good hand hygiene practices in the home is the recommendation,” a spokesman told the publication.
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