Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Steven Ivory: Masks Are Off. Here Comes The Sex

Pandemic Sex - GettyImages_660733732

*At the beginning of a horse race, during that fateful walk to the starting gate, the horses, the jockeys, their crews, all of them, with every step, are getting worked up.

Once placed in that small enclosure, those big, beautiful, bodacious specimens—I’m talking about the horses–fidget and hoof in place, their exhilaration building until that bell rings, the gates suddenly open and they explode onto the track.

That’s the nation right now, as many of us discard our masks and re-enter the world unencumbered.

People are ready to stand closer than six feet to another human in McDonald’s with minimal consequence. They are eager to embrace family and friends; to return, in person, to work. To school.

And people are ready to have sex.

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Post pandemic sex - face-masks (Getty)You can feel in the air this humid, amorous temperament, rife with lascivious anticipation. People are gabbing about how long it’s been since they were held or kissed. After more than a year of social distancing, America, to use the distinctive prose of Parliament (the band, not the British political body), is up for the downstroke.

Mind you, during the lockdown, not everyone had to harness sensual ambitions. Couples who quarantined together had one another. And there are those souls who simply didn’t see any reason to let a highly contagious, planet-ravaging virus interfere with their sexual pursuits.

But for most of the country, our general de-masking signifies a return to mass shootings, car jackings, random street beatdowns—you know, normal American life. Part of that life includes dating, or at least the appearance of such. And as we all know, quite often, “appearances” lead to sex.

According to my wholly unscientific survey, those most eager to explode out the gates: Young people, especially early 20-somethings, in the midst of exploring newfound carnal knowledge before being rudely interrupted by a pandemic.

Also anxious to get busy are those fifty-is-the-new-thirty types who had counted on 2020 freeing them of the loitering throb of a pre-pandemic break up or divorce.

Crucially, be on the lookout for men and women sixty-five and older. This particularly frisky bunch,  fueled with a new pride instilled by entry preferences at supermarkets and VIP access to the vaccine, now aim to gangster themselves some post-pandemic sex.

To think, back in March, as I sat in a Los Angeles CVS pharmacy waiting to be given the all-clear after receiving my second Moderna vaccine, an (even) older Black gentleman, sitting far less than the suggested six feet away, foresaw this impending sex wave. By the way, forget Twitter—‘Hood Barbershop Philosophy (HBP) will never, ever let you down.

“See, right now, draws is hot,”  said the man, authoritatively.  An Ebonics-tempered colloquial for women’s panties lent a lusty glaze to his solemn declaration. “The vaccine only gon’ make them draws even hotter.”  As I said, regarding HBP—never. Ever.

Today, sales of condoms and other contraceptives, waning during the pandemic, are surging, along with things like teeth whitener and deodorant. As humanity again indulges in the thing that makes us feel most human, could our post-pandemic horniness lead to a global sexual tsunami?

Instead of 1967’s fabled Summer of Love, imagine 2021’s Summer of Sex: A segment of society,    decent from the waist up (below, it’s pandemic Zoom-wear of sweats, yoga pants, mis-matched socks, underwear or perhaps nothing), takes flight from the emotional scars of a pandemic in such a desperate, reckless manner that it creates a sub-culture of embittered, broken-hearted sex zombies.  The C.D.C. could end up commissioning a different kind of vaccine. J. Crew might be involved.

However, before I convince you of the hedonistic deluge to come (I resisted the crass indecency of spelling that differently), ask yourself just how such an event could happen. I mean, people weren’t getting any before Covid-19. They complained how difficult it is to meet somebody. Moreover, how will we conquer the creepy circumspection regarding who’s vaccinated and who isn’t?

Keep all these things in mind as we venture back into a world that, if not always so Brave and definitely not New, feels cautiously optimistic.  It’s a start.

And remember: Them draws is hot. Beware or rejoice, accordingly.

Steven Ivory
Steven Ivory

Steven Ivory, journalist, essayist and author, writes about popular culture for magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and the Internet. Reach him at




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