Yes, People Are Still Having Affairs in Quarantine

Cheating is a little trickier when you’re on lockdown with your spouse, but where there’s a will there’s a way

“Are you going to have to start having sex with your wife?” is a question I asked a friend about a month ago, after he mentioned that the many lockdowns then just going into effect around the country had put a damper on his regularly scheduled extramarital dalliances.

A serial cheater of at least a decade whose work typically provides a handy excuse for frequent travel and nights away from home, John, a 50-year-old from Boston, had suddenly found himself quarantined with the wife he hadn’t slept with in years, unable to even meet up with a local stripper he’d met online.

“Coronavirus is cock blocking me on multiple fronts,” he told me over text.

But not even a cock block of COVID proportions could necessitate a return to the marriage bed. Instead, John had already resigned himself to a sexless quarantine. “RIP to the next girl I have sex with,” he texted, kindly adding droplets and a crashing wave emoji in case I really wanted to visualize what he was getting at.

While it may be nice to imagine quarantine conditions pushing cheating or distant spouses back together again, Parent Trap-style, the reality may be the exact opposite. As predictions of a looming post-COVID divorce spike suggest, quarantine is likely to challenge many marriages, so it’s hard to believe those already dealing with infidelity will fare much better.

“This is not going to suddenly create better wives and husbands simply because they’re on forced lockdown,” says Paul Keable, Chief Strategy Officer at extramarital dating platform Ashley Madison. In fact, as cheating spouses lose access to the sexual and emotional outlet of an extramarital affair, already strained marriages may only be more likely to see increased tension.

“The reality is, if you were already looking for or involved in an extramarital affair, suddenly being put on lockdown with the individual you’re looking to escape from on some level is not going to be beneficial,” Keable tells InsideHook. “Those issues were already there, and before, you had a number of distractions to avoid thinking about them. Now you don’t have any of those things. So it’s probably going to be worse for a lot of people.”

While quarantine may make it more difficult to connect with an extramarital partner, a recent spike in new Ashley Madison users suggests plenty of people are up for the challenge. According to Keable, the site is averaging over 16,000 new signups per day, up from 15,000 in 2019, and those numbers appear to be rising as quarantine drags on. When I spoke with Keable last week, he told me the platform had seen 17,900 new signups the previous day alone.

Keable compares the current quarantine spike to an increase in user signups Ashley Madison typically sees in the first few weeks of January, after an extended period of time spent home with family over the holidays may have exposed and deepened the fractures that often cause people to begin dating outside their primary relationships. “What’s happening here is that same sort of phenomena writ large,” says Keable, adding that he expects to see site traffic continue to increase “exponentially” as lockdowns persist.

However, as John realized once canceled flights and work-from-home orders made it nearly impossible to arrange an extramarital tryst, quarantine conditions pose some significant challenges for those looking to begin or maintain an affair.

For one thing, hooking up with a stranger isn’t exactly what we might call social distancing, but even if you’re willing to accept the COVID-related risks, trying to arrange a clandestine hookup amid a lockdown is a logistical nightmare. Many hotels are closed, and with work-from-home orders eliminating any pretense of working late, business dinners, company happy hours or work-related travel, a good excuse for leaving the house is hard to come by. Moreover, while most singles or partners separated by quarantine at least have the option of remote sex, sharing close quarters with a primary spouse makes a secret phone or video sex session tough to pull off.

“The lack of privacy makes video calls impossible, so I stick to sexting and emails,” says Rose, a 43-year-old Ashley Madison user from New York currently quarantined with her husband. “Being quarantined with my spouse has made our relationship more tense. He used to travel extensively for work, but now he’s around all the time,” she tells InsideHook.

Like John, Rose, who began using Ashely Madison within five years of her marriage, finds that quarantine conditions haven’t done much to rekindle the flame with her husband. “My spouse and I haven’t been together sexually in a while and quarantine hasn’t changed that,” she says, adding that the only thing that has changed is her “freedom to date and have sex with others.”

While Keable suggests that many people joining Ashley Madison in lockdown may simply be looking for an outlet in the form of a virtual connection, he admits that it often “becomes challenging to maintain a relationship without the possibility of in-person communication.” As John texted me last month, “It’s so hard to maintain relevance in a FWB [friends with benefits] relationship from a distance. My text charm only goes so far.”

Unsurprisingly, then, some people are still taking their extramarital connections offline, quarantine be damned. Rose tells InsideHook she recently met up with a new partner from Ashley Madison in a park for a clandestine date, though she says they’re “being safe.”

“Virtual relationships are all novelty and fantasy, which is great,” she says. “But at some point you want the real thing with face-to-face interaction.”

Meanwhile, John, now over a month into his coronavirus sex cleanse, has also begun to wade back into the extramarital dating pool, though he insists sex is still off the table. Last week, he told me he had plans to meet up with — and remain six feet apart from — a new woman he’d met online, though he’d traded his usual Fort Lauderdale resorts for a more humble destination.

“Literally a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot,” he told me when I asked where the socially distanced tryst was to go down. “She was so down to meet. She didn’t care where.”

“Former NFL cheerleader,” he added. “How can I pass?”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Cam Sites Are Seeing A Spike During Quarantine, But Not Just Because People Are Horny

An influx of new viewers and performers to live adult sites does not mean business is good.

With the majority of humanity now on lockdown in an effort to control the spread of the coronavirus, adult cam sites, which allow viewers to watch and interact with erotic performers in real time, say they’ve seen a massive viewership spike.

Gunner Taylor of Cams.com estimates his site and most others have “seen about a 30 percent increase in traffic.” Max Bennet of Stripchat says growth has only been accelerating in recent days, as lockdowns have expanded in scale and intensity. “We can tell the difference between social distancing and stay-at-home orders” based on regional traffic patterns, he said, with the latter leading to starker traffic increases. “We can see the degree of compliance” with those measures, too.

Bennett and many other cam site operators and performers say there’s more to this boost than simple stir-crazy horniness. They also suspect that the more and longer people are cooped up inside, the higher cam site traffic will likely continue to climb. However, that may not necessarily mean a windfall for performers.

It is easy to see this traffic bump as just another byproduct of “boredom, and masturbating out of boredom,” as the cam performer Rebecca Vanguard puts it. Traditional porn sites like Pornhub have reported traffic spikes in recent weeks too, especially in areas under lockdown.

It’s also easy to write off some new adult traffic as artificially induced. Pornhub and many other sites that deal in traditional porn have been offering temporary free or discounted (premium) memberships to people affected by coronavirus. Many cam sites already allow people to watch cammers for free, in public chatrooms with hundreds or thousands of other viewers. But sites like Cams.com, CamSoda, Stripchat, and xHamsterLive have been offering free tokens, used to tip performers (often to get them to perform a desired act) or pay them to go into private chats, for people creating new accounts while under lockdown.

“Many of us are alone and starved for human attention”

Yet Alex Hawkins of xHamster argues that “many of us are alone and starved for human attention,” and therein lies the true appeal of cam sites for a big chunk of viewers. “It’s quite nice to be able to chat with someone. Even if you are not home alone, it can be quite nice to talk to someone different.” The quest for connection — especially the kind of one-sided and uncomplicated intimacy cam sites often provide — may well explain why Hawkins says that xHamster’s cam platform has seen traffic grow twice as fast as its flagship tube site.

Adult cam shows are often conceptualized as live, interactive porn, offering bespoke and reactive experiences. However cam connoisseurs and researchers have long noted that, while still adult entertainment, camming is distinct from porn because of the emphasis it puts on building relationships between viewers and performers. Sure, some sites focus primarily on nudity and live sex, and Vanguard certainly thinks most of her viewers just want to get off. Most cammers, though, say part of the secret to building large and lucrative followings is to foster a sense of intimate connection with viewers. Even people who visit cams for a quick pornographic fix often find themselves sucked into the more emotional and personal aspects of the sites.

That’s why many cammers spend as much or more time clothed and chatting with viewers as they do getting naked and performing sex acts. It’s why a number of high-earning performers only do non-nude shows. It’s also why many individuals who try to cam fail, argues performer GuiltyCaprice: They simply get naked and act sexy, ignoring the specialized emotional and communicative skill sets and labor that go into crafting a successful cam persona or show.

Taylor points out that cam sites aren’t set up to monitor how viewers interact with performers, beyond how much time they spend in a room and how many tokens they spend. So it is hard to know for sure whether the people flocking to these sites on lockdown are acting out of a sense of isolation and a search for connection, or whether they are just experimenting with new sites and erotic fixes, bopping around the internet aimlessly as many of us are wont to do when trapped at home and bored.

However, there are some indications, in both industry press materials and viewer requests made directly to performers, that the demand for cam-to-cam tools, which allow cammers to see their viewers rather than just their screen names and texts (as is the norm on most sites), has been growing in recent weeks. Some insiders take this as a sign of a thirst for connection, spurred by the isolation of lockdowns, over voyeuristic adult content consumption.

Cammers offer a unique form of connection, which may be especially appealing in times of stress and crisis

Turning to cams for a sense of connection may seem odd when we have access to a myriad of videoconferencing tools that allow us to stay close to our friends and family, or even to date, during lockdowns. Cammers note that they, as a distinct category of sex workers, offer a unique form of connection, though, which may be especially appealing in times of stress and crisis, when people want uncomplicated care and comfort.

“A relationship with a friend is reciprocal,” explains performer Jessica Starling. “You vent to your friend, and it’s expected that your friend can in turn vent to you. The intimacy a sex worker provides is one-way. It is effortless on the part of the client. They just have to pay the sex worker’s fee. The focus is on the client’s experience, the client’s wants and needs.”

“I don’t know about you,” says performer Alex Coal, “but I don’t feel like I can share all my concerns and worries with people in my personal life. You don’t want to overload your loved ones,” especially when they’re stressed, if you’re cooped up with them, or if they may themselves be a point of stress in your life. “Venting to a friend online is much more comfortable.”

A surge of scared viewers looking for undemanding and often one-sided digital contact and comfort may not be great news for cammers, many of whom Hawkins notes are living in lockdown — effectively trapped at work — and coping with stress and fear as well. Sure, Cole notes, some regulars want to check in on their favorite performers, to make sure they are okay. Many also don’t want to talk about the virus, says GuiltyCaprice. They are “looking for an escape” on cams, not to dwell in their fears. Still, performer Lauren Phillips says that a critical mass of her viewers “want to talk about the coronavirus and how it is affecting us all.”

The emotional labor of camming can be draining, and burnout and depression among cammers is common in the best of times. Funnel more anxiety and stress into a performer’s life from the external world and through their chatrooms, and emotional attrition may accelerate or amplify. That’s why Cole warns performers to be especially aware in these times “of their limits in absorbing other people’s distress, and practice self-care,” taking time off if and as they can.

Starling adds while she and other performers who make traditional porn content as well as cam have seen increased sales figures on clip and tube sites, due to discounts and sales geared toward folks stuck at home, there is good reason to doubt that growing cam viewership will translate into new income for cammers. Eyeballs, after all, do not always equal dollars in this industry.

People who are worried about their jobs and finances seem more likely to make use of the ample free content on cam sites and less likely to shell out on paid private shows or tips, GuiltyCaprice says. Lockdowns have also messed with regular viewers’ and spenders’ patterns, says performer Red_Delicious. Trapped at home with other people, and as such usually with less private time, many viewers are now logging on to cam sites for just a few minutes at a time, at irregular or odd hours. These upheavals make it harder for cammers to profit.

Bennet and Taylor actually frame their sites’ free token offers for new cam viewers as stimulus programs, trying to funnel money to cammers who may struggle with the way things are shifting, and to push consumers into spending rather than just viewing free content piecemeal. “We’ve seen from past free token offers that this is a good way to encourage spending,” explains Taylor.

Eyeballs, after all, do not always equal dollars in this industry

A few performers also worry that job insecurity caused by coronavirus lockdowns will lead to a spike in the number of people signing up to cam, potentially creating a glut of performers that may cut into existing cammers’ profits. Escorts, exotic dancers, and traditional porn performers especially have noted in recent weeks that they are losing work to the virus and are considering camming for the first time to make up for it.

(Many legal brothels and strip clubs have closed down in the name of social distancing. Those that remain open have lost clientele and workers to coronavirus fears. Most porn performers are still shooting indie and solo content, but over the past month, most major studios have shut down production in response to the pandemic. These shoots are still vital to many performers’ income or visibility, so long-term studio freezes will still hurt many performers’ bottom lines.)

Off the Record Models, a cam performer agency, says it has seen a 25 percent spike in applications for management and representation since lockdowns began, and many more inquiries about getting into camming. Stripchat has seen a 15 percent increase in new models registering on the platform since the start of the year, adds Bennet, but a nearly 300 percent increase in the number of Italian models signing up in recent days. Just behind Italy on the sign-up chart, US model registrations are up 45 percent.

“I have been avoiding camming during this pandemic,” says Starling, precisely because of the trouble that consumer austerity and a surge of new performers could pose to all performers’ profits. “I’ve heard from many of my colleagues that cam business has been really slow.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Should You Text Your Crush During The Coronavirus Outbreak? Here’s The Truth

So, you’ve found a safe place to practice social distancing. You’ve stocked up on frozen pizzas and called your grandpa to explain how FaceTime works. And then, well… you’ve mostly just been watching Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron’s TikToks and observing your nail polish flake off from washing your hands a million times a day, right? It gets lonely after awhile, and you might be drawn to finding connection in ways you wouldn’t normally: by video-chatting friends you aren’t that close with, watching hours of random influencers’ Instagram Lives, and even texting your crush.

Talking to someone you like might seem silly at first, because it’s not like you should meet up right now. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the virus can spread between people who are in close contact with each other. It’s important to “flatten the curve” by isolating and practicing social distancing and good hygiene in order to ensure that not everyone gets sick with the coronavirus at once. If that were to happen, the healthcare system would be dangerously overwhelmed.

As people are physically farther apart than ever before, it’s important to find virtual ways to come together. That’s exactly why you should shoot your shot: In the absence of normal socializing, a tiny scrap of affection can make a world of difference.

Feel closer to those who are far away by hosting a game night on Zoom.
Shutterstock

If I can get corny for a sec, texting your crush is good for you. In 1988, epidemiologists at the University of Michigan published a landmark study in the journal Science that found social connections improve your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. People who feel connected to others have a stronger immune system and lower levels of depression and anxiety, among a whole host of other benefits. You can absolutely get those perks by cooking with your roommate or calling Mom, but there’s no need to stop there.

Aside from Grey’s Anatomy donating medical supplies to real doctors in need and this video of penguins exploring an aquarium on a “field trip,” there’s a shortage of good news right now. So, take joy where you can get it. Text your crush. Don’t have one? Find a new crush! According to the many push notifications I’ve received this week, activity is up on both Tinder and Bumble.

There’s never been an easier icebreaker in the world. “Hey, how are you holding up?” is no longer boring. It’s kind. Ask them about their family’s health, about their best friend who bags groceries at the supermarket, about how they’re working or studying from home. During these stressful, uncertain times, a thoughtful message goes a long way.

Once you’ve sparked a conversation, swap Netflix recs or recipe ideas. Ask creative questions. Send the link to that penguin video. Maybe things get steamy. Whatever! Almost anything you could say over text will be more exciting than the seventh consecutive episode of The Office they’re currently watching in bed, surrounded by crumbs. The bar is set low and the potential for entertainment is high.

It’s true that you two probably won’t be able to see each other for the foreseeable future. But if the sight of someone’s name bubbling up on your phone screen makes you happy, isn’t that worth something? There are far worse problems right now than being bored or lonely, and this situation won’t last forever. You will get through this — and you don’t have to do it alone.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily’s coverage of coronavirus here.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

5 Things Mentally Strong People Do; Things You Need To Do To Cope With The COVID-19 Pandemic

The global lockdown caused by COVID-19 may seem like a forced vacation to some people. But for many in isolation, the restrictions, fear and uncertainty can make it seem like torture. According to Psychology Today’s report, the stress that people are experiencing during the coronavirus pandemic may lead to negative feelings that will result in anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

(Photo : Pixabay)

How Can You Cope With The Pandemic? Here Are The Things Mentally Strong People Do!

This collective trauma may feel bleak, but it isn’t the first crisis faced by the world. According to the report, research investigations in various crises, such as 9/11, were conducted to show how individuals are coping with the events in both maladaptive and adaptive ways.

Researchers have studied the behavior of mentally strong people, how they think and act through adverse experiences. Here are some suggestions, based on evidence, that may help people not only manage the pandemic, but also decrease the long-term mental effects it may have.

5 things mentally strong people do to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic

1. They accept their feelings as normal.

According to the American Psychological Association, mentally strong people tend to accept their feelings as a normal thing since the pandemic is a time for both personal trauma and collective trauma.

They understand that feelings such as anxiety, fear, anger, and hopelessness are normal because there is too much information to be processed at once during the pandemic.

2. They limit news and media exposure.

The research stated that there are two main predictors of how well a person will cope with a pandemic or crisis. The first is how they feel vulnerable with their own lives before the pandemic even started. The second one is how much news information they consume during the pandemic.

This may lead to PTSD or various trauma. Being exposed to the media 24 hours a day can activate an individual’s “fight or flight” response, which may lead to traumatic stress. Mentally strong people avoid consuming too much media, choose responsible and reliable media or print outlets, and limit their exposure to distressful images or content.

3. They limit social media exposure.

This is also linked to limiting news and media since mentally strong people know that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are unofficial news channels and deliver news based on the people’s preferences and behaviors.

Mentally healthy people tend to avoid using social media platforms for news sources. Or, if they can, consume it carefully and judiciously.

4. They meditate.

Different studies have long revealed that long-term meditators can recover from a traumatic experience or a stressful event better.

The benefits of meditation include reduced stress, less anxiety, decreased depression, increased attention span, and an overall improved emotional well-being.

5. They focus on facts.

According to Marsha Linehan, the Ph.D. creator of Dialectical behaviors Therapy (DBT), people have three states of mind; rational mind, emotional mind, and wise mind.

Being emotional is a natural thing during the pandemic. However, choosing to use the rational mind by listing facts and logical information can decrease unnecessary negative thoughts. Mentally strong people tend to think and discern before accepting any information from any source.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Lockdown Might Lead to a Drop in STI Rates, But It Could Also Spark an Increase in STI Stigma

Fear of coronavirus infection could spark renewed fear of sexually transmitted infections

Bad news: Pandemic lockdowns are putting hookups on hold all over the world. Better news: Pressing pause on hookups might also halt the spread of sexually transmitted infections and give more people a chance to get tested before potentially passing on an infection to a new partner. Worse news: Global panic surrounding the viral coronavirus pandemic could prove as contagious as the virus itself, possibly sparking a regressive resurgence of STI shame and stigma.

Going back to the silver lining for a moment, doctors in the U.K. posit that lockdown conditions could greatly improve the nation’s sexual health, with Dr. John McSorley calling this period of relative sexlessness a “game changer” and urging people to get tested before lockdowns end and everyone returns to their regularly scheduled sleeping around.

“If we could test and treat everybody for their infections now, that would be a game-changer going forward as people slowly move towards normality,” McSorley, a sexual health doctor and president of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, told BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat.

Justin Harbottle, of sexual health testing organization SH:24, echoed McSorley, calling this period of pandemic-imposed abstinence a “once-in-a-lifetime event” for the future of sexual health. “Even at the start of the HIV epidemic, I don’t think you had such a clean-cut period where collectively – as a population – people stopped having sex with new partners,” said Harbottle.

Unfortunately, one thing we definitely did have during the HIV epidemic was plenty of shame, stigma and moral panic surrounding sex, sexually transmitted infections, and the people who contracted (or were presumed likely to contract) them. And as STI anti-stigma activists have pointed out, our current panic surrounding the coronavirus pandemic could cause those attitudes to crop up again.

ella dawson

@brosandprose

Now that we’re all talking about how important it is to get rapid COVID-19 testing to slow down the pandemic…

| ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ |
| When were |
| you last |
| tested for |
| STIs? |
| _______|
(\__/) ||
(•ㅅ•) ||
/ づ

ella dawson

@brosandprose

I’m worried that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to lead to even more ignorant, knee-jerk fear of common viruses like herpes and HPV, and a strengthening of STI stigma in general. People are scared of infection right now and that attitude will ripple.

“I’m worried that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to lead to even more ignorant, knee-jerk fear of common viruses like herpes and HPV, and a strengthening of STI stigma in general,” writer Ella Dawson wrote in a tweet last month. “People are scared of infection right now and that attitude will ripple.”

More recently, Dawson has noted other similarities between flawed responses to the pandemic and misconceptions surrounding sexual health. “The people who are pushing to re-open society because they think the COVID-19 pandemic is exaggerated are the same people who think I’m an immoral disease vector because I have herpes,” Dawson wrote in a Twitter thread Monday. “Some people think they’re not at risk of COVID-19 because they’re too good for it, they’re the exception. They ascribe morality and inherent worth to whether or not they’re at risk of contracting a virus,” she continued, comparing the coronavirus response to an all too common line of thought that casts STIs as a kind of punishment for sexual wrongdoing or inherent moral failure.

“‘I don’t need to wear a mask, I’m not at risk of COVID-19’ is the new ‘I don’t need to wear a condom, the girls I have sex with aren’t dirty sluts,’” Dawson concluded.

ella dawson

@brosandprose

Replying to @brosandprose

It makes sense, honestly. Some people think they’re not at risk of COVID-19 because they’re too good for it, they’re the exception. They ascribe morality and inherent worth to whether or not they’re at risk of contracting a virus.

Guess what, Karen! Viruses don’t discriminate.

ella dawson

@brosandprose

“I don’t need to wear a mask, I’m not at risk of COVID-19” is the new “I don’t need to wear a condom, the girls I have sex with aren’t dirty sluts.”

None of this is to say that the doctors urging people to take this time to prioritize their sexual health are promoting stigma. People should absolutely get tested before hooking up with any new partners post-lockdown (though that’s always the case, lockdown or no lockdown). But as discussions of STIs inevitably get pulled into the coronavirus conversation, it’s important to avoid transposing fears about coronavirus onto other infections, especially those with a history of stigma.

Illness of any kind is never a punishment for wrongdoing, nor is it a reflection of someone’s worth or standing, moral or otherwise.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Breaking Up With Your Partner While Social Distancing Might Be Your Only Option

Adversity has a way of making or breaking relationships, highlighting problems, and pushing couples to their limits. Now, imagine adding the pressure of being unable to walk away from someone while your relationship is under duress, or taking the space you need to think through your conflict. If you’re considering breaking up with your partner while social distancing, isolation may have lead to the realization that you and your SO are not in it for the long-haul. And you’d rather end the relationship than spend one more second listening to each other chew, even if you’re currently stuck together.

Karla, 26, tells phicklephilly that social distancing took her relationship from casual to serious overnight, and it ended up being a dealbreaker. “Everything was great — we were going on day trips and playing board games and meeting each other’s friends,” she says. “Then, all of a sudden, coronavirus anxiety began, and we went from getting to know each other to date.”

After a couple days of cohabitation, I couldn’t stand him.

While self-isolating as a unit sounded like a good idea at first, Karla quickly realized she wasn’t ready for a live-in partner. Instead of enjoying their company, she felt overwhelmed and annoyed, craving privacy. “It was so much so fast,” she says, “and after a couple days of cohabitation, I couldn’t stand him.”

Eventually, she decided to call things off, and the two parted ways. “Had this not happened, we would’ve still been getting to know each other and having our distance while still enjoying each other’s company,” Karla says. “There’s a time and place for everything, and this just came far too soon for such a young relationship.”

Outside of a global pandemic, any number of drastic changes to your everyday routine has the potential to become a relationship stressor — starting a new job, moving to a new place, adjusting to a new schedule. When you’re already negotiating the chaos of an overwhelming shift in your day-to-day life, small problems can feel like big ones.

“As people #flattenthecurve, we may be forced to spend considerably more time with each other,” Danni Zhang, psychologist and managing director of New Vision Psychology, previously told phicklephilly. “It’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to start thinking of getting out of said relationship.” Zhang emphasizes the importance of weighing whether you’re experiencing a dead-end or weathering temporary stress.

“Coronavirus has run the gamut of emotions in our relationship over the last couple of weeks,” Danielle, 33, tells Bustle. She and her husband of five years made it halfway through the second week of social distancing together, before they needed to establish a few quarantine rules in order to keep the peace.

The two made an agreement that, at least once a week, they’d part ways and enjoy a little alone time — relaxing in separate rooms, going for solo walks, and cooking alone for a much-needed respite. “Communicating how we are feeling without judgment has also been very important,” Danielle says. “Even though we are together, having time and space of our own is necessary, and allows that time together to be more valued.”

For couples on edge, Zhang suggests listing out the reasons why you love your partner in order to shift attention away from their habits that have got you on edge. But not all couples feel the investment is worth digging in their heels. Once they got a glimpse into their future together, they were ready to jump ship — even if that only meant moving from the bedroom to the couch.

“I’m fairly certain living together too soon was what pushed us to break up,” Karla says.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Lovers in a dangerous time: Dating during a pandemic comes with baggage

The COVID-19 pandemic might be forcing weeks of physical distancing but it’s also driving many people to seek out emotional closeness during this period of isolation.

Multiple dating apps are reporting surges in membership as singles search for ways to make connections, pursue new relationships without one-on-one visits and in some cases, re-evaluate their personal lives as a whole.

“It really put my head in this space, ‘Gosh, look at you, you need to take your dating life more seriously,'” said Raquel Russell, 26. “In the back of my head, I was like, ‘I don’t want to be stuck in this situation again where I’m isolating by myself.'”

Russell, a content creator, is currently hunkering down with her parents in Halton Hills, Ont. She says soon after quarantining began, she turned to Bumble and other popular online dating sites to fill what was becoming an emotional void — even after swearing off the apps out of frustration just months earlier.

And she’s not alone, even though she says she certainly feels it sometimes.

Bumble Canada, part of the global social networking app, reported a 56 per cent increase in video calls during the week ending March 27 compared to the previous week — after most of North America had implemented strict physical distancing and isolation protocols.

Raquel Russell, Alex Palov and Catherine Aquilina explain what dating is like at a time of physical distancing:

“We’re actually hearing from users that they feel more relaxed when dating right now because the pressure of connecting in person is off,” said Bumble Canada marketing manager Meredith Gillies. “People are being slower and more thoughtful with their dating.”

Bumble has also seen the length of in-app video calls, which resemble Facetime without the need to exchange phone numbers, nearly double since the pandemic began.

“It’s a way of coping with the anxiety, a way of coping with the fear of the unknown,” said Canadian sex and relationship educator Shan Boodram, who hosts Sexology on the new mobile streaming service Quibi. “You realize how much you need people.”

The San Francisco-based dating app Coffee Meets Bagel is reporting similar spikes in usage. Co-founder Dawoon Kang says the company noticed an approximate 40 per cent increase in the U.S. when it came to the use of video dating — something she says was not utilized as much pre-pandemic.

“If you’re on a virtual date, you’re doing it from your home. You can actually see the place the other person is living in. You get to have a conversation about their living space. You get to see their dog,” said Kang. “During a first date, it’s so easy to just fall into the trap of sticking with the small talk.”

Virtual dates in separate living spaces can include cooking a recipe together, having drinks on video chat or pressing play on a movie at the same time.

Sexology host Shan Boodram explains how to virtual date and cope with isolation

Virtual dating has its limits

Toronto-based hairstylist Alex Palov, 22, is experiencing virtual dating first hand.

He met someone just before the rules around physical distancing tightened. So he’s had to rely on video chatting to help push the new relationship forward.

“The conversations start changing and you start maybe knowing more about the person and asking them more personal questions,” said Palov. “You almost just got to wait it out. There’s not much you could do. It’s either that, or you have to break the rules.”

This is really helping you find the people who are willing to stick it out. – Raquel Russell, 26, about dating online during a pandemic

While the average age of users for apps like Coffee Meets Bagel is 29, those in their 30s and 40s carry different responsibilities that make dating difficult at the best of times.

Single mother of two Catherine Aquilina says, once you add in a global pandemic, trying to find a connection that goes beyond a few texts can become near impossible.

“In our age bracket, somebody might be struggling with their job, with having to make mortgage payments, support payments, homeschooling their kids,” said Aquilina, 44. “And dating is probably the last thing on their mind.”

Aquilina says she’s had to put dating on hold because others in her age group aren’t available.

‘Emotional crutch’ or meaningful connection?

For those still putting themselves out there, physical distance can also be beneficial, according to Canadian relationship expert Wendy Walsh.

“People are forced to not get together and move too quickly into the bed,” said Walsh, a psychology professor and host of the L.A radio program, the Dr. Wendy Walsh Show. “They instead are spending time getting to know each other.”

Walsh says pandemic dating can be an “emotional crutch” for some and in those cases, “you might be ghosted by the end of this.” But it can also blossom into real relationships when people are willing to share their vulnerabilities, she said.

Russell said she is looking for that more genuine connection.

“It’s really showing you who’s willing to engage in actual meaningful long-term conversations. Not just, ‘What are you doing? Hi. Goodbye,'” she said. “This is really helping you find the people who are willing to stick it out.”

Having now progressed recently with some matches from texting to voice notes, she says if things get serious enough, she might be willing to take it to the next level of intimacy in these times: The phone call.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Life Before Quarantine – Part 11

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

15 Bumble Bio Ideas To Use During The Coronavirus That’ll Rack Up Matches

No pressure or anything, but what you write in your bio could mean the difference between a right or left swipe. IRL, you can catch someone’s attention with a flirty smile across a packed bar, a witty joke deployed via DM slide, or bold moves on the dance floor. On dating apps, however, you have a limited number of words (and photos) to make that crucial first impression. Dating apps are more crowded than ever these days, so check out these Bumble bio ideas to use during the coronavirus pandemic.

Odds are, you’re spending more time than ever swiping away now that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended social distancing. The key to attracting quality matches, of course, is to put your best foot forward — and a clever bio is a great way to show off your personality and sense of humor.

A warning: Now is not the time to test out your edgiest jokes. Kindness and respect are always welcome on dating apps — so please, steer clear of offensive jokes that make light of people who are sick, out of work, or on the front lines.

This is easier than you might think. Need some inspiration? The following bios are ready to use — all you have to do is hit copy and paste. Whether you’re searching for your soulmate or just a pen pal to casually flirt with, these bios are bound to rack up the matches.

Shutterstock

1. Seeking someone that looks at me the way I look at the last roll of toilet paper RN.

2. Now accepting Venmo payments for our next virtual date: [insert handle here].

3. Current hobbies include: mindlessly looking inside my fridge every 20 minutes, panic-scrolling Twitter, maybe chatting with you?

4. Pros: looks decent in a face mask. Cons: spotty WiFi signal.

5. Using this sitch to work on fulfilling my dream of becoming a TikTok sensation. HBU?

6. Please remember to practice safe sext (washing your hands for at least 20 seconds).

7. Signature scent: Purell.

8. Current theme song: “All By Myself.”

9. I’m just a human, standing 6 feet away from another human, asking them not to move any closer.

10. Looking for my Prince Charmin.

11. Tell me your go-to quarantine snack and we’ll go from there.

12. FYI, I make a mean quarantini.

13. Apparently, what you stock up on says a lot about you. For me, it’s coffee and wine.

14. Major points if you can send me the perfect coronavirus-meets-Tiger King meme.

15. There’s a 50/50 chance I’ll be wearing PJs on the bottom during our next virtual date. Just trying to kick things off on a note of pure honesty.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Don’t Be A “Covidiot”

Really? Really?

Don’t be a covidiot. That’s what we’re calling these folks who have been highlighted by their stupidity during this pandemic. It is insane to me that in this age of information there are still so many dumb people. It’s terrifying.

Educate yourselves, or you’re endangering yourself and others, and probably end up in one of these posts. Don’t be a covidiot!

1.

Emily Annette@EmilyAnnette6

At the grocery. Wearing my mask. Lady behind me, snarky & loud enough to make sure I heard, “don’t guess she realizes that stupid mask won’t do any good.” Me: “Honey, I’m an off duty nurse, I’m wearing it to protect YOU. But, I can take it off if you’d like.” She practically ran.

2. So, viruses can’t move sideways?

corona, virus, stupid people

3. All The Beans At My Local Grocery Store Are Out Except This One

corona, virus, stupid people

4.

Maria@kalltvatten

Someone’s rooftop party is about to get raided.

View image on Twitter

5. Just Your Typical Walmart Shopper

corona, virus, stupid people

6. Someone Tell Snorkel Lady That It Won’t Work

corona, virus, stupid people

7. If You Can’t Smell It, You Can’t Get It

corona, virus, stupid people

8. 5G —> Death = Science

9. This Guy Was Eating His Food Wearing The Same Gloves He’s Been Wearing Since He Walked In

corona, virus, stupid people

10. So, My Work Had A Meeting About The Importance Of Social Distancing Today

corona, virus, stupid people

11.

Ken Webster jr🇺🇸🌎@KenWebsterII

This woman is the Chair of the Congressional Coronavirus taskforce & this is how she wears her medical mask.

View image on Twitter

12. How To Put Your Mask Correctly

13. Social Gathering At St Kilda Beach Today

corona, virus, stupid people

14. How To Protect Yourself From Coronavirus

corona, virus, stupid people

15. To Shield The Face

corona, virus, stupid people

16.

Alex Fuller@boberfly

“Don’t worry those elevator buttons are fully protected from

View image on Twitter

17. I Don’t Think She Knows What “Quarantining” Means

corona, virus, stupid people

18. She’s Wearing A Mesh Bee Keeper Type Helmet. I’m Not Sure She Gets The Point

19. Ladies And Gentlemen, The President Of Our Meatpacking Plant While Talking About The Plant’s Safety Procedures During The Virus

corona, virus, stupid people

20. To Protect Against COVID-19

corona, virus, stupid people

21. It Was Painful Watching This Happen

22. Someone Brought These Bills To The Bank They Tried To Sanitize In The Oven

23. I Don’t Believe This Is Proper Glove-Wearing Protocol

corona, virus, stupid people

24. Wife Said To Wear A Mask In Public Areas?

25. There Was An Attempt To Use A Mask

corona, virus, stupid people

26. He’s A Little Confused But He Got The Spirit

27. Protesters Against Quarantine Back Again At The Ohio Statehouse

corona, virus, stupid people

28. Seen Today In The Atlanta Airport – Babies In Comforter Bags

corona, virus, stupid people

29. Wrong Type Of Napkin

30. A Group Of Friends Still Getting Together And Partying Regardless Of The Quarantine Rules. Obviously Standing Less Than 6 Feet Apart But It’s Okay Because They’re All Wearing Face Masks

31. You Touch 4 Doors Before The Time Clock. This Is How Management Is Protecting And Caring For Us

corona, virus, stupid people

32. My Local Albertsons Trying To Keep The Buttons Clean… I Don’t Think They Get It

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly