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?”

 

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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.
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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.

 

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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.

 

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17 Questions To Ask Your Partner During Quarantine To Fight Off Boredom

If the anxiety stoked by the coronavirus wasn’t stressful enough, you’re probably also dealing with the pesky boredom of quarantine life. At the beginning of the pandemic, more time to read, relax, and be creative probably felt like an unexpected gift. But after awhile, the endless rounds of learning TikTok dances, baking bread, and watching Instagram Lives can start to feel monotonous. A meaningful way to mix up your routine is to reconnect with loved ones — DM old pals, jump on Houseparty with your crew, call your grandma, and spend time asking your partner thoughtful questions during quarantine.

It’s easy to forget that feeling bored during a pandemic is a privilege. Thousands of essential workers are still risking their lives to keep society afloat. So if you find yourself looking for ways to pass the time, try to make the most of it. Depending on your circumstances, you might be hanging out your SO via FaceTime, or you might be quarantining together. Whichever scenario you find yourself in, the following questions can help you get to know each other a little better. They can serve as insightful conversation-starters, and prime opportunities for you and your partner to feel more connected.

1. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

2. What would you do if you won $1,000,000 right now?

3. Do you believe everything happens for a reason?

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4. If you could write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?

5. What’s something you want to do that we’ve never done before?

6. If you could change one thing about your childhood, what would it be?

7. When is the last time you cried?

8. If you could visit anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

9. When did you know you were in love with me?

10. What’s your favorite thing about me?

11. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

12. What’s something that no one else knows about you?

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13. What is the most vulnerable you’ve been in our relationship?

14. What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned from your ex?

15. What are the three things you’d save if your apartment caught on fire?

16. What’s one thing you want to cross off your bucket list as soon as social distancing is over?

17. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Not only can these questions help keep you and your partner engaged during quarantine, but they can also help you get to know each other more intimately and intentionally in the process. Who knows? You might even end up emerging from this crisis a stronger couple than you were before.

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Some Dating App Users Are Listing Their COVID Status, But Experts Are Skeptical

When you download Hinge and begin filling in your location, occupation, and favorite movie quote, should you etch in your immunity level as well? While most dating app users continue to leave theirs unlisted, experts say more and more now include their COVID status in their dating profile, as shelter-at-home orders get extended across the United States.

According to Lily Walford, a relationship coach and founder of the dating company Love With Intelligence, if you were to join a dating app today, you’d probably discover sentences like “am healthy” or “COVID-free” in user bios. And while that information may very well prove helpful, the unfortunate truth is that it’s often listed as a way that further facilitates in-person hookups, rejecting the rules of stay-at-home orders.

Listing your COVID status, Walford says, could actually point to a lack of respect for current restrictions, and a willingness to further spread the virus by matching and meeting up with multiple people. It isn’t malicious, per se, but some folks are having a hard time adhering to these new social norms. And when you’re bored, horny, and lonely, it can be tempting to throw caution to the wind.

I said I would post my test results if I had been exposed, in hopes that it would make me more marketable!

For Maria, 38, a Tinder user, listing her health status is something she’d consider doing in order to match with more people and score more dates. “I was just speaking to a friend about dating amid COVID, and my plans to get an antibody test to determine my exposure,” she tells Bustle. “In jest, I said I would post my test results if I had been exposed, in hopes that it would make me more marketable!”

The problem is, many people can carry the virus without knowing it, or pick it up after testing negative. And that’s why experts agree this trend is not only unhelpful but potentially dangerous. “This virus is so new, and there is the possibility of false positives or negatives, and who knows if new strains may even emerge,” Rachel DeAlto, the chief dating expert at Match, tells Bustle. “For the time being, I don’t think it’s necessary and can potentially be inaccurate.”

It is, however, OK to talk about coronavirus online — you can vent about social distancing, ask how people are holding up, confess any ongoing anxieties, and get to know each other virtually. In fact, talking candidly about COVID-19 can help to normalize testing positive with the virus. According to a spokesperson for Tinder, the app has witnessed an increase in many coronavirus-related terms in users’ bios, including “stay home, be safe,” “how are you,” as well as “social distancing” and “wash your hands.”

A Bumble representative tells Bustle that over 100,000 users have updated their dating profiles to mention that they are self-quarantining. And, in response to social distancing, the platform has created a new video chat option, so that users can go on virtual dates form the safety of their homes — rendering a COVID status shoutout even more unnecessary.

So, should users consider listing their COVID status moving forward?

“I don’t think it needs to be something you see when you pop onto their profile at first, but if you’re talking to someone and are planning [on meeting up after quarantine], you should say something,” Kim, 27, a Hinge user, tells Bustle. “I think more information upfront is better, rather than finding it out after it’s too late.”

DeAlto agrees that sharing your COVID status in your own time can be an important step in a relationship, in the same way that you’d open up about other personal topics. “I do believe in having honest conversations about your health, just not necessarily on a dating profile,” DeAlto says. “This can be a topic of discussion after making a connection and can help build a deeper understanding of one another.”

 

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‘Perfect storm to find, trick and coerce’: Girls at increased risk of being groomed online during coronavirus lockdown

‘Girls are bored, lonely and confused, often living in homes with compromised parenting. All this means it is more likely they will look for validation anywhere,’ says service provider

Girls are at increased risk of being groomed online during the coronavirus emergency as they spend more time online and out of school, experts warned.

Frontline service providers say they are already seeing teenage girls struggling with their mental health due to the upheaval of the Covid-19 crisis and perpetrators could take advantage of this increased vulnerability.

Charities warn lockdown measures create “a perfect storm” for abusers to “find, trick and coerce” young girls into exposing themselves on livestreaming sites — with the footage later distributed on child sex abuse sites.

Susie Hargreaves, chief executive of the Internet Watch Foundation, which removes child abuse imagery from the internet, told The Independent “within seconds” adult perpetrators posing as fellow teenagers or pretend boyfriends will urge victims to take their clothes off, adding that perpetrators use the footage to blackmail girls in the starkest cases.

Ms Hargreaves, who said men approach children as young as 11 online, noted the trend was already a “national crisis” before the coronavirus outbreak but could be further exacerbated.

She said: “A lot of key workers in supermarkets, the NHS and other jobs have to go to work during the coronavirus crisis. They have no choice. If their children are at home, it is impossible for parents to supervise them. Also, parents working from home have to juggle working and parenting. Internet companies have seen people online more.

“Children are all over the house on different devices. It is very, very difficult for parents and carers to supervise them.

“On the one hand, it is essential children are online as that keeps them connected to friends and family, mentally stimulated and entertained, but at the same time, it makes them more vulnerable. Being locked at home is creating a perfect storm for perpetrators to find, trick and coerce these children.”

Ms Hargreaves, who noted that girls were the victims in 92 per cent of all child abuse sexual content they had removed, said her organisation was working with the police and public agencies during the coronavirus emergency to record trends and potential surges.

Jane Kenyon, founder and chief executive of Girls Out Loud, a charity that works with teenage girls, raised concerns about how the closure of schools — most of which shut on 20 March — would impact teenage girls.

Ms Kenyon told The Independent: “Girls are bored, lonely and confused, often living in homes with compromised parenting. All this means it is more likely they will look for validation anywhere and the internet is probably the only place they can find this in isolation, without friends and school activities.  Also when you are bored and lonely you are more vulnerable and probably take more risks.

“As social media becomes their permanent hangout and they become complacent, their version of normal shifts and they overshare, their vulnerabilities show up louder and this allows sex offenders to pick up more in their search criteria.

“We are seeing girls we work with who have mental health issues struggling, with one non-fatal overdose already. But there is also a concern about what we don’t see as the girls are not in school and we are not allowed to continue our one to one work with over 80 per cent of them due to very strict key worker rules put in place by government i.e unless you have a social worker you are not considered vulnerable enough to go into school and meet with any intervention specialists like us. This is heartbreaking for us and them.”

Ms Kenyon said spotting the signs early is “generally the only safeguard” in place but no contact whatsoever makes this impossible. She noted school is a “place of safety” for many of the girls they work with and called for the government to open schools to all the young people “who want and need to” meet key workers and get support.

Jackie Redding, assistant director of operations for young people’s sexual health charity, Brook, said: “Because of the prolonged period at home, abusers have the time to invest in gaining the trust of young people. Naturally, young people may be feeling isolated, lonely and anxious and depending on their home circumstances, they may be worried about their family or feeling unsafe and looking for friendship online.”

Earlier this month, the National Crime Agency warned social distancing measures brought in to curb the spread of coronavirus could cause a substantial surge in online sex offenses.

The agency said the UK is home to at least 300,000 paedophiles who constitute a risk to children on the internet or in real life. The figure, which predates Covid-19, was published to draw attention to a potential “spike in online child sex offending during the coronavirus crisis”.

“They face an increased threat from offenders who are also online in greater numbers,” a spokesperson said. “The NCA also knows from online chat that offenders are discussing opportunities to abuse children during the Covid-19 crisis.”

Sarah Green, director of End Violence Against Women, said: “Any sense of lawlessness and police and other statutory services being diverted elsewhere, can drive perpetrators of sexual violence and exploitation to be more confident to offend, both in families and in the broader community.

“There is a serious risk of increased child sexual abuse online, child sexual exploitation of young people who are not in school and unsupervised, and sexual violence against girls by their peers on and offline, during this crisis.”

Experts say the grooming process can take place far more rapidly online than in person and self-generated content has risen exponentially each year since 2014.

In January, it emerged that one third of child sex abuse images are originally posted online by children themselves amid warnings of a rising phenomenon of minors sharing graphic footage for “likes”.

The Internet Watch Foundation took action on more than 37,000 reports that contained self-generated images and videos from the internet that depicted criminal imagery of under 18s between January and November 2019. It previously warned 80 per cent of the sexual selfies it found in its hunt for images of child sexual abuse were of girls aged between 11 and 13.

 

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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.

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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.

 

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Here’s How To Bond With Your Partner While Quarantining Together

The coronavirus outbreak has made life feel troubling and uncertain, and now, more than ever, it’s important to seek out the silver linings. One nice thing about social distancing is that it offers a unique opportunity to bond with the people you love, whether they be friends, family, or your partner. If you’re not sure how to bond with your partner while quarantining together, it really just comes down to turning quantity of time (because, truthfully, it feels like there’s no shortage of time these days) into quality time. And with the heightened emotions most people are experiencing right now, Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women, calls this an ideal time to reinforce your connection.

“Both of you have the same circumstances now and are probably feeling the same way about it. That already bonds you in a way,” Chong tells Elite Daily. “Not to mention that now, your priorities have shifted and work isn’t as important as health and loved ones. Being homebound forces you to make the most of this time, and it’s never been a better time to connect with your partner.”

If you and your partner are holed up together, take this opportunity to grow even closer. Here are some ways the experts suggest you can bond.

Ask Each Other Deep Questions.

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Life gets busy, which can make it hard to slow down and have a deep conversation with your partner. Quarantine means you probably have nothing but time to have the kinds of conversations that lead to closer bonds and a better understanding of one another. Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships, suggests approaching the subject by asking your partner the 36 questions created by Arthur Aron for his experiment in creating closeness in interpersonal relationships (made famous by The New York Times).

“This list is known to help couples fall in love, and you’ll learn more about your partner based on their answers. In short, it’s a bonding exercise. To make it more interesting, take turns asking the questions,” she tells Elite Daily.

Have Fun In The Kitchen Together.

Being in quarantine puts a damper on dining out, so embrace cooking at home by creating a meal together or baking a treat to share, suggests Chong. “[It] can be a lot of fun, especially if it’s a recipe you haven’t tried before,” she says. “Decorating the cookies might just allow you to unleash your creative sides together, not to mention all the licking of cookie dough!”

Play Together.

When times are frightening or stressful like they are now, having fun with your partner is not only good for your emotional well being, but a great way to reinforce your bond. Chong’s advice is to play games together. “Any game, from a classic deck of cards to Xbox, will do, as long as it evokes laughter and competition,” says Chong.

Exercise Together.

JGalione/E+/Getty Images

If you want to feel closer to your partner, Spira suggests getting your endorphins flowing with a workout for two. “Just because you’re housebound, that doesn’t mean you should stop working out,” she says. “Climb up and down the stairs together if you’re in a multi-story property, set up a make-shift gym, join an online workout class, and put it on your calendar to stream daily together.” If it’s possible to go outside, she suggests taking advantage of that, safely. “Take a walk to get some fresh air, while maintaining the proper distance and wearing rubber gloves,” she says.

Meditate Together.

“Taking care of your mind, body, and spirit is crucial now, especially with the news cycle reporting additional cases of COVID-19 daily,” says Spira. Consider meditation as a way to bond and release tension. “Use Amazon’s Alexa Skills to request a meditation that you can do together, or download the Calm app on your mobile phone, where there’s an abundance of meditations to add to your daily schedule.”

Being under quarantine is certainly far from an ideal situation, but at least by putting some focus and energy into your connection with your partner, you’re taking a challenging time and turning it into a win that can last long past the social distancing order is lifted.

 

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If You’re Not Quarantining Together With Your Partner, You Shouldn’t See Each Other

When people in the United States first began to take the coronavirus outbreak seriously earlier this winter, many public health experts advised staying healthy by regularly washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Within weeks, however, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic, and President Donald Trump declared a national emergency. You probably know it’s best to practice social distancing (avoiding close contact with others in public), but when it comes to seeing a handful of loved ones, the boundaries might feel less clear. If you’re not quarantining with your partner, the idea of avoiding each other’s company for the foreseeable future is probably heartbreaking. But according to health experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), staying apart is the only way to reduce the risk of getting yourselves and others sick.

The virus is primarily transmitted through respiratory droplets, as Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D., a professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University, previously told Elite Daily. Those are the “droplets you make when you breathe and talk and sneeze and cough — but you don’t have to be sneezing and coughing.” These droplets can travel up to 6 feet, which is why the CDC recommends people maintain at least 6 feet of distance from each other, even if you don’t feel sick.

“Eighty percent of the infections are mild, you wouldn’t even seek medical help, you wouldn’t know to quarantine yourself,” Racaniello said, “so that is a problem and that’s what’s driving the spread of this virus.”

Shot of illness young woman coughing in the street.
Shutterstock

Even if you have no symptoms (which include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath), you could still be putting others at risk of getting sick. “There is good evidence to suggest that people with no symptoms can transmit the virus,” Karen Levy, Ph.D., MPH, an environmental microbiologist and epidemiologist and associate professor of environmental health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, previously told Elite Daily. “And in fact, that they might be the most infectious in the period before symptoms appear.”

There’s no vaccine for the coronavirus yet, so “social distancing, quarantining, and isolating people are the only measures against the virus we have,” Peter Palese, Ph.D., chair of the Microbiology Department at Mt Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, previously explained.

In order to keep yourself and others safe, you should stay at home and avoid non-essential contact with people outside your household. Unfortunately, that means unless you live with your partner, it’s safest to stay apart for now. While that can be a devastating prospect, know you’re certainly not alone.

Daniela, 22, tells Elite Daily she and her boyfriend aren’t seeing each other in-person while in quarantine because they care about public health. “Since we would have to travel to see each other, there would be too many unknown variables between point A and point B,” she explains, adding she doesn’t want to risk driving or taking a train. “Even if we just left our houses to see each other, we would have to account for each person we were in contact with and each person they were in contact with. So for the time being, we’re sticking to FaceTime and texting.”

For the foreseeable future, stay close with your significant other through FaceTime dates and get crafty with your sexting game. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and eventually, you’ll be back together with the one you love.

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.

 

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Keep having that quarantine sex — you can’t get coronavirus from it.

Let’s be real: We know many of you have been knocking the boots, even though you’re supposed to be social distancing. Truth be told, there isn’t much else to do. And when in quarantine …

TMZ recently spoke with alternative health advocate Dr. Mehmet Oz on the unusually empty streets of New York City and asked him what couples should do if they are cooped up due to the coronavirus?

His response? Sex.

 

“The best solution if you’re holed up with your significant other in quarantine is have sex,” he said. “You’ll live longer, you’ll get rid of the tension … maybe you’ll make some babies. It’s certainly better than staring at each other and getting on each other’s nerves.”

Chicago experts agreed, so long as your partner is living with you, and neither of you are exhibiting symptoms. Dr. Lauren Streicher, founder and medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Center for Sexual Medicine and Menopause, said even though COVID-19 is a new virus and the information about it changes hour by hour, she has no reason at present to tell people to refrain from sex with people they’re living with.

“What we do know is that the virus is transmitted through saliva and secretions, so as best as we can tell, the biggest danger in terms of sexual activity is just having your face close to the other person’s face,” Streicher said.

There has been no research on whether COVID-19 can be transmitted sexually, she said, and there’s no reason to think that it would be.

 

“When you look at coronaviruses and what we know about them in general, the risk is really about upper respiratory transmission, as opposed to sexual activity,” she said. “If you have someone you’re quarantined with — your spouse, your partner, or whoever — I don’t think there is any problem with having sex because you’re face-to-face all day anyway.”

 

If someone has the virus or has symptoms, they should be quarantined away from everyone else in the home — and not having sex. If that isn’t the case, then “having sex is no worse than sitting across the table from them, as best as we can tell,” said Streicher.

Kissing is likely going to be the highest-risk activity, Streicher said, while oral sex will potentially offer the least risk. “Oral sex is probably the best way to be away from the other person’s face,” she said.

 

But that doesn’t mean compromising the practice of protecting yourself and your sexual partners.

“Safe sex is safe sex,” said Streicher. “It’s far more likely — especially if it’s not your usual partner — that you’re going to get an STI than you’re going to get the virus if you’re not practicing safe sex.”

When it comes to your relationship, extra time together can lend itself well to a more intimate connection, said Jennifer Litner, a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist. It can also soothe those feelings of pandemic panic.

 

“Partners can embrace a sexy staycation, or really slow down some of their busy lives to connect with each other, and that can lend itself nicely to being sexual,” Litner said. “Oxytocin and dopamine really stir orgasms and can boost mood and connection, so that could be a great antidote to some of the anxiety that people are experiencing during this time of uncertainty.”

 

Then again, there is also the risk that too much time together could create a barrier to sexual connection, since novelty — which is “really great” for boosting desire — can be lacking, said Litner, who provides sex therapy and education through her Ravenswood-based Embrace Sexual Wellness center.

 

“Familiarity can actually not be so great for desire and arousal,” she said. “It’s possible, while people have the time to connect, they can get bored rather quickly.

For those of you starting to feel lonely, and getting an itch to reach out to an ex, Litner offers the reminder that you “don’t need a partner to be sexual.”

 

“Self-pleasure is a really wonderful way of connecting with oneself,” she said.

With more sex though, comes more caution. Streicher recommends having a surplus of contraceptives (especially if you’re not trying to have a quarantine baby come December or January).

“If you take birth control pills, get extra packs of months’ worth, because we don’t know what access will be a couple months from now,” she said. “If you’re relying on condoms, which can break, have emergency contraception (ready) just in case.”

 

 

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

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