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BALLARO: Sexual satisfaction is still possible

Sex is a basic human need. Period. Anyone in Psych 101 can tell you that on the first level of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, physiological needs, sex is a definitive part of the human experience. We knew this in the 40s and we know this now. 

In the countless social media posts I have seen about going “stir-crazy,” I think a lot of us are really going “sex-crazy."

I cut back to memories of middle school teachers attempting to scare me and my peers away from having sex. After so many blurred VHS tapes of afterbirth and PowerPoint slides of genital warts, I was unphased. While adolescents are taught so much about the dangers of sex, I think they really should be educated about the myriad of benefits.

I am talking about meeting for amorous congress, making whoopie, knowing, in the biblical sense, sex.   

There are so many benefits that come with sex: improved immune system, lower systolic blood pressure, burning calories, better sleep, headache reduction, decreased risk of heart attack, stroke and prostate cancer. 

On top of that, the social and psychological benefits of sex: the miracle of life and starting families, self-actualization, improved confidence, strengthening relationships both romantic and platonic, stress relief and living a satisfying life.

None of this is to say one cannot have a fulfilling life without sex nor does anyone need to have sex if they do not wish to.

I am writing this though, because for those of us who do want to “do it,” stir-crazy might be a bit of an understatement right now. In fact, there is nothing crazy about wanting to fulfill a basic need of living. Sex is no different than food, water, warmth or breathing. If anything, the denial of this fundamental aspect of living truly is “crazy."

Thinking about all of these things, it made me ask the question: How does one have sex during a pandemic?

There is no getting around it: You cannot have in-person sex with someone without the danger of transmitting the very thing we are trying to prevent during social distancing. 

Let me be unequivocal: You cannot go see your hometown friends-with-benefits for coffee. You cannot run out for a quickie behind your local grocery store. 

It is just not possible to do these things without endangering every grandparent, every little cousin with asthma, every immunocompromised friend with one lung or every other person who chose to make a sacrifice to keep the world spinning one more day.

This brings me to my small contribution for keeping us all sane. Phone sex. Zoom sex.

Before you go clicking off this page, hear me out.

Here are some benefits of phone sex: 

You do not have to worry about smelling weird.

You do not need to spray your bed to pretend you wash the sheets.

You do not need to do a full face of makeup your partner will not notice anyway.

You do not need to pay for an Uber.

You do not need to take out the trash your roommate was supposed to do three weeks ago.

And I do not think ever in human history has someone achieved pregnancy through phone sex short of immaculate conception.

Some might ask how does one have phone sex? I say, with a lot of hard thinking. It is not just dialing a hotline. That said, your opportunities for what phone sex means to you are only limited by your own creativity.

For advice on having satisfying phone or video chat sex, I highly recommend watching Clinical Sexologist Dr. Lindsey Doe’s YouTube video “How to Have Phone Sex.” 

Anthony Ballaro is a School of Arts and Sciences junior majoring in classics and public health. His column, "Thoughts from the LX," runs on alternate Thursdays.

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