Single men and women in the Netherlands are being advised to organise a seksbuddy (sex buddy) after criticism of rules dictating that home visitors maintain a 1.5-metre distance from their hosts during the coronavirus lockdown. In a typically open-minded intervention, official guidance from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has been amended to suggest those without a permanent sexual partner come to mutually satisfactory agreements with like-minded individuals. On the advice of scientists at the RIVM, the Netherlands has been on what the government describes as an “intelligent lockdown” since 23 March, allowing up to three visitors into homes on the strict condition that they keep their distance. But the RIVM now concedes that “it makes sense that as a single [person] you also want to have physical contact” while warning that the risks of such intimacy should be managed. “Discuss how best to do this together,” the RIVM suggests. “For example, meet with the same person to have physical or sexual contact (for example, a cuddle buddy or ‘sex buddy’), provided you are free of illness. Make good arrangements with this person about how many other people you both see. The more people you see, the greater the chance of (spreading) the coronavirus.” The RIVM also has advice for those in a relationship with someone infected by coronavirus or in quarantine with suspected symptoms of the disease. “Don’t have sex with your partner if they have been isolated because of (suspected) coronavirus infection,” the RIVM says. “Sex with yourself or with others at a distance is possible (think of telling erotic stories, masturbating together).” In the UK, the government warned at the start of its lockdown that couples who do not cohabit must either not meet at all, or else rapidly move in together. Jenny Harries, the deputy chief medical officer, told reporters that dating couples “should test the strength of their relationship and decide whether one wishes to be permanently resident in another household”. The Dutch institute’s change of mind on the fate of singletons follows the expression of immense frustration in some quarters at the rules for single people. In an opinion piece written in the Het Parool newspaper, Linda Duits, a journalist specialising in gender issues, squarely criticised the RIVM, arguing that sex was a human right. “Proximity and physical contact are not a luxury, they are basic needs,” Duits wrote. “If we have learned anything from the Aids epidemic, it is that not having sex is not an option.” The Dutch government has been easing its lockdown in recent weeks. Hairdressers, nail salons and beauty parlours started work again on Monday and restaurants, bars and cinemas are due to reopen on 1 June.
Dutch Official Advice To Single People: Find A Sex Buddy For Lockdown
May 16, 2020