“How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach” was a ground-breaking guide to safer-sex written by Richard Berkowitz Michael Callen in 1983, in the early years of the AIDS epidemic. Even though the exact cause of AIDS wasn’t yet known, they had a pretty good idea it was either a virus or some combination of factors including an infectious agent, and with the government and a lot of health experts ignoring the disease because it was mostly fags and junkies dying, they stepped in and spelled out how to minimize the risk of contracting it. Condoms, for example… something gay men used to snicker at.

COVID-19 is different from AIDS, in a whole lot of ways. They’re different kinds of viruses, and they’re impacting our society in very different ways. But one thing they have in common is that they interfere with sex, especially outside of a traditional monogamous-couple relationship. COVID-19 isn’t a “sexually transmitted disease” in the traditional sense, but let’s face it: by the point that you’re fucking, if you have it, you’re transmitting it.

Unlike Berkowitz and Callen, I’m not inventing anything new here. Phone sex is a concept that dates back to the 1980s. But now we have videophones that make it… a little more personal. It isn’t the only way to have sex during the current epidemic. But like the subtitle on the original put it: this is one approach. And it’s one I encourage.

The Baxter Street Home for Wayward Boys has been just me living here for a while now. I’ve been complying with the health orders from That Woman In Michigan since they began. So it’s been… a dry spell. I get it. I grew up wondering if I’d ever be able to have sex (safely) ever. So, please practice the 2020 version of “safer sex” as much as you can.