How Covid-19 has affected hookup culture

Photography by Lisa Helland

Covid-19 has changed the way we look at the world. We used to want to hug and kiss our loved ones, but now we fear we will spread illness. Everything we did in the past has changed, including our sexual lives. Hookup culture has been on the rise, but will it suddenly come to a screeching halt due to the fear of catching Covid-19? Or has the dating game simply changed, and is it for the better?

Tinder was created in 2012 allowing almost an instant connection between people who are attracted to each other. Tinder was the first of many dating apps to be released. It could be considered a good thing because it allows people to meet love interests that they wouldn’t typically meet, but dating apps do have their problems. BBC news looked at Tinder in a skeptical view, “Despite the huge popularity of dating apps — and the millions of success stories worldwide — many users report that some apps make them feel low and experience self-doubt.” Although Tinder can open doors for lovers, it also can leave the single dating app explorers feeling very lonely. 

A Mag asked Steven R., a junior at Kent State, about his experience on Tinder and how it has changed because of the pandemic. 

“Before Covid, I was definitely hooking up with girls a lot more,” he said. “But after, I think everyone got very scared and it is looked down upon to be meeting people during a pandemic.”

“Hookup” is a very broad term, it could be drunkenly making out with someone at a party, or it could entail spending the night and doing the so-called “walk of shame.” Now with Covid-19 on everyone’s minds, hookup culture can be scary. 

The Houston Chronicle has recognized this change in the use of dating apps, “This is not the time to swipe and chat out of boredom. If you do happen to swipe on someone viable during these uncertain times, DeAlto suggests segueing from text-only conversations to phone calls or use virtual conferencing services, like Zoom or other video chat software.” 

The world is not what it used to be, so dating apps cannot be used the same as before. Dating has made a pivotal turn to the virtual world and in order to keep yourself and your partner safe, dating should consist of Facetimes and socially distant meetings. 

“I’ve barely met any girls since Covid-19 started,” Steven said. “Being in the house got me a little lonely, but I am definitely not going to meet a stranger just because of that. I would rather stay in and be safe.”

New York, an epicenter for coronavirus, released a statement about having sex in this uncertain time. Although they cannot regulate sex, they believe the safest partners are yourself or people you currently live with. If people do choose to go out, the New York City health department suggests, “If you do have sex with others outside of your household, have as few partners as possible and pick partners you trust. Talk about COVID-19 risk factors, just as you would discuss PrEP, condoms, and other safer sex topics. Ask them about COVID-19 before you hook up.” 

Asking about Covid-19 exposure with sexual partners is now as important as talking about sexually transmitted diseases with your partner. 

Covid-19 has changed everything about our lives and to stay safe we must talk about it. The hookup game has changed and people must take precautions carefully. To stay safe, A Mag urges you to take the same precautions, if not more. 

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Hi, I’m Maria McGinnis, a senior journalism student from Stow, Ohio. I’m also the editor in chief of A Magazine. My staff and I are committed to bringing you the most important and entertaining news from the realms of fashion, beauty, and culture. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate to A Magazine.

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