Has The Definition Of Cheating Changed With Coronavirus?
Playboy Africa|May 2021
Playboy talks to several couples, singles and clinicians about the heightened emotional and physical fallout of infidelity
Sophie Saint Thomas

On January 20, the first American developed Covid-19 symptoms shortly after returning from Wuhan, China. At the time, the story was a blip in the news cycle, and the great citizens of this country continued swapping spit and gargling cum none the wiser. By March 13, Donald Trump declared a national emergency. Covid became a household name. And on top of worrying about toilet paper and, you know, dying, those households had to figure out how to maintain a healthy sex life when a dystopian future became the present.

Publications and relationship experts began speculating that divorce rates would skyrocket due to couples stuck inside with nothing to do but notice each other’s crotches become hairier and smellier. For many folks, despite the risks of outside human contact, cheating on their significant other was a much-needed outlet. We often become selfish in our efforts to maintain a lust for life. “For the most part, I’ve seen cheating behaviors go up,” says psychologist and sex therapist Holly Richmond. “I think a lot of that is because we lost that external focus of jobs, vacations and business travel.”

Variety is the spice of (your sex) life. It doesn’t mean you have to go full poly, but there’s a valid case for trying new positions, wearing wigs and pretending to be Russian spies, having sex in your kid’s bed, whatever. “We can’t forget that fire needs air,” Richmond says. “To create that resemblance of desire, we need that newness, that novelty that most humans need to feel turned on. That’s really fucking hard to do when you’re stuck in the same room as someone for months on end and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

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