Lust in the Time of Plague - OZY | A Modern Media Company

Lust in the Time of Plague


Lust in the Time of Plague

By Eugene S. Robinson


OZY’s Eugene S. Robinson addresses queries from the love-weary in “Sex With Eugene.”

By Eugene S. Robinson

Yeah … But …

EUGENE, SIR: It’s true that if I use Purell on my penis and refrain from kissing that, while it’s risky, it’s not as much of a problem as it would be if I was having sex with someone who was HIV-positive, right? I mean if there are no germs on my penis and my hands are clean and the intercourse is simple, I can pull this off. — CBD

Dear Weed Achiever: You know people always ask me where I get my questions, insinuating that I must be making them up until I patiently explain, as anyone who follows me on Twitter can attest, that periodically, in a search for queries in need of answers, I hit up various cohorts of what constitutes my life: musicians; artists; comedians; New Yorkers; curiously, from my time as a stay-at-home dad a decade ago, mother’s clubs; and mainly, and maybe most significantly in this instance, martial artists and fans of martial artists.

I mention that because this is clearly the latter category of hard cases who figure by some magical application of arcana and carefully chosen chemicals that any obstacles can be overcome. An admirable take in general, but specifically, in the face of COVID-19, very much akin to General Butt Naked, the warlord from Liberia, who maintained that bullets wouldn’t hit or kill him as long as he fought naked.

Now, though Butt Naked has renounced violence and currently pimps his act as Joshua Milton Blahyi, a man of the cloth and a Facebook friend of mine, even he knows that putting Purell on your penis is misguided in the extreme.

From all accounts it’s only partially effective even when used on the hands, those demon tools of germ transference, and unless you have an STD, the likelihood that “germs” of the novel coronavirus variety would show a preference for your penis versus your eyes, nose, mucus membranes and throat is entertaining but wrong.

And conflating it with HIV is wrong since apparently you can get COVID-19 from a sneeze 6 feet away. Not so with HIV.

While in stressful times, times when many of us are housebound and quarantined, it’s nice to think of “Fun Things to Do Around the House,” and if you have a preexisting person to do it with, have at it. But if the thought is to turn your shack into a love shack and invite over a wide variety of strange and the strangers they rode in on? Forget it.

In general, the idea is to limit contact. Purell hand cleaner or not, this might be something worth heeding until further notice.

HPV 4 You + Me

EUGENE, SIR: I got HPV from I don’t know where, but I suspect my present lover who denies being unfaithful. But I got it from somewhere. He is trying to convince me that it’s like a cold, though, and comes and goes. Info online is mixed. Thoughts? — Teena

Dear QuaranTeena: Outside of the constant and continual penile queries, this is my second most regular disease query for reasons that I suspect are noteworthy. Mostly, that the human papillomavirus, or HPV, is relatively asymptomatic. No chancres, spirochetes, or nasty drips or itches one day and you think you’re fine; the next day your doctor is telling you that you have HPV and it could lead to sterility and here’s your bill.

Your doctor is right. But what’s also right? And keep in mind I am no medical professional, and you should always seek the counsel of one of those, what my medical professionals tell me is that your lover is sort of right. HPV is not a death sentence, and it’s not always in perpetuity and indeed it sometimes goes away. I mean I once got the flu. Then I didn’t have the flu. So, who knows what these wacky epidemiologists will come up with next …

And a Palate-Cleansing Penis Question

EUGENE, SIR: What do you believe makes men think the issue with large penises is the length, where frankly, as a woman, I can firmly attest to the fact that girth is a much more pleasurable measure? — Name withheld by request

Dear YES!: I don’t think I’ve ever been as happy to see a penis length-girth-functioning question as I am now, today, at this very moment. Something about a departure from the dire and deadly that makes yet another question about penises, probably my 767th by any liberal measure, seem so welcome.

So thanks for this.

While I dare not question your familiarity around the business end of a penis, I think I can confidently say this: It’s not THAT easy. By which I mean I am quite sure that a penis can be valued for its feel value, but there are also other measures. Like? Like look, taste, smell and functioning. People are complex creatures and to queen it up for one singular measure is fetishistic and therefore not really applicable to people who value the total tool.

And I’m quite sure were you to encounter a girth-ful penis that belonged to an owner that neither washed nor knew the first thing about using their girth-ful penis you’d soon change your opinion. But I understand you and your general comment and commentary. Thanks for that.

To answer your question, though: Because porn is such a driver of what we believe to be sexy and sexually compelling, I have to say it is because of the dearth of this type of penis in porn. But perhaps this just underscores what’s been said by some for a long time, and that’s that porn is not really, honestly, about a woman’s pleasure and to expect it to be so is a fool’s errand.

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