Sex Is Dead: Discuss

Sex Is Dead: Discuss

By Eugene S. Robinson


Because nothing kills concupiscence like COVID.

By Eugene S. Robinson

Putting the Glory Into the Hole

EUGENE, SIR: Did you see that public health officials are recommending the use of glory holes? Does this make sense to you? — Holy Moly

Dear Dr. Moly: I did see that public health officials, in response to coronavirus concerns and in an effort to address the fact that come hell or high water humans are going to have sex, are suggesting the use of glory holes. Glory holes, for those who have yet not used them, have not yet had occasion to see them used or had assumed that they were an urban legend, are holes in walls or bathroom partitions through which someone with a penis will place his penis for use by whoever is on the other side.

Now, this is where it gets tricky. While there are peepholes for peeping and spyholes for spying, and glory holes could be considered a subset of said holes, there is only one hole that a penis is placed in. It should be noted that a penis might be placed in all three, but what happens once it’s placed is what determines the nomenclature.

And what happens is sexual contact of some variety. Public health officials are setting this out there as an option on account of them having figured out if there is something sexual that they’ve thought of, probably dozens of others have already thought of it and are acting on it, so better they do it sensibly rather than willy-nilly.

So that’s where that comes from. Does it make sense to me?

Back in the heyday of glory holes, which was not the 18th century, when the first documented mention of a glory hole came up, in a 1707 court case, but the freewheeling late 1970s, pre-AIDS, pre–Al Pacino in Cruising, I formed an opinion about them. Specifically, to never stick my penis into a space or place where it cannot be defended. This, after a possibly apocryphal story about a man who had a knitting needle unceremoniously stabbed through his penis, preventing both his escape and his avoidance of appearing in a sex column 40 years later.

However, if that is your jam and a wall with a hole in it somewhere awaits you, have at it.


EUGENE, SIR: COVID, quarantine, Trump, riots and unemployment are winning. I think sex is dead. My partner thinks it’s him, but it’s more than him. I’m 42 and I’ve had 67 sex partners in my life. I used to enjoy sex, but now it seems crazy and impossible. I’d like to give my partner a date when I won’t feel this way anymore, but I think I will always feel this way. What would you tell him? — Name withheld by request

Dear Nattering Nabob of Negativity: I’ve always been drawn to movements or moments that were so Brobdingnagian, to use a word only used in spelling bees and trivia contests, that very few could ever imagine life after them as a possibility.

World War II was like this. As was the Vietnam War. And civil unrest in the ’60s. All huge, all defying the imagination regarding what might come next. But something did come next. The Korean War, a major recession and assassinations, respectively, but I digress. What came next was us.

We came through all of the Sturm und Drang, specifically because no matter what came next, we kept finding ways, means and spaces to get sexy in, in order to get some sex in.

So try this: Instead of insisting that you two meet the moment by trying to feel/be sexy, just stop trying. Forcing yourself to eat a meal, even a meal you like, makes it much less enjoyable than if you come to it freely.

Add the depression that’s collecting around what seems to be a world out of control, and it seems pretty natural that your libido has taken a hit. Just as natural as the fact that when your depression looks the other way, you might find an old sensation returning.

What to tell your partner until then? That different people have different responses to COVID, quarantine, Trump, riots and unemployment, and yours doesn’t involve sex. But to show that your heart is in the right place, you’ll be glad to give him some sexual release if he doesn’t mind you sobbing through it.

Which is sort of a joke, but every middle road comes with compromises. Good luck.

Clean & Anal Fresh!

EUGENE, SIR: My partner and I enjoy anal sex every now and then, although not always start to finish. We know cleaning up before moving to any other sexual activity is a good idea, but how clean do things need to be? A five-minute bathroom break to wash up, or a quick wipe-down? — We Bet Money on This

Dear Fools & Their Money: Every single source and every single person anywhere at anytime ever who has any opinion to offer on what constitutes “clean” after anal sex falls on the side of “thorough.” Your waiter, when dining out is a thing again, might have enjoyed a little anal sex right before coming to work. If you’d be OK with any other answer than “thorough” about how well he cleaned his hands after enjoying said anal sex, I don’t believe you.

Porn might have you believing otherwise, but sex acts in the movies are edited after they’re filmed, and while washing up before moving on is not the sexiest thing, it does prevent the spread of hepatitis A, E. coli and a variety of other bacterial infections.

I mean, why do you think they call it good clean fun?