Eloise Peredruk

Distant Secretopias

Rethinking intimacy in isolation

During times of quarantine and social distancing, we face an unprecedented shift in society that highlights the volatile nature of what makes us social beings. We encounter new challenges in the practicality of togetherness, such as isolated social space and the amplified need of sanitation. 


Intimacy_impression1.jpg - Joris van Ballegooijen

New concepts such as the Serres Séparées dining experience at Mediamatic offer practical solutions to the current distancing measures. When rethinking this new social landscape, we must also consider the impact on sexuality and intimacy. How can design offer unique solutions into sexual intimacy during COVID-19?

Although scientists have confirmed the virus is not sexually transmitted, sexual contact is naturally unhygienic. During sex the body secretes a number of juicy substances. These sweaty, squirting and sometimes gushing bodily fluids are an essential part of sex. Any feelings of disgust are usually consumed by a desire that allows us to relish in all of the body's sweaty and hairy orifices with great enthusiasm. 

However, the exchange of saliva or mucus during sex acts such as kissing, spitting or rimming can indeed lead to the virus being contracted. When wetness is such an important part of sexuality and intimacy, how can we safely get wet? How can we meet our sexual desires in the age of isolation? A fresh inquiry into sexuality, relationships and intimacy is essential. 

The exchange of bodily fluids usually enjoyed with such passion must now be kept under wraps. The current social distancing protocols and separation of at least 1.5 meters makes traditional forms of intimacy a challenge, with sex becoming an almost impossible act. So what does it mean now to be human and a sexual being in the face of something we cannot control or we do not fully understand? Are we headed now towards a mass celibacy, with social distancing dramatically effecting our sex lives? Or perhaps, like the Serres Séparées, we can reimagine the possibilities of sex where secretions keep their distance.