"All of my friends are having quarantine sex ☹," I texted my ex as the coronavirus outbreak began to grow more severe in mid-March.
Honestly, I didn’t know if this was even remotely true, but I was hoping it would strike up a conversation.
“Now I’m all hot and bothered,” I added.
“That makes two of us," he wrote back.
Why am I sexting my ex during the coronavirus pandemic? Two weeks prior, he had passed through where I live in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while on tour with his band. We slept together twice. See, I don’t do well when it comes to dating. I’m brusque, irascible, and generally combative with most interactions, romantic or otherwise. I’d like to blame this on the traumatic brain injury I suffered in 2015, but in truth, I’ve always been this way. It may go without saying, but I’m single — and it’s by choice. It’s not often I encounter people I like or get along with outside of a professional capacity. And even when I do, I’m not the easiest person to be with — hence why my ex is my ex. But we’re friends.
I’m immunocompromised and disabled, which adds some complications to romantic relations in general (even though it shouldn’t), but even more so during a pandemic. To avoid inadvertently lying by omission, I have to explain a lot, and I’m just tired and don’t want to do it. Being disabled is a big part of my identity and undoing people’s preconceived notions of what that means is quite an undertaking. Especially via text.
“If I were there, we wouldn't wear clothes for two weeks," my ex texted.
I laughed at the specificity — the exact time frame initially given for bars (his place of work) to close as mandated by the governor of California (his place of residence and my home state).
“I’m getting pretty sick of this nonsense," he added. "I’m almost tempted to just fly out and stay with you for a couple weeks.”
“I’m tempted to encourage you 😏,” I responded, 100% certain he didn’t mean it.
If he really did that, it would be a bad idea. He'd likely kill me.
A few days later, the college where I teach writing moved to distance learning. My students returned to China and entered mandatory quarantines. The death toll rose exponentially in Italy. More cases of the coronavirus were confirmed near Boston and Cambridge. I set aside the statistics and apocalyptic news I had been combing through and texted my ex, “Whenever you have a free hand, I vote you text me sexual things.”
Three minutes later, my phone lit up. “I can't wait to go down on you. The thought of making your perfect p*ssy soaking wet drives me crazy," he wrote. As I read, another text appeared. “I also can't stop thinking about my hard c*ck in your mouth.”
I’d be lying if I said I was good at talking dirty — or multitasking — but I was pleased with what he was saying and wanted to reciprocate.
“This is very good,” I began, stupidly, as I started to begin taking advantage of the sexual material at hand.
Almost encouragingly, another text came through. “I just started stroking it.”
“I need to be railed,” I wrote back. I laughed — I felt dumb and aroused all at once.
“I'll fill you with my d*ck and c*m on your beautiful porcelain tits.”
What the fuck? I rolled over onto my side. I was having issues stringing words together and this guy was writing perverted poetry. As I tried to think of something clever and seductive to say, another message rolled in.
“Your head is seriously the best I've ever had. I think about it regularly and have to hide my raging hard-on.”
That’s actually kind of sweet, I thought. I managed to reply, “Sorry, I’m bad at multitasking."
“Pic please? I really want to c*m to you.”
Now that I could do. Figuring he’d want an action shot and I was close to finishing anyway, I snapped a selfie at the climactic moment to send him. I’d never really seen my orgasm face before, so I sent it with the caption, “Sorry, I just came and that’s my O-face.”
Realizing this might not be the sexiest of texts to send, I snapped a full-body photo sans face and sent that along, too. A few minutes later, he texted back.
“Your face is really all I needed. I didn’t even make it to the second one, but thank you nonetheless.”
When I went to bed, I realized I felt better. Sexting had taken my mind off of everything going wrong with the United States' healthcare system and government response to the pandemic. I felt calmer, more at ease — at least for that moment.
As the week went on, we kept exchanging flirtatious texts. They helped ease my nerves in between the interviews I was conducting for articles and essays about COVID-19. After a particularly long day full of work, I fired off the message, “I'm too exhausted tonight, but Imma hit you up tomorrow evening for...research... 😏”
About a half hour later, a text message arrived: “I’ll try to have some new material.”