The May issue is now available in PDF format, and is downloadable for free by clicking here.

The guidelines for social distancing due to the coronavirus crisis are clear: we cannot approach less than two meters from those people who do not live with us. In a short time, if our province goes to phase 1, there will be a paradox that we can sit on a terrace or meet in a private house with loved ones whom we have not been able to see during all the confinement but, in theory, We will not be able to hug, kiss or hold their hands without risking the virus. After more than fifty days of confinement, can the human being inhibit the instinct to touch himself?

“Contrary to what was thought years ago, that we are competitive and in extreme situations individualism prevails, now we know that we are designed to relate, to seek connection, cooperation and physical and sexual contact, especially in moments of insecurity and life threat ”

Violeta Alcocer, psychologist

“Contrary to what was thought years ago, that we are competitive and in extreme situations individualism prevails, now we know that we are designed to relate, to seek connection, cooperation and physical and sexual contact, especially in moments of insecurity and life threat ”, says the psychologist Violeta Alcocer. As he explains, this connection with others is precisely what calms our nervous system in a moment of danger like this, which is why, from a neurological point of view, we are in a very complicated paradox to resolve. Touching and hugging would relax us, but we cannot. “The most brutal thing is that, in a situation of maximum threat, we are being asked to inhibit the best survival tool that nature has given us,” he warns.

Marcos (fictitious name), is one of those people who decided to skip confinement due to the need to see other people. In her case, she went to friends’ house one afternoon for drinks pretending she was going to the supermarket. “I live alone and it had been a few days very badly. I didn’t feel accompanied by video calls or phone calls, so I decided it was the best thing for my mental health, ”he recalls. Although this 33-year-old dependent tried to maintain social distance as much as possible, he could not help but hug one of his friends and remembers the afternoon as “a little strange” because of the feeling that he was doing something far from the general mandate of # Stay at home. “I know that if everyone did, we would be lost and then I felt like an impostor when I went out on the balcony, but the truth is that he recharged my batteries, I cried and laughed with them, and I felt much better than having played sports or any activity at home. It was balsamic, “he says.

In the case of Elena (fictitious name) it was not difficult to circumvent the rules either because her boyfriend “lived a few blocks”, so they were almost on demand. “I think if I hadn’t, maybe I would be depressed. I was not able to stay home alone, being able to have negative thoughts in my head with what was happening, “she says. This 29-year-old engineer is clear that she does not regret her decision. “Who knows how he could be right now if he hadn’t done it.”

Despite the fact that both she and her boyfriend live alone, so they believe that “we reduced the risk of contagion”, the feelings of guilt did not stop being there during all their furtive outings but, in the end, it was heavier not being able to face such a moment in solitude. “I think whoever has achieved it is very strong and it is understandable that they have surpassed many to do the same as me.” In his case, the need to have sex is not the issue that weighed the most, ” although of course it was something important ”.

Sexologist Ana Lombardía is concerned about “possible emotional deficiencies at a psychological and even physical level” if the situation continues over time and the “emotional hangover and fear when it comes to relating” that may be generated in the future

In fact, sex seems like the bottom rung of the entire de-escalation. In our country, the official guidelines do not make explicit reference to when you can have sexual relations again (or if we cannot have them), but in the United States, districts like Washington DC make it clear on their websites that the only sex we should have During this crisis it is with those people who live with us, as long as they do not show symptoms of illness, and that, in any case, our safest sexual partner is ourselves. But is it realistic that they ask us for this celibacy? “It is controversial, but it is logical. Although I am afraid that many people are going to skip it, especially the single woman ”, affirms sexologist Ana Lombardía.

According to the specialist, since the lack of clarity began, questions have been raised in her consultation and on social networks. They mix the feeling of guilt after having broken the rules succumbing to instincts and a general patina of fear and lack of confidence of many people who, although they had not previously worried excessively about sexually transmitted infections, are already alert before the prospect of meeting new people and the possibility of contagion with the coronavirus.

In his opinion, as corroborated by the success of applications such as Tinder, which have seen his record of swipes (that is, the gesture of saying yes or no to a candidate for their profile picture) during quarantine, most of our new contacts will be virtually. “In the end, sexuality is a very important need for the human being but it is not a primary need, those are eating, drinking and sleeping. Our quality of life may worsen, but from the outset, in the short-medium term, nothing happens to you, ”he says. Yes, they are more concerned with “possible emotional deficiencies at a psychological and even physical level” if the situation continues over time and the “emotional hangover and fear when it comes to relating” that it may generate in the future.

Precisely that is one of the issues that Alcocer also emphasizes: the duration in time of an obviously artificial situation like this and that must be “in the short term”. In his opinion, human beings can adapt to living without comforts, without economic resources, without leisure and without everything that is part of our current lifestyle, but there is something that we cannot renounce: affective relationships. “It is curious how during the course of this crisis the consequences that all this has on our economy, but not on our biology, have been put on the table. From the human point of view, the priority is not money, but to recover the possibility of relating freely. Because, although it sounds corny, love has been and is our guarantee of survival as a species. ”

The May issue is now available in PDF format, and is downloadable for free by clicking here.

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