The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The future of dating in a global pandemic

Taylor Davies guides SF State students on how to safely date and be intimate with someone in a pandemic
Cameron Lee
Online dating during COVID-19 and tips to stay safe while having fun. (Cameron Lee / GoldenGate Xpress)

When Taylor Ann Davies was inducted into SF State’s staff as a sexual health educator in 2019, she said there was no way she could have known the unique student healthcare needs that would develop over the coming year. Today, she is ensuring that sexual wellness and safety education are adapted to a post-COVID-19 era. 

On Feb. 17, the Education & Referral Organization for Sexuality hosted an event called,  “Sexuality and Dating During COVID-19,” during which Davies guided SF State students in discussions on consent, virtual dating and safe sex. 

“Whether or not people are told not to date, they’re still going to date,” Davies said. “And so the best thing to do with that approach is to respect that as people’s choices, and then just to provide them information and tools available so that they can do it safely for their health, but also the health of others.”

According to Davies, the process of dating in person these days is more complicated. “If you’re going to be meeting in person, it’s still looking for locations that offer outside dining or being well-ventilated places,” Davies said, “and when you’re not eating or drinking, it’s still keeping a mask on and maintaining six feet of distance.”

Davies workshopped with the students to discuss the ways that people can safely date during the pandemic. Some of the participants in the event discussed the virtual activities they used instead of meeting in-person. Those activities included movie streaming, virtual zoom dinners and playing video games online.

One of the main topics of the event was consent. Davies mentioned that consent has always been about more than sexual intimacy, it’s also about the boundaries that are set between family, friends and coworkers.

“Conversations about consent, and what people’s boundaries are, goes beyond just intimacy,” Davies said. “I’m hoping that conversation continues even after the pandemic, because everybody has a right to their body and their choices and the right for people to respect that and to be able to communicate what that is.” [6]

During a pandemic, an added layer of consent is consenting to meet in person, getting tested before and after the date and wearing a mask throughout the date. 

The last thing that Davies touched on was the practice of safe sex during the pandemic. She asked the participants how they had been practicing safe sex. Some of the participants said that they had resorted to sexting, video calls and long distance sex toys that can be controlled through an app. 

Davies encouraged the students to read more about dating and safe sex through the San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines and to visit the Health and Wellness page at SF State where students can learn more about the sexual health and safety resouces at their disposal on campus and online.

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About the Contributor
Cameron Lee is in his last semester at SF State and is looking forward to creating interesting visuals for both the newspaper and magazine. He is a San Francisco native and freelance photographer and is into everything tech, photography, and eighties music. Lee is also an Instant Film fanatic.  

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The future of dating in a global pandemic