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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

Your Post-COVID Sex Life: What Fun Can Be Had Within University & Government Guidelines?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.


The long summer has rolled into what already feels like a long semester, and with guidance changing by the day, it’s hard to find what is allowed in the vast sea of what’s not. This significant reduction in social contact has taken its toll on many, leading to widespread feelings of loneliness in what is usually a tight-knit town. Perhaps a major part of this is the lack of sexual and emotional intimacy. The typical new-beginnings which come at the start of the academic year have been reduced significantly as a result of Covid-19. No library crushes, no flirting at the Rule, no grinding in 601, and absolutely no one-night stands. The year so far has been, on the whole, very disappointing, and many are confused as to what this new wave of restrictions means for them. You are right to ask the question, “What fun can be had within these guidelines?” And I hate to be the bearer of bad news but, as you probably already guessed, not a lot.

Under Nicola Sturgeon’s recently updated restrictions, you are no longer permitted to meet with other households indoors. This means exclusively outdoor meetings with no more than six people in total. Thankfully, special exceptions have been made for non-cohabiting couples who are not required to social distance. This means you and your partner can carry on seeing each other as frequently as you like, unless of course, you live in university halls of residence.

Following a recent update from Residential Business Services, students living in halls are not permitted to have visitors of any kind. Whether it be friends, family, or even your partner, meetings within the hall are not allowed. While the Scottish Government makes special exceptions for couples, Sarah Pay (Operations Manager for RBS) has explained that this cannot be the case in halls, “due to the size of households and difficulty monitoring this.” As disappointing as this may be, it is understandable why the university does not want to bear the burden of a potential outbreak, especially with households in halls living in such close proximity to one another. If your partner is living in private accommodation you are not required to social distance there, but a blanket ban exists within halls.

While no one would say this situation is overall positive, there are ways you can shift your perspective to get the most out of things. This is a great time to invest in yourself and explore new things you wouldn’t have considered before. Never bought a sex toy? Why not try now! You may feel it’s no substitute for an actual human, but masturbation has many additional benefits, including reducing stress (something which is very much needed in a time of increased pressure and reduced outlets). Possible places to start include Ann Summers and Lovehoney which both have 25 percent student discount using UNiDAYS. Bondara is another affordable site with a range of great deals including toys for £20 and 3 for 2 on essentials. Rest assured all these items come delivered in discreet packaging, so there’s no need to feel embarrassed about ordering to your flat or hall of residence.

Want something with a bit more personal contact? Why not create/renovate your Tinder profile and step up your chat-up line game. It may come to nothing of consequence, but the chances to interact with new people are very limited at the moment, so just have a laugh and see where things go. If Tinder isn’t really your scene, Bumble or Hinge are great alternatives. These apps tend to be somewhat more relationship-oriented for those looking for emotional rather than sexual intimacy.

Whether you’re touch-starved, horny, lonely or frustrated, it’s good to remind yourself that this has to end sometime. But until then, protect yourself, protect others, and just buy the damn vibrator.

Charlotte Luse

St. Andrews '23

Charlotte is a 3rd year English & Psychology student from Glasgow with dual citizenship in the United States. Founding Co-President of EmpowHER St Andrews, she is passionate about fitness, feminism, and lifting other women up. This year she is looking forward to expanding the ways in which she can have a positive impact through her writing.
Alexandra is a fourth year at the University of St Andrews in Scotland studying English and Modern History. She is also the founding president and editor-in-chief for the St Andrews Her Campus chapter, and can usually be found buried in a theatre rehearsing for the next musical, opera, or play. In her spare time, she loves writing creative fiction, traveling, and generally enjoying living in Scotland!