Flirting In The Time Of Corona: Mastering The Art Of The Digital Affair

Channel your inner U-haul lesbian! For this romance is likely fleeting.

“I have the WORST hangover of all time!” I’ve wailed into my static studio-apartment air, dramatically curled up into fetal position, feeling acutely alone and very, very single, more times than I can count.

“I wish someone was around to get me some goddamn Advil and a slice of CHOCOLATE CAKE from the bodega!” I’ve screamed into my pillow, realizing how much being untethered truly sucks, whilst in the brutal throes of PMS. 

“I’ll take two orders of the baked ziti and two orders of the garlic bread and a large order of mozzarella sticks,” I’ve sweetly purred into the telephone, on a rainy Saturday night, when I plan on simply filling my belly with carbohydrates as I binge-watching 90210, the original cast, strewn across my tattered couch.

“Three forks or four forks?” the voice on the other ends has asked, primly.

“ONE F*CKING FORK!” I’ve snapped, hanging up the phone. For nothing makes you feel more single than a smug hostess asking you how many forks you need.

“Hahahahaha, isn’t Margaret Cho the funniest human ALIVE?” I’ve turned my head and asked a person who wasn’t there. What drives the point of “single” home more than asking a human being what they think of a televised stand-up comedy special when you’re the only human being in the room?

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The point I’m trying to make here is this: Lots of things in this modern, love-obsessed life serve as brutal reminders of how desolate our love-lives are. But I’m not sure anything compares to Covid-19. I mean, single people can’t even traipse on over to their favorite bar and flirt. They can’t really go on dates, either, because every restaurant has (rightfully) shuttered its doors for the time being. And is anyone really in the mood to swap saliva with a stranger right now? We can’t even brush up against each other in the grocery store while stocking up on toilet paper without subjecting ourselves to a full-body sanitization! These precautions are necessary, obviously.

But that’s not to say the lack of human touch is easy. 

It’s hard out there for a single person right now. Just because we’re in the throes of a pandemic doesn’t mean that our bodies aren’t craving affection. That our twisted little brains aren’t desperately longing for a little flirtatious banter. That we aren’t feeling…sexy.

But you know what I always say? When life hands you social distancing you’ve still got to be sexually deviant. You just have to get a little creative, sister.

Which is precisely why I’m here. Your lesbian big sister. I’m wearing black plastic-framed glasses, the kind that can make a person look both slutty and serious (two traits I strongly identify with). And I’m swishing a lovely glass of sauvignon blanc around one of those giant wine glasses, the kind of Olivia Pope guzzles out of on that show Scandal (it’s actually called the “Camille” glass and you can buy one for $13.95 at Crate and Barrel). I have my big sister textbook open wide and I’m reading you a step by step guide, teaching you how to embark in a digital affair during these dark Corona days. Because if you can’t flirt your way through the darkness, you’ll never see the light, honey.

For flirting is the rainbow sprinkles on the strawberry donut of life. And what is a donut, really, without a smattering of rainbow sprinkles?

1. Expand your search outside of your city. 

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Normally I always advise that one only searches for people in the city in which they’re full-time residents. If you’re living in Brooklyn and start chatting someone up — in I don’t know — somewhere far and obscure like Mars or Los Angeles — you’re simply setting yourself up for fantasy projection.

Meaning the distance will create longing and longing is as addictive as cigarettes and sugar (and other illicit drugs I won’t mention because I’m a lady). So in your state of feening,  you’ll convince yourself that this ONE unattainable person must be the love of your life. So you move to across the country for them, only to realize in the car-ride on the way back to their place from the airport, that their smell repels you and the sheer sound of their voice irritates you…and maybe you made this whole thing up inside of your head? Under normal circumstances, I don’t condone this type of affair. I’ve played with long-distance fire too many times and thus, have burned a shit ton of money on plane tickets I could not afford. (Money I could’ve spent on important shit, like Gucci sneakers or the $75 truffled macaroni and cheese at the Waverly Inn!)

But when you’re having an affair in the time of corona, that is strictly digital, it’s okay to expand your horizons! In fact, it might even be safer to date outside of your zip code because this way you won’t be tempted to meet up with them in the middle of a horny night and catch Covid-19 because you innocently slipped into the wrong cab at the wrong time.

This affair is a Covid-19 affair, so it should be two things: short and spicy. Having the additional distance thrown into the already dramatic mix will only make your sexting game hotter. Sexting. Purr. More on that later.

However. If you *do* end up jiving with someone in close proximity, you don’t have to get all dramatic and end the conversation! Just make a vow not to meet up until this mess is under control. It will only make things hotter, anyway. It’s very Rapunzel, only Sapphic, which is the fairytale we’ve all been waiting for, amirite?

2.  Thirst trap or bust. 

I understand that you’re trying to be humble and you don’t want to be one of those cocky assholes that upload the most beautiful, swaggy pictures you’ve ever taken on to your profile — because that would be like, douchey, and you’re not that typical millennial douche-bag, okay? You have depth and shit. You read The Atlantic. 

I get it.

Okay, that was a lie. I don’t get it! It’s hard to get take a picture that captures your true sex appeal, so when you find one, hoe it out, baby! A hot picture is nothing to be ashamed of. Hot people also read The Atlantic. 

Look: your older self will be royally pissed at you for hoarding your hottest pictures during this time of Covid-19.  And you don’t want to piss off your older self– she’s moody enough.

When you’re trying to spark up a digital affair, you have to behave in an affair-like manner. Which means you have to tap into your provocative side. So post that thirst trap on your dating profile right now.

After all, you are thirsty, correct? If you want the water, you’ve got to prove you want the water, kid. For there is only so much water to go around.

3. Don’t play hard to get.

Photo by istock

Look, when you can’t actually meet up with the person you’re flirting with in person — it’s not the time for game playing. I’m actually pro-game playing under normal circumstances, but in these wild times, I’m not. Here’s why: The playing field is leveled out during Covid-19 romance. We’re all deeply afraid. We’re all feeling stir-crazy. We’re all stressed to the max. The usual power dynamics that warrant a little messing with les heads, don’t exist at the moment.

So dive in! Lesbians, this should come naturally to you. For it’s (usually, keyword usually — don’t @ me) in the lesbian genetic makeup to want to text back right away. To feel the unshakeable urge to ask an internet stranger about their childhood dreams and deep dive into your feelings about politics and plants and love at first sight.

And for once, all of this works beautifully in the lesbian favor. Channel your inner U-haul lesbian! For this romance is likely fleeting. Dive in. The water is shallow, you won’t drown this time.

4. Take selfies like a Generation Z Instagram star. 


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Want to know how the affair experts keep it hot? They act like Generation Z influencers. Regardless of their age.

They share pictures of themselves throughout the day with their “affair-ee.” They’ll take a posed, sleepy, effortless-but-not-effortless-at-all selfie and send it to them first thing in the morning. They’ll snap a picture after the gym, when they’re all sweaty and their muscles are bulging a little more than usual and without a second thought, they’ll text it to their digital lover!

They’ll snap a picture clad in their cute PJs, clasping onto their booze-filled mugs, with an expression that reads “look I can be cute too!” And then they’ll take the sexy IN BED one where they’re rocking the braless tank and hamming up the bedroom eyes. This will get your “affair-ee” to do follow suit. Which inevitably, will spark hot little sparks of joy between your thighs whenever you feel sad or hollow.


Don’t be creepy and start sexing the very first night (unless you’re really getting the vibe they want to!). Drop a few subtle sexy hints for the first few days. “Too bad I’m wearing this hot lingerie just for myself!” That sort of pathetic (yet effective) thing.

But definitely start sexting within a week! Sexting is hot, and the point of this whole affair is to warm up your cold limbs. You can really play up your sexiness in a fantastical way that doesn’t exist in a real bed with real sheets and real problems, when you sext.

And here’s the real tea. Most married couples who are quarantined together are not being sexy at all. They’re both working from home, arguing because one person is conference calling too loud and f*cking up the other’s focus who is a writer who needs silence. They’re un-showered and blatantly annoyed with one another because nothing is more annoying than having to WORK (gag) next to your partner, especially in small quarters. So whatever fantasy you have about being loved up IRL, during this mandated time of social distancing, is in actuality, an ugly reality.

My wife and I have really spiraled down a dark hole. We’re arguing about how much peanut butter I’m consuming (she’s not fat-shaming me, just trying to ration, but still) and I’m pissed she’s not helping out at ALL with the dogs. There is no dirty talk, just shit talk.

Consider yourself lucky. You get to indulge in this sexy, glamorous fantasy affair while the rest of us are sexlessly arguing over nut-butter. 




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