NYC has issued guidelines for “Safer Sex and COVID-19“. One of the recommendations is to “Pick larger, more open, and well-ventilated spaces.” So, outdoors, basically. The old standby of yelling “Hey you two, get a room!” is another casualty of the pandemic. They also have a guideline advising we “Make it a little kinky.”
Which is fine for NYC, but it occurs to me that here in Charlotte NC people having kinky outdoor sex may lead to us learning a little more about our neighbors than we wanted to. Not that I’m judging. You do you. I get it. But the Homeowners’ Associations (HOA) of our respective neighborhoods might want to take up the topic of how to deal with this “new normal.”
For example, is it like building a fence – i.e. should we enact a policy that you can only get freaky from the back corner of the house to the rear lot line? Having met many of my neighbors, I’m convinced that in some cases letting them do their thing in the front yard would actually improve property values. I’m also convinced that if you take the whole neighborhood into consideration, a back-yard-only policy would, on average, work to preserve property values, so I recommend we start with that. If people want exceptions made, they can always apply to the board and present their evidence…over an encrypted Zoom session.
Are rights of way and setbacks relevant here? For example, if there’s a utility ROW in the back yard can you and your significant other have your “we time” within those bounds? The building codes do prohibit erecting anything within the ROW, after all. They may have created an unintended hominymic restriction.
Do the normal noise ordinances apply?
Is it reasonable to require people to confine their activities to the deck? That would seem to offer more privacy but such a policy would penalize those with no deck and lead to those who have a deck replacing their profile photo with deck pics just to show off. “Nice deck, Bob! Is that a Pringles can?”
One possible unintended consequence of restricting sex to the deck is to create a rental market from those with no deck or who think their deck is too small. The HOA should anticipate this and any deck restrictions policy should state whether decks can be advertised for rental, for example listings on AirBBC.
The guidelines also suggest wearing a face covering or mask. As these afford a bit of privacy, the HOA might consider upgrading the NYC guideline to a full requirement. That way any accidental encounters will be much less embarrassing.
If the HOA does decide to impose an un-dress code, they might also want to negotiate a discount at some of the online sex shops to help offset the price of said masks. It wouldn’t hurt to favorite or bookmark some neighborhood-approved masks and toys along with an affiliate code so our purchases help refill the treasury.
Do we need to designate certain back yard playground equipment as reserved for adults now? “Hey you kids, don’t use that swing on the right. No, your OTHER right. And stop climbing on the St. Andrews Cross. You get sand in the leather straps.”
For that matter, if a resident wants to erect a St. Andrews cross, stocks, or a whipping post in the back yard do we need a building permit? Or will the standard Dom/Sub contract suffice? (If you are unsure I can provide a copy for review. And possible signing.)
It should be noted here that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the HOA is required to make reasonable accommodations. The St. Andrews Cross, various suspension frames, and restraints in general can all be utilized as assistive devices and should therefore not be restricted by the HOA.
Will there be standardized signalling such as lights or signs to alert passerby of backyard adult activities? And if so, how do we respond if the unintended effect of that signalling is to draw crowds larger then the current reopening regs allow? It’s potentially the Barbara Streisand effect all over again. Only in this scenario, Barbara objects to people posting pics of her having sex in the back yard instead of just objecting to their posting pics of her back yard. (And by “back yard” in this context I mean the grassy area behind the house, not her ass.)
Should there be a neighborhood safeword? If so should it be posted at the entrances as a courtesy to residents and guests? That way people who haven’t ever had to consider that have a ready default if the need arises unexpectedly.
The guidelines suggest using an alcohol-based sanitizer gel. For those who aren’t already doing so, this is where that safeword might be needed. (Those who have secretly been doing this all along no longer need to hide it and can finally come clean!) If we are putting it to a vote, I nominate “Omaha” as ours.
Also, let’s try not to completely twist the English language into submission, OK? The naked guy alone in the tall grass is NOT a weed whacker. That term is still reserved for the power tool of the same name. The naked guy alone in the tall grass is playing whack-a-mole.
I know most of you on the HOA didn’t sign up for this but it seems like the kind of thing that could get out of hand if you do not jump on it early and hard, then put the matter to bed. This is your opportunity to take the reins and lead your neighbors. By example if necessary. I look forward to seeing your responses.
(I said “most” because I’m pretty sure this is EXACTLY why some of you signed up. Congratulations! This is your moment in the sun. Literally.)
For reference, here’s the NYC document (yes, it’s real):