It’s barely April, but if you have a single conversation with another human being, you will invariably both find yourselves agreeing: This summer is going to be so horny!
To be clear, I love that we’re already talking about summer. It is, in my opinion, the best season, and I hear far too much anti-summer rhetoric as someone who lives in New York City. Ninety degrees is good weather, and now that we’re all picturing our freshly vaccinated bodies sweating all over each other for the first time in more than a year, everyone finally agrees with me.
Nonetheless, there’s something that feels slightly stilted about preemptive pronouncements of a “spit-swapping” “slutty summer,” terms various media outlets have used to describe the coming months. (Not to mention brands trying to sell me things.) The New York Post reported on Thursday that “New York singles” are ready and eager to “get it on.” These news stories give me the nagging sense that something that has not yet happened is already overhyped as well as overdetermined: The release of more than a year’s worth of grief, anxiety, and sexual repression (for some) are all riding on this.
Alongside these articles are ones instructing me how to make post-pandemic small talk and “re-learn” basic social skills, which I find to be equally hyperbolic. Most of us have socialized during the pandemic; at the very least we haven’t forgotten how to have a polite conversation with another person. Other outlets have reported that some people aren’t ready to leave quarantine, having learned that they quite enjoy near-complete social isolation and don’t want to return to so-called normalcy.
I suspect that the summer that lies ahead occupies the space between these two poles for most of us—“whoring ‘20s” on some days, “paralyzing existential dread” on others. What I’m saying is, no pressure: Just make sure it’s the best summer you’ve ever had in your life.