Everywhere I turn people are coughing. It’s flu season again. And trying to date without catching a cold or worse the flu, is posing quite the challenge. My question is how to date without getting sick.
—Date and Dodge
Dear Date and Dodge,
The flu is like a bad Christmas gift that repeats. And I prefer my presents with a receipt. I found someone new to miss a week before Valentine’s Day. I haven’t felt this connected in a while. After meeting on the first night, we drank, we talked we made love. That’s what he called it. Sex on the first date is the first mistake that will sink your potential relationship quicker than the Titanic.
But like any hopeless romantic I go with my gut. And it felt right all night. His dick was like a designer bag individually sized and matched every outfit. The next morning I had breakfast in bed, a simple mix of scrambled eggs and oatmeal with coffee and OJ.
Three days later he caught the flu and he wanted me to buy some things for him, and nurse him back to health. I channeled my inner candy-striper and marched over with my Givenchy doctor’s bag in tow. I went over and collected his money and went to Safeway.
I returned and stayed for three days. And here are the five ways we survived the flu.
1. No Kissing
When in the throes of a new romance, kissing is the catalyst for sex. But when dealing with the flu, those kisses became like Icarus, flying too close to the sun. Being caught between wanting a tan and not bursting into flames left me hot and wet in the bed next to him. How could I fulfill my thirst for passion without making myself sick?
2. Sharing Medicine
You don’t have to be on Married to Medicine to share the pills. Since he was sick, I took Theraflu as a protective barrier. I made sure I washed my hands every 10 minutes. It was exhausting. He coughed, sneezed, and grew hot and cold. The flu was bipolar.
I tried to dodge as much as I could. But the more medicine I took, the sicker I felt.
3. Sweat It Out
Since sex was out the question, we found another way to raise our heart-rates —jogging. I’m not the athletic type. I never understood running around the city like a white girl from the suburbs — who always ended up dead. In fact, on the news was a dead white girl in Central Park wearing yoga pants. “Babe, you’re never going to jog now after hearing that news story,” he said.
But two hours later, I put on his basketball shorts, athletic tank, and running sneakers. I felt like I was in drag, hiding behind a masculine shell of athletic wear. He seemed all for it. He grabbed me by the waist and kissed me before leaving the house. “Damn, you’re turning me on in clothes that can’t fit.” Excuse me? Which proved my theory that most gay men are into men who look and dress like them.
We jogged like twins down Minnesota Ave. And we survived. Running on the warmest day in February felt both romantic and routine.
4. Wash Everything
From sweat to snot, the bed was a bevy of bacteria. To reduce the risk of spreading germs he washed everything. With his old-fashioned washing machine in tow. He spent six hours on three small loads. He would have been better off going to the Laundromat. Instead of following my expert advice (to the uninitiated everything I say is expert advice) he strung together clothing lines through the main hallway of his narrow apartment. I’ve never seen anything like it. I dodged wet t-shirts and towels to refill my teacup.
5. Sex Is Too Sticky
Having sex while sick challenged convention. Giving a blowjob with a running nose was a matter of breathing. But snot is not a lubricant.
We eventually gave in. Kissing and cuddling seemed more important than coughing and sneezing. I caught a cold — the cost of having sex. But straddling him obliterated any concern. I straddled him as he fondled my nipples. I came on his stomach while he was still inside of me. And he did two minutes later.
Well, we covered “in sickness and health.” I can hear those wedding bells ringing. But let’s make it through Black History month first.
One year later and we are still together. And I haven’t had the flu since.
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Got a question? Email your letters at [email protected] His advice column will appear on Wednesday.