Is Melbourne ready for a #hotvaxsummer when it reopens? “

While some postpone the first dates after lockdown until they have managed to get a hairdresser or beauty deal, Mrs Anton does not shout around.

“God, if they want to look at my regrowth, then they look at the wrong parts – sorry,” she says.

Payman Behraban has started setting dates in bars again.

Payman Behraban has started setting dates in bars again. Credit:Jason Syd

Payman Behraban, 27, is also relieved to be able to take dates to cocktail bars instead of walks in the park.

He has been on a restaurant date since the lockdown was lifted last week and has another next week.

The healthcare professional has witnessed COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit, and the risk of infection weighs on him as he goes out again, but he can feel that there is a tangible mood of hedonism around the city.

“I think people are going crazy this summer because that’s what happened last summer when we came out of the lockdown,” he says.

“They are already – I was on Chapel Street last Friday night and people were dancing, someone was DJing from a balcony, and suddenly a bunch of girls went crazy.”

The Melbourne Sexual Health Center expects an increase in STI presentations in the coming months as people move out – especially after a 70 per cent drop in asymptomatic STI screening in Melbourne during lockdowns.

“[The clinic] gets busier again now, but there is always a delay, ”says center director professor Christopher Fairley. “Like how deaths lag with COVID, sexually transmitted disease presentations lag behind in sexual behavior, so we expect to be busy again in December, January.”

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He urged the public to be tested by their GP or a sexual health service before diving back into casual sex, warning that most STIs showed no symptoms and that there was still a high amount of gonorrhea and syphilis in circulation in Melbourne.

But not all singles are afraid to get in touch with strangers, according to appdata.

Of the 1,029 single Australians aged 18-49 who were surveyed by Bumble in early September, 75 per cent said they felt some form of anxiety about the idea of ​​dating again as lockdowns lifted.

More than half said they would wait longer to have sex with a new partner compared to before the pandemic.

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According to rival app Tinder, 40 percent of Gen Z users members said they would continue to go on “digital dates,” even as when personal dating was allowed.

Associate Professor Christopher Fisher from the Australian Research Center for Sex, Health and Society said there could be more hype on social media about a #hotvaxsummer than what actually happens.

“My feeling is, probably not unlike what the United States found, that we probably want a group of people who have had less sex in the last 18 months, and there may be some stuffy energy coming out over the summer,” he said. .

“[But] you also want other groups [such as couples] where they may have had more sex than usual, and then for them it will probably not be a huge shift or maybe even go down, because now they have other things to do on their social calendar. “

But he says that if a promiscuous summer becomes a reality for some, it can be a good thing for mental health after such long periods of isolation – provided people are safe.

“In one context, I hope we have a ‘hot wax summer’ because the human connection that has had with sex is really important,” he said.

For Mrs Anton, true freedom will be her first steaming pash on a dance floor – provided the place enforces vaccine passes.

“Five a night,” she laughs. “That’s what I need!”

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