Rosie Green: I’m ready for a summer of love

Frank revelations from our unmissable sex columnist, Rosie Green (@lifesrosie)

I missed the first summer of love (on account of not being born yet in 1967) and the second in 1989 (at 14, I lacked both the means and the mettle to go warehouse raving), but I am damn well not missing the third. Because this summer, after a lovely relationship, I’m single again. And I’m excited because summer 2021 is set to be sizzling. Hotter than Daniel Craig in his Speedos.

Portrait: Louise Samuelsen.

Why? Well there’s all that pent-up energy from being cooped up about to be released. And when lockdown ends singles will be able to date and drink and, er, dally with abandon.

It’s like the lid is about to be lifted, the champagne cork popped… and I, for one, cannot wait.

F Scott Fitzgerald might have written ‘life was beginning all over again with summer’ in The Great Gatsby almost 100 years ago, but it rings especially true in 2021.

In a letter to shareholders the Match group, which owns dating apps such as Hinge, predicted a ‘summer of love’ thanks to the Covid vaccine rollout and easing of restrictions.

And as well as the release from lockdown, we are being set free from the shackles of winter and its short days, cold nights, inclement weather.

We are emerging from ‘cuffing season’. Cuffing season, according to Collins dictionary, is ‘the period of autumn and winter when single people are considered likely to seek settled relationships rather than casual affairs’.

This phenomenon was heightened by Covid – bubble up with a lover to see you through lockdown.

My own relationship journey followed that exact trajectory (although more by chance than some kind of cynical plan of mine). Anyway, I’m now free to meet someone new.

Last year, I gave the summer of love a trial run and had a brilliant time. Hot dates with cool guys. Riverside drinks, terrace cocktails, lazy afternoons on lawns.

What is it about summer that fires up loins? Why does heat and sunshine and long summer nights combine to make you lusty?

My hairdresser Kiki says it’s about the visual cues that are missing under layers of wool and coats in winter. A tight T-shirt hinting at a toned arm. The flexing thigh muscles of a passing runner. For those in long-term relationships you might glance at your partner’s tanned torso with renewed interest.

According to Annabelle Knight, a sex and relationships expert at erotic retailer Lovehoney, ‘Our bodies produce more vitamin D when they are exposed to sunlight and vitamin D increases testosterone levels.’ Which is why it’s known as the sex vitamin.

I know from my friends who were single in lockdown that there was nothing sexy about winter Covid dating. A walk round the park with no touching allowed, a bright red nose and so many layers you are two extra inches wider than usual. No thanks.

I feel lucky I skipped that. Summer makes going on dates a more appealing prospect and I’m not the only one who thinks so. I’ve noticed an uptick in Instagram messages from men enquiring as to my availability.

But will the romantic landscape have changed post-Covid? In the same way we need vaccination passports for holidays, will potential matches start asking whether we are jabbed up before meeting for dates?

Will you have to ask consent for a flirtatious touch on the arm?

Will that first kiss be accompanied by the anxiety that in swapping saliva you might be risking two weeks of headaches and sweats and, worse, isolation?

Instead of worrying about getting an STI us daters will be more concerned about long Covid. Talking of STIs – experts are predicting the post-lockdown sex boom will cause a surge in them. According to Google data, tests for them increased by more than 40 per cent after previous lockdowns.

And it seems likely that the sweet release of (hopefully) 21 June will mean the gloves coming off. Literally.

Statistics show midlifers are far from sensible in these affairs. Am I worried? I think that’s for another column…