Obviously, 2020 has been an absolutely wild ride so far. But even in a year when headlines routinely outshine the most bizarre imaginations, some things can still manage to be surprising. Such as the various news outlets this month which have been reporting that sex is now largely illegal in the UK. Or, more specifically, sex with people you don’t already live with. So what’s going on here?

Let’s take a closer look.

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The motivation

When you hear about a law like this, your mind might leap to antiquated, prudish, Puritanical motives surrounding sexuality, like how some U.S. states still technically have statues outlawing “sodomy.”

But that’s not what we’re looking at here.

In fact, the sex aspect is sort of incidental; collateral damage taken as a part of trying to repair a larger problem.

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It’s about the virus

Like pretty much the entire world, the UK has implemented lockdown restrictions this year to slow the spread of disease.

The things that are officially off limits by law (for now) are indoor gatherings, which, as Mashable reports, are defined as:

“when two or more people are present together in the same place in order to engage in any form of social interaction with each other, or to undertake any other activity with each other.”

Obviously, if you can’t go over to someone’s house to hang out, you can’t go over to have sex. At least, not without risking a fine.

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Is this new?

Sort of.

The main difference with the legislation that went into effect at the start of June is that before, the “guest” would be in trouble, but now, both/all parties involved could face consequences.

The main gist of the “stay the hell at home” guidelines really haven’t changed much, and in fact have generally loosened as the year has gone on.

Is there any way around this?

There are, of course, various exceptions to the lockdown rules, though certainly none of them are designed to give you an excuse to go get your freak on.

Social gatherings are still allowed in outdoor spaces, though outdoor/public sex is and always has been illegal and would likely get you into a whole lot more trouble than a simple lockdown violation, so no loophole there either.

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What happens to people who break this law?

Not much.

The default fine is £100 (about $123), which for most people is enough to sting but not enough to mess up your life. As with everywhere else, authorities in the UK really do not have the interest in nor the resources for running around punishing every last lockdown violation; the point of the law is get enough people to behave responsibly so that the virus can remain at least relatively under control.

For some, that may mean some more lonely nights.

What do you think of all this?

Let us know in the comments.