You Can’t Stop Olympic Horniness, You Can Only Hope to Contain It

Tokyo has banned sex at this summer's Games. Good luck.

If the Games happen this summer, the Tokyo Olympics hope to ban sex between athletes.
If the Games happen this summer, the Tokyo Olympics hope to ban sex between athletes.
KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

Listen, the Olympics are essentially a season of Love Island.

Every four years, thousands of people who spend every single day perfecting their bodies, representing just about every race, creed and nationality in the entire world, spend two, no-strings-attached weeks in condensed living quarters. It is such an obvious ecosystem for rampant sexual intercourse it’s a wonder the Games aren’t one big anthropological experiment.

The athletes are there to run, bound, leap and hoop, but they’re also there to, well, do a whole lot of another verb. During the 2000 Olympics, officials needed to order an additional 20,000 condoms, on top of the 70,000 that they’d already provided. Ever since, 100,000 condoms has been standard fare. In 2012, USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo detailed wild sexscapades she witnessed in London’s Olympic Village, and twelve years earlier, American javelin thrower Breaux Greer shocked the nation when he admitted he’d had sex with three women a day during his days in Athens.

That’s all to say, we don’t really know what to make of the recent announcement from Games operators in Tokyo, who are firmly banning any competitors from engaging in “intimate relations.” Sex won’t be allowed this year, in other words, if the Tokyo Olympics actually happen. They’re currently scheduled for July 23 through August 8.

Officials expect athletes to prepare a list of all people they expect to have close contact with while in Japan, carry negative test results into the country, and avoid hugs, high fives and handshakes. They should observe the “three Cs” — no closed spaces, no crowded spaces and no close contact. Instead of supplying condoms this time around, Olympic officials are demanding athletes provide face masks.

How will this go? Impossible to say. World-class athletes have already gotten a taste of what quarantined training might look like. Remember when tennis players were serving balls against the doors of their hotel rooms a few weeks ago? It’s likely that these athletes will be so desperate to compete, they’ll be willing to keep their heads down and follow the rules.

But hey, who knows where the vaccine will get us by late summer? We’re certainly not going to bet against the prolific horniness of the planet’s fittest people.

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