Brand Strategist: COVID-19 Is Fueling a New 'Cybersexual Revolution'

LOS ANGELES — A brand specialist with prominent marketing firm Deutsch penned a column for The Guardian arguing that “quarantine not only encourages, but forces, the prosperity of sexual exploration,” leading to “an uninhibited sexual renaissance” for Generation Z.

In her essay, Ciara Gaffney — a marketing strategist for Gen Z with Deutsch whose accounts have included large mainstream corporations like Taco Bell and Mattel — affirmatively answers The Guardian’s headline question, “Sex During Lockdown: Are We Witnessing a Cybersexual Revolution?”

Generation Z is loosely defined by marketing companies and demographers as people born between the mid-1990s and the early 2010s, succeeding Millennials. Generation Z currently comprises teens and young twentysomethings, is known for being the first generation to be entirely digitally native and is a much-coveted canary-in-the-coal-mine demographic for companies attempting to figure out future branding.

“In the lockdown era,” Gaffney argues, previously controversial “thirst traps and nudes” are not only “making a glorious, unrepentant comeback, but are now a form of emboldened agency in Gen Z’s blossoming sexual liberation.”

“Stratified by distance, Gen Z is similarly tasked with reinventing what sex looks like, in a quarantined world where physical sex is frequently impossible,” Gaffney added. “As ‘Free Love’ shattered the conventions of its time, Gen Z’s sexual renaissance is doing the same for organic sexual connection.

The marketer asks a series of questions that define sex in the COVID-19 era. “Is sending nudes foreplay?” she ponders. “Are thirst traps posted to Instagram ‘close friends’ lists modern courtship? Is mutual masturbation via Zoom sex? What separates the virtual from the real? Why is sexuality by video-screen considered lonely or isolating?”

Gaffney’s conclusion is that, “if anything, we are seeing humanity at its most tender, reaching earnestly through the virtual void to ‘actualize’ contactless sex. Filled with unfiltered longing posted with abandon, Gen Z’s sexual revolution is one that has been reconfigured and reborn for the digital age.”

To read Gaffney’s “Sex During Lockdown: Are We Witnessing a Cybersexual Revolution?” visit The Guardian.

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