Illustration for article titled Separated by Coronavirus, Long Distance Couples Turn to iAnimal Crossing/i for Intimacy (NSFW)

In a tale as old as time, couples around the world find themselves separated by the ever-present danger of the coronavirus crisis. Individuals stranded abroad, or even self-isolating out of fear of spreading the disease to their loved ones, are unable to meet in person with their significant others. For some, it’s a time for a breather and some needed space. For others, the loss of intimacy is almost too much to bear.

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Jack, a 28 year old web designer living in Chicago, has been unable to meet up with his girlfriend Sarah for the past month due to concerns about coronavirus. Sarah had recently traveled to New York City to visit relatives only to find herself trapped in her aunt’s Brooklyn apartment. “The first week or so, we tried to get our fill of intimacy using FaceTime,” Jack wrote to me via email. But we wanted something...a little closer. And that’s when Animal Crossing came out.”

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the latest entry in Nintendo’s beloved long-running series about daily life with animal neighbors. It was released on March 20th on the Nintendo Switch system and features robust online play options where players can visit each others’ towns and participate in various activities together. Most of these interactions are limited to trading items, fishing, or snapping a couple photos together, but innovative couples like Jack and Sarah are pushing the boundaries.

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“It started when we were lining up Timmy (a vendor NPC in the game) to take a group photo. Sarah tried to change her outfit, but accidentally removed her jeans and was left standing in her underwear. I hadn’t been that turned on in weeks,” Jack explained.

It wasn’t long before things had escalated. “He started sending me letters in the game asking for my peaches,” Sarah told me. “If I sent him peaches from the fruit trees around town, he would send me back pears with a winky face. It was super hot.”

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Each player’s island in New Horizons features a “native” randomly generated fruit. There are five potential options: apples, peaches, pears, oranges, and cherries. If players want the other fruits, they can trade with other players and plant the fruit on their island to grow their own foreign fruit trees. But not every couple has been as lucky as Jack and Sarah.

“I got apples on my island,” reported one Reddit user under the account name RockSlaya42. “My girlfriend had oranges. I had to post ads on Craigslist to get pears and peaches. Frankly, I just couldn’t get horny with fucking apples and oranges. They have nothing to do with each other.”

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My boyfriend and I both got pears on our first try,” replied another Reddit user named Jameston102 further down in the same thread. “It was a match made in heaven. We ran around his town naked and dropping pears everywhere. Afterwards, we went back to his in-game house and slept together in the master bed.”

“To be honest, I was a bit nervous when Jack asked to come over to my Animal Crossing house for the first time,” Sarah said. “I’d seen other people’s houses on Twitter, and it seemed like everyone was much more advanced than I was.”

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“Her house was a literal sex dungeon,” Jack responded when I asked about his and Sarah’s first night together on Animal Crossing. “I walked into her house and she led me into the back room, pulled out that wand item that allows you to change clothes on the fly, and was suddenly dressed in all black leather. She then tied me to a chair and whipped me about a dozen times. Then we made sweet, sweet love.”

“To be honest, I’m surprised by how elaborate the crafting system is,” former president of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime told me over the phone. “When I was still with the company, the alpha build of the game only let you craft like basic furniture and stuff. I don’t remember anyone saying anything about whips. Isn’t this game rated E for Everyone?”

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Not all players satisfy their intimacy needs with real life partners. Justin, an avid fan of the franchise, told me over email that his significant other doesn’t play Animal Crossing and has no interest in animated Nintendo sex. “I’ve started a couple of flirtations with the animal neighbors on my island,” he said. “Once I saw Pierce (a bird character in the game) wearing that sexy bowler hat, I knew I had to make him mine. I started by sending him flowers in the mail, but then it snowballed and long story short I’ve been staying at his house every night for the past week. Do you think this makes me a furry?”

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has delivered what the title promised: a chance to experiment and discover things about yourself that you may have never realized before. For some, that means fishing for hours in an attempt to catch that elusive Stringfish. For others, it means uncovering new sexual fantasies. What new things have you discovered about yourself in Animal Crossing? Let us know in the comments below.

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