The highly contagious novel coronavirus has infected millions of people around the globe. The global pandemic has altered the lives of hundreds of millions as well, whether it be through now working from home or not working at all. Every Canadian province and territory has instituted social distancing measures to help decrease the spread of COVID-19. The result: we are now spending copious amounts of time with very few people—if any at all.
Being cooped up inside your own home doesn’t make sexual urges go away. If you live with an intimate partner, you might even be more inclined to engage in sexual activity. And if you’re lonely, the desire to come into physical contact with someone else will only grow as the months of social distancing wane on. Luckily, no matter which camp you find yourself in, there are ways to have sex safely.
Two american health authorities—the New York City Department of Health and the Government of the District of Columbia (D.C.)—have released their guidelines for healthy sex in the time of COVID-19. The article below explores these guidelines.
Safe sex with a partner
COVID-19, as far as we know, is not a sexually transmitted disease. The virus isn’t spread via sexual fluids associated with vaginal intercourse. However, there is evidence of the virus being present in stool samples of those who have contracted the virus. This raises the potential for transmission of the virus from the anal area to the mouth. The NYC Health guidelines recommend anyone engaging in sexual activities in this area to use dental dams to decrease direct contact.
What is certain is that the coronavirus is most commonly contracted by coming into contact with infected liquid droplets released via sneezing, coughing or breathing. (Read our blog to learn more about how the virus spreads and how you can prevent it.) So while COVID-19 might not be considered an STD per se, coming into close sexual contact with someone puts you at risk of contracting the virus.
You should not engage in sexual activity if you or your partner are exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19. If neither is feeling ill, then sex with your live-in partner can be safe. Make sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap before and after sex, as well as any toys or accesories used. This is very much a case of “better safe than sorry”, so if you’re unsure about becoming intimate with your partner, don’t.
Safe sex alone or with a virtual partner
Both D.C. and NYC guidelines stress the fact that you are your safest sex partner. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, so long as proper handwashing techniques are employed. If toys are part of your masturbation routine, these also must be cleaned thoroughly and diligently. So if sex alone is the safest method, and sex with one live-in partner is the second, where does that leave us?
People should avoid engaging in sexual activity with anyone other than yourself or one healthy, intimate —and ideally live-in—partner. Now is not the time to begin new sexually intimate romances. Unless, you and your partner are okay with foregoing physical contact and pick up your mobile devices instead.
Phone sex is one way to feel the rush of sexual intimacy without being there in-person. Schedule a date with your special someone and create a romantic environment in your own space. Mutually masturbating while hearing the other’s voice can be an erotic and safe way to connect with your partner. Like anything, it might take some practice and getting used to. But once you do, it could very well become part of your normal routine.
Using a video call app can add even more excitement to virtual sex. Apart from the added connection you’ll feel by seeing the other person, the visual aspect of video calling can get you even closer to the experience of physical intimacy than a phone call. Both phone and video sex are as safe as masturbating solo.
Stay informed and stay safe
No matter what kind of activity you decide to get up to during this current health-crisis, pay close attention to the recommendations and information provided by health authorities like Health Canada, the BCCDC, and the World Health Organization. The more we adhere to preventative measures, the quicker we can beat the virus and return to normal.