COVID-19 is a disease caused by coronavirus, spreads mostly from person-to-person contact through viral particles dispersed through the mouth by coughing, sneezing, laughing, singing or talking. People within about 1.5 metres can be infected if these particles reach their mouth, nose or eyes.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR SEX?
We know the virus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted during close contact. If you’re having sex with someone, you’re going to be in close contact with them. Sex is the very definition of close contact.
Coronavirus itself is not a sexually transmitted disease as far as we know now. However what needs to be taken into account is that during sex there is very close contact between two individuals and the chance of someone contracting the virus from another infected person is almost 100%, specifically due to the possible kissing involved.
What you do with other people’s bodily fluids (including pee, poop, and breastmilk as well as vaginal fluids and semen) on a regular Friday is your business. As long as it’s consensual, we say: you go Glen Coco. But here’s the thing: we don’t actually know yet whether the coronavirus can be transmitted sexually. We do know that other coronaviruses aren’t usually sexually transmitted, but this particular coronavirus (COVID-19) is too new for scientists to know the answer to this question yet.
So because we don’t yet know for sure which bodily fluids can transmit coronavirus (besides mucus and saliva), we’d suggest erring on the side of caution and avoiding contact with whatever you can avoid contact with. Also, condoms and internal condoms are always a good idea since they’re the only forms of birth control that also protects against STIs.
CAN YOU GET COVID-19 BY KISSING SOMEONE?
The CDC reports that the virus is largely transmitted from person to person, usually between people who are within approximately six feet of each other. “Kissing is definitely going to be something you want to be very careful about,” Dr. Shah says. Even if you don’t kiss, it’s possible for respiratory droplets to spread in close quarters. As Dr. Shah explains, “Any type of droplets, whether they be respiratory or saliva, can spread the virus.” Of course, when you have a romantic encounter with someone, it’s pretty likely you’re going to be swapping some spit.
HOW CAN I REDUCE MY RISK DURING SEX?
To reduce your risk, some actions you can consider are:
- Solo sexuality: Masturbation and self pleasure can be safely enjoyed by all of us at any time. Revisit your favourite porn, or peruse for some new and exciting material.
- Online sex: Separated from your partner or sexual networks? Facetime doesn’t have to be *just* for faces. Connect with each other via photo sharing, webchat, or on the apps. You can use Zoom or Skype to help everyone come together without coming together. These are also a great way to help combat social isolation.
Digital safety disclaimer: Always be mindful of what you post online, and keep digital consent mutual.
- Talk dirty to me: Whether its online sex or phone sex, you can heat things up by choosing the right words. If you need some encouragement on how to talk dirty, HuffPost offer some tips with How to talk dirty without being Awkward.
- Skip the sex parties: This is definitely not the ideal time for group sex. The more people you’re in close contact with, the higher your risk of catching the coronavirus.
- Toys, toys, toys: Sex toys can be a great way to add variety if you’re playing solo. Always make sure to keep up good toy hygiene.
- Do the washing up: If you’re having sex with casual partners, good hygiene including hand washing before and after a session is proven to help prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria.
- Buddy up: Have you thought about a buddy system? Reduce your risk by making your sexual network smaller. Team up with a regular partner to keep your sex life humming. Or, if you have a tight knit group, plan to just have sex among each other. Keep each other informed if that changes, or if you feel unwell.
The best thing we can do is to channel our concerns into actions to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. First and foremost, among these actions is regular and thorough hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene. Secondly, keep informed and follow the advice of the local health authorities including any restrictions put in place on travel, movement and gatherings.