If the last thing on your mind right now is sex, that’s okay. But it’s no surprise to us that a lot of people have questions about having sex while dealing with COVID-19. Sex toy sales are on the rise. More people are at home to watch even more porn. So if you’re wondering, “Can I even have sex right now?” you’re definitely not alone.
We asked experts some questions you might have about sex and COVID-19 (we certainly did!). Here’s what they had to say about it.
Can I get coronavirus from having sex?
“COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection in the traditional sense; it has not yet been found to be transmissible through vaginal fluid or semen. Its primary method of transmission is via respiratory droplets from the mouth and nose, so kissing and other close contact could be considered one of the most efficient ways to spread the virus,” explains Dr. Kenneth Fife, a leading infectious disease expert who focuses on sexually transmitted infections and Medical Director for Safe App.
Relationship expert and author, Rajan Dominari, agrees. “Unfortunately, while there’s no simple response to be given because COVID-19 is so new to us. However, what we do know right now is that coronavirus is a respiratory disease, so direct contact with saliva can—and likely will—transmit the virus. With this said, the short answer is yes—you can still have sex—but take precautions.”
What sexual activities are “safest” for people living together?
Remember “safe sex” is a bit of a myth. The best we can hope for — even with a long-term partner — is “safer sex.”
“People living with a partner who haven’t shown any of the known symptoms of those carrying the coronavirus should be okay. But if you’re currently living with someone, and/or sleeping in same bed, it doesn’t really matter whether or not you’re having sex with each other. If one of you has COVID-19, the other will likely be exposed to it,” says Dominari.
Dr. Fife agrees, adding, “Ultimately, no sexual activity is inherently risk-free for contracting the virus.”
Can partners have sex if the other thinks they have coronavirus?
“I would suggest against having sex until the partner in question has been checked out. If you have a partner you don’t live with, you should start thinking about social distancing and skipping sex altogether, and explore different methods of intimacy—like sexting, or mutual masturbation with long-distance sex toys,” advises Dominari.
A sick partner quarantining themselves away is a common practice and may help everyone say healthier. If you have to live separately, and both partners feel up for it, technology can be your friend for intimate and sexual connection during this time.
What precautions should partners take to be safer?
“COVID19 has been found in feces, so anal and oral sex are also risky. Masturbation is less risky, but as always, clean toys and hands with soap and water before and after use,” states Dr. Fife.
Dominari agrees. “If you do plan on having sex with your partner, using condoms and dental dams are going to be your best line of defense against coronavirus during intercourse and oral sex. Thoroughly washing your hands and sex toys for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water will kill the virus on surfaces and skin. Sex toys should always be cleaned after each use.”
Don’t feel bad if you don’t want sex right now, and don’t feel guilty if you can’t stop thinking about all the sex you wish you were having. New York issued safer sex guidelines for the entire state, so you’re definitely not the only person with sex on the brain even in the middle of a pandemic. Ultimately, take precautions and remember that, as always, the safest option is usually masturbation, but no matter what kind of sex you have, wash your hands, clean your sex toys, and listen to your body.
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