5 things to know about sex during COVID-19

Thursday, May 28, 2020 blog Share

With whom can you have sex, and what precautions do you need to take?

Woman with tablet

By now you're (hopefully) aware of the symptoms of COVID-19, also known as  coronavirus, as well as what you can do to avoid getting it and passing it to others: wash those hands, and stay home if you have the privilege of doing so. But what about sex? What does it mean for the transmission of COVID-19? With whom can you have sex, and what precautions do you need to take?  The good news is that it has yet to be found in semen or vaginal fluid, and that it doesn't seem to transmit through sex. The bad news? There's still a lot scientists and health care providers don't know about sex and COVID-19, but fortunately, there are some things we do know.

1. Certain sexual activities can pass COVD-19.

We know coronavirus is transmitted via droplets we can't see, and that means when you cough, sneeze, talk, and breathe, you can give another person the virus and get it, which is you should be wearing a face mask when outside (whether or not you're sick) and keeping a distance of 6 feet between yourself and others. So you can definitely get and transmit COVID-19 by kissing, as well as rimming, since the virus can be transmitted through feces. You can minimize your risk of giving and getting COVID-19 by using condoms and dental dams.

2. Definitely don't have sexual contact with anyone if you aren't feeling well, or if they aren't.

If you or the person(s) you have sex with don't feel great, you might develop symptoms of COVID-19 (or you might not), so you should avoid embarking on any sexual activity. This is even more crucial if you or your partner(s) have a medical condition that can exacerbate COVID-19, like a weakened immune system.

3. Don't have sex with people who don't live in your house.

Limiting the amount of close contact you have with people is key to slowing the spread of COVID-19 and not getting it yourself, so if you can, avoid having sex with those outside your home. If you can't avoid it (i.e. you're a sex worker), consider narrowing the number of people you're having sex with, and/or using other modes, like video chat, for sex.

4. Masturbation is the safest kind of sex you can have right now.

Wash your hands, before and after, though. If you're using sex toys, be sure you clean them, especially if they're shared, since the virus can hang out on some surfaces for up to 72 hours.  And while you're at it, don't forget to sanitize your phone and laptop screens.

5. Make sure you have emergency contraception, as well as other contraceptives, on hand.

Check out our website for information on how to get the Morning After Pill, oral contraceptives, and condoms. You can also order reliable pregnancy tests through Amazon, and Instagram is a great way to find organizations who provide free birth control.