As more of the country takes to social distancing, self-isolation and being extra cautious of germs as concerns about COVID-19, we’re all falling back on different creative ways to fill our time. If the spike in visits to our stories about sex, masturbation and porn here at SheKnows (we see you and love you for it!) plus the stats from Pornhub are any indication, people are embracing closed quarters and getting in touch with their sex lives (both with partners and solo).
If you’re curious about whether it’s safe to have sex while practicing social distancing (hardly easy to engage in most positions from six feet apart), the NYC Health Department released a handy memo with guidelines for safely getting your sex on amidst fears of COVID-19.
Can you have sex?
According to the memo, yes, you can still get laid! But it’s safest to keep your physical sexual relations with people close to you: folks in your household and, of course, yourself.
“You are your safest sex partner” — obsessed with NYC’s guide to sex during corona pic.twitter.com/xuKRzD0Jhw
— Chrissy Rutherford (@chrissyford) March 21, 2020
“Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex,” per the memo. “The next safest partner is someone you live with. Having close contact — including sex — with only a small circle of people helps prevent spreading COVID-19. You should avoid close contact — including sex — with anyone outside your household. If you do have sex with others, have as few partners as possible. If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates. Video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be options for you.”
How can you minimize risk to yourself and your partners?
After assuring that you and your IRL partner are safely in the “people close to you” category, for the time being, there’s a few smart ways outlined in the memo for keeping everyone safe and healthy.
Skip sex if you or your partners are feeling sick.
This feels obvious, but being extra careful of how you and your partner are feeling, the people you might’ve come in contact with and doing what you can to prevent a potentially serious outcome is a must if you want to safely have sex in a pandemic. Be extra mindful if either of you fall into an immunosuppressed category that might put you more at risk if you develop severe symptoms of COVID-19.
Consider the ways germs are passed around (kissing, oral contact with different body parts, etc.)
“Kissing can easily pass COVID-19. Avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts,” per the memo. “Rimming (mouth on anus) might spread COVID-19. Virus in feces may enter your mouth.”
So even if you aren’t normally using barrier methods (which is common for partners who are fluid bonded, trying to conceive, etc.), you might want to stock up on condoms and dental dams (which reduce contact with saliva and feces.)
You might be tired of this advice by now but clean everything.
“Washing up before and after sex is more important than ever,” according to NYC Health. “Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.”
You also want to keep your sex toys clean (always, but especially now — wash them with warm water or according to the directions from the manufacturer) and wipe down screens, keyboards or anything that you might come in contact with that you might use for video chats, sexting or watching porn.
Embrace that “your safest partner” and pick up a new vibrator for yourself from some of Amazon’s finest: