The value of a healthy sex life is irrefutable and its benefits are immense. Sex is a great workout and it also helps to ease tension and anxiety in the body. Sex relaxes the body, it causes the brain to release hormones such as endorphins and oxytocin, thereby acting as an immunity booster.
Amongst the lifestyle disruptions created in the wake of the pandemic is social distancing, the practice of purposefully reducing close contact between people. But how can you have safe sex while socially ‘Physical’ distancing yourself during the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 is spread via direct person-to-person contact, especially when people are close (within six feet) to each other. The coronavirus is a respiratory virus and it is expelled in droplets through sneezing or coughing which can be inhaled. Though the risk of contracting coronavirus through sex has not been emphasised because it has not been classified as a sexually transmitted disease, some studies have shown that it can contribute to the spread of the virus.
Masturbation is known as the safest way to have sex because it does not involve physical contact with anybody but yourself. You are your own safest partner especially when you wash your hands and sex toys for at least 20 seconds before and after the sexual activity.
Wearing face mask during sex will help to limit the spread of the virus from heavy breathing, increased perspiration, lying over each other and also if you and your partner have COVID-19 and are not aware of it. It is important to note that the mask should cover your nose and mouth. Wearing a fancy mask such as Catwoman or Batman may not prevent transmission of the virus.
The safest sexual partner is somebody who lives with you and if your partner does not any symptoms then you can continue having consensual sex. But if your partner is having sex with other people who don’t live with you, then the risk of contracting COVID-19 is high.
More than the basic questions you often ask before ‘hooking up’ with the person you connected with over the internet, you need to ask if they have any COVID-19 symptoms or if they have had symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath in the last 14 days? Bear in mind that a person may be infected with coronavirus yet may not have any symptom. According to the NYC-DOH guidelines, people who have recovered from COVID-19 at least 10 days from the day their symptoms started and who have not had a fever for at least three days are likely no longer infectious.
If you have sex with a person you don’t live with here are some steps you can take to lower the risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19:
- Avoid kissing or touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Always take a shower and wash your hands and body thoroughly with soap and water before and after sex.
- If you use sex toys, wash these thoroughly with soap and water and do not share them.
- Limit your physical interactions by lowering the number of your sexual partners generally, and/or at the same time.
- Condoms and dental dams can help to reduce contact with saliva or semen during oral or anal sex.
- Spice it up and be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers such as walls that allow sexual contact while avoiding close face to face contact.