Given the many questions I have received regarding the coronavirus pandemic and sexual relations, I will summarize what we know about it at the present time and thus try to clarify some doubts, although there are still many questions to be resolved. Also, I will explain a series of basic tips about sexual relationships during this period.
SUMMARY OF MEASURES:
– No kissing during sex.
– The virus can be transmitted through the feces of infected people, so oral-anal sex should be avoided.
– There is no evidence that the virus is present in semen or vaginal fluids.
– Masturbation does not spread COVID-19.
– Do not have sexual contact with people who are not part of your intimate and daily life circle.
– If you are having sex with your partner, try postures that minimize airborne transmission such as back to back postures and wearing masks if appropriate.
– If you tend to have occasional contact with people through online networks, it is better to postpone any physical contact.
– Video chats, online sex, sexting or masturbation are good options.
– Washing your hands before and after sex is more important than ever.
– Avoid relationships if your partner is not feeling well.
– If your partner has a significant illness (lung disease, heart disease, cancer or immune system disease) that could make VID-19 infection worse, abstain from sex.
Below are the most frequently asked questions I have received:
IS COVID-19 SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED?
The virus is spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets of an infected person when they cough, sneeze or talk too closely. These droplets can fall into the mouth or nose of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Kissing is a very common practice during intercourse, and the virus will be transmitted through saliva. Kissing with someone is, of course, the riskiest.
Touching contaminated surfaces is a secondary mode of transmission (Duration of Coronavirus-COVID-19 in aerosols, plastic, stainless steel, copper and cardboard) so hand washing before any sexual intercourse is paramount.
There is no evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted by the vaginal or anal route.
It is not known whether the coronavirus is present in vaginal secretions or semen, so no statement can be made about the safety of sexual activity related to this aspect.
However, there is evidence of oral-fecal transmission of Covid-19 and this implies that any such practice may pose a risk of infection.
SO, CAN YOU HAVE SEX?
If you or your partner have the Covid-19, the advice is to isolate yourself and to extreme hygiene measures with continuous hand washing, not sharing the bathroom or any common material and, logically, not having sex.
For people who have no symptoms, no history of recent exposure, and have been in isolation for 1 week; or who have been tested and know they do not have the coronavirus, sex with precautions can be a very good way to have fun, stay connected and relieve anxiety during this potentially stressful time.
WHAT ABOUT NEW COUPLES?
The recommendation right now is that we only interact with people for things that are essential. If we’ve just met a new partner, it’s important to keep the precautions in place. Perhaps it is better to wait until after this period to have physical contact.
Since sex will decrease over the next few weeks, there are other ways to express eroticism, such as sexting, video calling, sex reading and masturbation, as alternatives to penetrative sex.
HOW CAN SOMEONE KEEP SEX TOYS CLEAN?
Just use soap and water and wash the toys for at least 20 seconds.
IF YOU ARE SINGLE NOW AND DON’T WANT TO WAIT MONTHS BEFORE YOU CAN BE INTIMATE WITH OTHER PEOPLE?
It can be a great opportunity to explore other ways of relating to new sex partners you can meet online through sexting or video calling. There are multiple platforms that allow all kinds of relationships online.
MUCH LESS SEX DURING THE CORONAVIRUS SEASON
With couples increasingly isolated at home, some predict a «baby boom» but experts say they are not so sure; the presence of children all day long in the house and the distance between people, will make it difficult or reduce the number of sexual relations.
In some social networks people predict that, nine months later, a new generation will be born. Some even call them the «Coronials» but according to a new YouGov survey it doesn’t look like that will happen. They asked 1,634 people what they would do to pass the time, and it turns out that only 3% of women and 5% of men said they would have sex in self-isolation.
TARGETED SOCIAL NETWORKING
The popular dating application Tinder has recently sent out a pop-up that says, «While we want you to continue to have fun, protecting yourself from the coronavirus is more important. The pop-up continues to give common sense tips for disease prevention, such as hand washing and using a hand sanitizer, with a link to visit the World Health Organization (WHO) for more information.
Tinder US has cancelled events in accordance with the general guidance and also the application of quotes. Hinge is encouraging its users to enjoy the video chat, where they can have a virtual appointment, rather than meet in person.
Grindr, the dating and networking application for gay men, has also issued a warning instructing users that if they feel sick, «listen to your body and stay home».
Pornography providers are becoming blockbusters, especially in countries where isolation is mandatory.
When Italy closed down completely, Porn Hub announced that its premium service would be free for all Italian adults. One of the most representative erotic filmmakers has confirmed that, through its streaming sites, there has been a 20-30% increase in the hours of viewing for its users since the Covid-19 outbreak, and also since more countries have started to quarantine people. People who isolate themselves or shut themselves away are naturally looking for ways to entertain themselves and self-pleasure is a great way to pass the time. Not to mention the fact that orgasms will help relieve some of the worries and stress we are all feeling during these times.
DO WE HAVE TO STOP HAVING SEX ALTOGETHER?
No. We can make smart choices and explore safe ways to have sex.
Sex may decrease over the next few weeks, but other ways of expressing eroticism without physical contact such as sexting, video calling and masturbation will be other options these days, giving us the opportunity to be more creative in this area.
Sex workers, of course, have been affected by the coronavirus in their work. Many people sell their naked pictures of themselves or take personal or video chat calls.
Porn actors who make a lot of money with OnlyFans, a paid subscription porn business, due to concerns about the coronavirus have had to change their content. Many of them say that they have actually seen an increase in subscribers in the last few weeks, but are worried that this increase might be short-lived, as many people cannot afford a subscription to their OnlyFans page.
Sex workers have far fewer customers in countries where a state of alert has not yet been declared due to the coronavirus outbreak. Violett, an organization that offers social and medical assistance to sex workers, reported that they are «getting a lot of questions about health risks from both workers and clients. It is logically advised that there be no kissing with clients.
Not having an income has a great impact on sex workers, as they lack official status. «If you can’t work, there’s no plan B. However, the costs continue”.
Phone sex, for the unaccustomed, can be intimidating and a new experience. One option is to call your partner and ask for a relationship via video chat. If you are shy, you can always use sexting.
Positions that allow for face-to-face contact are not advisable, but rather those where one of the participants turns his or her back to the other. To exercise extreme caution, masks should be worn.
When in doubt, it is best to have sex by telephone, video conference or joint masturbation while keeping a safe distance.