An intimate conversation with our Outreach Coordinator, Damaris Henderson.
It is pretty much impossible to practice “social distancing” with the partners with whom we share homes and our beds with. But what are the risks associated with sex and intimacy in the time of coronavirus?
Quick recap: What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a virus spread mainly from person-to-person, through saliva or droplets of mucus that can enter through a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth. The virus is spread between people who are in close contact with one another (closer than 6 feet apart). Symptoms vary and some people show no symptoms at all (asymptomatic).
Is COVID-19 sexually transmittable?
According to the CDC, there is no evidence that the COVID-19 can be transmitted via vaginal or anal intercourse. But we know that intimacy goes beyond sexual intercourse. Kissing is a very common practice before, during, and after sexual intercourse, and the virus can be transmitted via saliva. Some tips include reducing kissing partners and to refrain from kissing partners who are confirmed to have COVID-19 or have had an exposure in the last 14 days or less. If you are into anilingus, rimming, or just “gotta eat the booty like groceries” then consider using condoms or dental dams. The COVID-19 virus has been detected in feces.
So is it OK to have sex?
You are your safest sex partner.
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.
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.
• If you nor your sexual partner(s) have no symptoms, or likely exposures in 14 days or less, SEX might actually be a really great way to have some fun, stay connected, and relieve the anxiety during this potentially stressful times. Try positions where you and your partner(s) are not face to face. This may also be a great time to brush up on your “cheeking” skills (putting a condom on a penis with your mouth). If you do have sex with others outside of your household, have as few partners as possible and know their status.
• 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 to express eroticism and intimacy.
Don't forget your water based lubricants!
What other prevention methods should I remember?
Don’t forget that prevention includes HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unintended pregnancy.
HIV: Condoms (internal* or external**), pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and having an undetectable viral load all help prevent HIV.
Other STIs: Condoms (internal or external) help prevent other STIs.
Pregnancy: Make sure you have an effective form of birth control for the coming weeks.
* Internal condoms include FC2 female condoms.
** External condoms include latex or latex-free condoms placed over a penis or insertable toy.
Watch this short video on how to use these prevention tools. Let’s do our part to keep it safe and sexy during COVID-19!
We strongly encourage everyone to follow all recommendations from local public health agencies and the CDC regarding coronavirus prevention. For more information and updates, please visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus