Facemasks and sex? Is it going to be a thing?

 Facemasks and sex? Is it going to be a thing?

How sex could help coronavirus spread

Sex is weird. Sex during coronavirus is weirder. From glory holes to long-distance sex toys and masturbating six feet apart from each other, recommendations for pandemic-safe sex continue to pop up as health officials realize indefinite abstinence simply isn’t a sustainable plan. Now, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer is throwing another recommendation into the growing pool of COVID sex guidelines: wear a mask.

“Sex can be complicated in the time of COVID-19, especially for those without an intimate partner in their household or whose sexual partner is at higher risk for COVID-19,” Dr. Theresa Tam wrote. “Like other activities during COVID-19 that involve physical closeness, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of getting infected and spreading the virus.”

The sexual activity with the lowest risk, she said, “involves yourself alone.”

But if you “choose to engage in an in-person sexual encounter with someone outside of your household or close contacts bubble,” skip the kissing and face-to-face contact and “consider wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth,” she said.

Also, make sure to use a condom, monitor yourself and your partner for coronavirus symptoms, and limit alcohol use so you can make good decisions, she wrote.

There’s a low likelihood of catching coronavirus through semen or vaginal fluids, she wrote, but “sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing COVID-19 through close contact, like kissing. Remember as with all social interactions, try to keep your number of close contacts low if possible.”

Tam is not the first medical authority make these recommendations.

In a paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Harvard researchers said people should wear masks and avoid kissing if they get together with somebody they’re not quarantining with.

They said that every form of “in-person sexual contact” carries a risk because the virus is “readily transmitted by aerosols.”

The researchers ranked sexual behaviours in ascending risk: Abstinence, masturbation, sex using digital platforms, sex with someone you’re quarantined with, and sex with somebody you’re not quarantined with.

The Mayo Clinic also said people should wear masks and avoid kissing when they have sex with someone from outside their household. It’s also a good idea to wash sex toys, wear condoms, and minimize your number of sex partners.

“There is currently no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted through semen or vaginal fluids, but the virus has been detected in the semen of people who have or are recovering from the virus,” the Mayo Clinic noted. “Further research is needed to determine if the COVID-19 virus could be transmitted sexually.”

How to make sex less risky

The study maintains that abstinence offers the lowest risk of infection, but the authors acknowledge that it’s not a realistic option for many. What’s more, the idea of sex as “dangerous” could have “insidious psychological effects at a time when people are especially susceptible to mental health difficulties,” the authors say.

So, the study takes a sex-positive approach. To better prevent infection, the authors write, people can reduce their number of sexual partners and avoid sex with people who show symptoms of Covid-19, including fever, cough, fatigue and loss of taste or smell.

In addition to wearing masks, people who have sex with partners outside of their home should also shower before and after, avoid sex acts that involve the oral transmission of bodily fluids and clean up the area afterward with soap or alcohol wipes to reduce their likelihood of infection.

The researchers also include recommendations for masturbation and digital sex, though people who engage in the latter should be aware of the security risks involved, the researchers said.

Sex between partners who’ve isolated together still presents some risk, because one partner might’ve been exposed to the virus if they’ve left the shared home. The researchers didn’t recommend a mask for partners in this situation, though.

Facing tomorrow together

Anonymity makes us bolder and more eager to have sexual contact with others — even when we have to stay away from them, we find that while masks cover our faces, they also give us the freedom to be ourselves, and that the epidemic may, in its strange ways, help us mature as a species.

But only if we don’t succumb to ignorance and fear. So, no matter how bad things seem, keep a good education, take care of yourself and those around you, help those who can’t control themselves, try to be optimistic, put on your mask everywhere no matter how you feel.

And if you want to buy something special for sex, you can browse online adult store anytime to pick a fantastic face mask for you and your partner.

Ruth Hill