Social distancing has made us become aware of how close we get to each other. No more hugging your friends goodbye, no more cheeky snogs on the dance floor in Capri or Marvins, and no more sex with anyone outside of your ‘social bubble’.
Sexual health charity, The Terrence Higgins Trust, has released advice on engaging in intimate acts, suggesting that the public avoid kissing, wear a face mask during sex and choose positions that aren’t face-to-face (no we’re not going to list them).
The Trust says that we need to “balance our need for sex and intimacy with the risks of the spread of COVID-19”.
Although Prime Minister Boris Johnson has allowed couples to have sex with people outside of their household from the 13th June, it is still advised against.
How to get intimate safely during the pandemic?
It is recommended that the best way to seek intimate pleasure is with yourself! Masturbation is the safest option during the pandemic, minimising all contact with others if you do not live with a sexual partner.
Of course, no one expects everyone to completely stop having sex during 2020, however the Trust suggests that people limit the number of partners they have until it the ‘old normal’ is back.
It is also important, just as you would with an STI, to let your sexual partner know if you are feeling unwell and display any Covid-19 symptom. Similarly, you should ask whether your partner has or lives with anyone who is displaying the symptoms such as a high temperature, continuous cough, and loss of taste/smell.
If you find yourself feeling under the weather after being intimate, you must alert your partner so they can self-isolate too and limit the spread of the virus.
Can you catch the virus through sex?
Although the actual act of sex may not spread the virus, kissing will. We know that the virus is spread through the breath of the infected, mucus and saliva.
“If you are going to touch each other’s genitals it’s likely that you will potentially be kissing at the same time – and we know the virus is passed through saliva,” Dr Alex George told Radio 1 Newsbeat in March.
The former love island contestant and doctor also said “Any possibility of transfer of coronavirus – from your mouth to your hands, to genitals, to someone else’s nose or mouth.”
It has also been found that the virus has been found in semen, therefore it is important that you wear a condom, or a dam for oral sex, if having sex with someone outside of your household.
In addition you must wash your hands after sex, which is a given – preferably have a shower.