Even if it’s just to make a good impression, a lot of people avoid going on dates when they’re sick. To keep from spreading the novel coronavirus COVID-19, most people are avoiding going out when they’re sick. They’re also not spending time with people who have any flu symptoms. Still, lots of people are wondering if COVID-19 makes it riskier to go on dates or have sex. Researchers are still learning a lot about COVID-19, but we’ve done our best to get you answers!
To sum it up
COVID-19 is mostly spread through respiratory droplets that everyone releases when they talk, cough, sneeze, or breathe. That means that any close contact has a risk for spreading the virus. Close contact can be things like talking face-to-face without a mask or shaking hands. It can also be more intimate things like kissing or sex.
Public health guidelines are all important to follow when it comes to sex and dating. It helps to wear a mask, wash your hands, and keep six feet apart from people you don’t live with.
Sexual partners who live together and don’t have symptoms can have as much sex as they want without much extra risk for COVID-19! But if you or your partner are feeling sick, you may want to think about waiting until you feel better. This is especially true if you don’t live together. It also helps more when one or both of you have a chronic illness or disability that’s a risk with COVID-19, like COPD or asthma.
You might want to avoid kissing or going out with anyone who…
- Has recently travelled
- Has quarantined
- Thinks they might have come into contact with someone who has the coronavirus
- Has symptoms of the coronavirus, like a fever, loss of smell, or difficulty breathing
So, can I get the coronavirus by having sex?
The short answer is yes.
As of March 2020, there’s no evidence that the virus can pass through semen or vaginal fluids. That means that COVID-19 is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, and it isn’t passed through sex alone.
But it helps to remember that any close contact can pass COVID-19. You can get COVID by having sex the same way that you can get it from kissing or hugging. People usually have a lot more contact with sex than shaking hands, so researchers say it’s a high risk.
Researchers are still studying this particular coronavirus. They might learn more about how and when it spreads over the next few months.
Can I lower the risk for COVID-19 from sex?
Having sex can make it hard or impossible to follow common guidelines like social distancing and wearing masks. But people can still lower their risk by making sure that the people they see…
- Don’t have symptoms
- Haven’t travelled in the past 14 days
- Haven’t been in close contact with someone who had the virus
Using common safer sex methods like washing our hands and toys still helps prevent STIs and other infections. They might help lower the risk for COVID-19 too!
Can COVID-19 pass through kissing?
COVID-19 is mainly spread through the droplets that come out of people’s mouths when they speak or cough. So, like a cold or flu, there’s a high risk of spreading the virus from kissing. The virus can also spread spread through close, face-to-face contact like talking or hugging, especially without a mask.
Can coronavirus spread through oral sex?
Because the coronavirus spreads through droplets from the nose and mouth there’s a chance that it could pass through oral sex. Genitals have mucous membranes like the ones inside of your mouth or nose. Some germs can pass through these membranes and some can’t. As of March 2020, we don’t know if COVID-19 can.
We do know that the COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces like skin for a few hours to a few days. It’s possible to spread the virus by touching a surface with the virus on it and then touching your face. So you might pass the virus by getting oral sex, touching your privates, then touching your face. Fortunately, condoms and dental dams are great ways to avoid passing fluids and viruses!
Can COVID-19 spread through anal sex?
As of March 2020, researchers aren’t sure about the risk of getting the coronavirus through anal sex or feces. Feces is another word for poop or crap.
There have been lots of rumors about COVID-19 and anal sex. Researchers have found the virus in some patients’ feces. But they expect that the risk will be low, like with similar viruses. As of March 2020, the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t confirmed any cases where COVID-19 passed through anal sex or rimming. Rimming is oral sex on an anus.
What about masturbating?
Social distancing is one of our best ways to slow down coronavirus cases. That means masturbating is a great way to meet our needs without close contact with anyone else!
As of March 2020, experts don’t know if this coronavirus can pass by touching your penis, vagina, or anus. But just like before the outbreak, you can lower your risk by washing your hands thoroughly before and after you touch your privates or someone else’s.
If you use hand sanitizer before you masturbate, make sure it has dried completely before you start! Genitals have mucus membranes and sensitive skin that can burn or feel irritated if they touch hand sanitizer.
Can sex toys pass the coronavirus?
Studies on similar viruses found that they can survive on metal, glass and plastic for as long as nine days. Even without the risk of the coronavirus, you can lower your health risks by thoroughly washing your sex toys after you use them.
Washing and disinfecting sex toys helps prevent any fungus or bacteria from growing. It also lowers the risk of passing STIs. Unscented soap and warm water will help. You can let toys air dry or use a clean paper towel.
Don’t use Purell or anything like Clorox wipes on your sex toys. This could damage your toys and it’s not great for you either!
So, what IS safe to do?
Technology gives us a lot of ways to stay social from a distance. There might be a higher risk from meeting someone you’ve been flirting with on Tinder. But texting, video calls, sexting and even phone sex are all ways you can have fun that won’t put you at risk for COVID-19.
Social distancing helps to keep COVID-19 from spreading to people it can hurt the most. We have a shared responsibly when it comes to public health!
But social distancing can also cause health problems. Isolation can lead to depression and anxiety. It’s also not healthy to constantly stay inside! During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to find a balance between being careful and living your life. It’s not possible to avoid all contact with people, even if you want to!
A lot of people are worried about getting or passing the virus. Getting tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms or you think you’ve been exposed can sometimes help. Like talking about STIs, you can ask people you’re interested in about how they’re protecting themselves from the coronavirus. Making sure you’re on the same page can help you understand the risks and how you can lower them.