Glory Holes, Masks, and More: 15 Tips for Safer Sex During COVID-19
Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, forcing the world to either shelter in place or drastically limit
However, it is impossible to force abstinence on every American. For those seeking to have sex, New York City, the British Columbia
Centre for Disease Control, and even Harvard University researchers have released recommendations on limiting risk. See some of their
guidelines below. And remember — if you're feeling sick, don't have sex!
1. The safest sex is solo sex.
The best way to avoid catching COVID-19 — and STIs, for that matter — is masturbation. The Advocate can lend a hand with this list of
better ways to get off.
2. Call for help.
Phone sex and video sex can also keep you COVID-free. However, even here, it’s important to be careful about your partners, as
screenshots can be used for sexual extortion.
3. Find a “sex buddy.”
The more partners you have, the greater your risk of exposure to COVID-19. In the Netherlands, the government has even recommended
its citizens find a dedicated “sex buddy.” The safest sex is with someone you live with in your quarantine bubble.
4. Postpone the orgy.
As the NYC guidelines state, “If two is company then three (or more) is definitely a crowd.” Any large gathering of people in an intimate
setting should be avoided.
5. Pick a partner you can trust.
Trust is important in any sexual encounter, but particularly during a pandemic. Before any hookup, ask with your partner(s) about any
COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis. A recent study showed that most gay and bi men who recently experienced symptoms lied about this
information to partners. Don’t take this route, and find someone who will honor your health in return.
6. Know the symptoms.
Fever, cough, a loss of taste or smell, and shortness of breath are common COVID-19 symptoms. However, many with the virus are
asymptomatic. Ask whether your partner has been tested, and consider testing yourself after any possible exposure.
7. Come out of the closet.
Pick a large, well-ventilated area for lovemaking. Open a window if possible.
8. Wear a mask.
A June study from Harvard University researchers recommend wearing a mask during sex with those outside of your quarantine bubble.
This makes sense, since the virus is spread primarily through the saliva, mucus, and breath of an infected person. A mask will also cover
"heavy breathing and panting,” another risk factor.
9. Avoid kissing.
For the aforementioned reasons, locking lips may now be the riskiest behavior for COVID-19 exposure during sex.
10. Wear a condom.
A condom will protect you from STIs. It may also provide protection from COVID-19. The virus has been found in the fecal matter of some
patients, although there have been no confirmed transmissions through anal sex. A condom will also prevent contact with saliva during
11. Avoid rimming.
The Harvard study advises against "sexual behaviors with a risk for fecal-oral transmission or that involve semen or urine."
12. Try mutual masturbation.
Wear a mask and keep a little physical distance.
13. Get kinky.
The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control has recommended the time-honored glory hole as a safe-sex barrier to COVID-19.
14. Practice cleanliness.
Shower before and after sex. Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands. Launder the sheets. Clean the area with soap or alcohol
wipes. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on hand, or bring one with you if you’re traveling.
15. Get tested.
If you’re hooking up regularly, get tested regularly.
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