Advice on coronavirus and sexual intimacy
The past week I have had an increasing amount of people ask me about whether or not the coronavirus can be transmitted through sexual intercourse. I must admit I’m not new to talking about illnesses that can be passed on via intimate relations, but this is one I had never expected to be asked about, and in all my training I had never been prepared for such situation.
Strange enough I actually signed up to a new course in January all about the subject, but sadly studying won’t start until later this year. But it seems to be of much interest to health professionals when it comes to disease and its social impact, and the challenges people may have due to illness or disability particularly within close relationships. As someone who does a lot of work with those with disabilities and sex education, I must admit that the current situation in the world and how it is putting a strain on sexual relationships if not new for those who already suffer limitations from health. This generally is an area that has a short fall in understanding in sex education too, but I have found people become more trapped in a pattern of social restrictions and expectations more than physical or medication sexual limitations and sometimes the simple answer of acceptance, coming to terms with it, and the right talking support is key.
It’s very clear that the novel virus has indeed affected peoples sex lives and dating. Within the UK many sex parties and group gatherings have already made the decision to stop all events until the spread of the virus calms. Sex workers are taking extra holidays and refusing bookings, although most of the ones I have spoken to taking these steps do suffer from undying health conditions, and do need to be extra careful. Those willing to keep up with client demand should be vigilant of loo roll and hand santizer. Large sex toy companies have had to slow down release of sex toys due factories in china closing. Adult toy retailers have had trouble in shipment of sales to other companies. Sexual health researchers and academics have found that some events and large conferences are converting online until matters change.
Eroticon a popular conference in London for erotic and adult content writers even announced that they too had to cancel the event due to the disaster plaguing the world currently.
“URGENT EROTICON 2020 UPDATE Due to the evolving situation with regards to Corona Virus we have come to the conclusion that we have not choice but to cancel this years conference. We are absolutely devastated by what has happened.” @EroticonUK
affecting many travelling to the event even from aboard.
When the time comes, many of us may have to experience a time of self isolation, and in turn this will lead to the rise of sexual contact between those who decide to stick-it-out together. Whilst there have been media rumours of people buying condoms to put over their fingers to protect themselves from touching surfaces that could carry the virus, I am more hopeful that people are preparing for a lot of nookie than such a silly wasteful precaution where simple hand washing would suffice. Like any event that induces fear and panic many people do turn to sex and this can in tern lead to a rise in pregnancies and STI’s – I really hope you have purchased your condoms in time before deliveries in the UK slowdown from reduced services.
The question you may be wondering is whether or not it can be passed on just like a sexually transmitted disease? Will a condom protect you? The simple answer is be don’t know if the virus is active in semen and vaginal fluids. We are aware that it is carried through the respiratory system and can be transported via water droplets we breath out. This in turn does mean that kissing can put you at a higher risk due to how the contact is more direct. Many people have started to develop knew ways to show their affection rather than kissing and shaking hands, taping elbows, slight head nods, the use of cute nicknames are all on the rise. In a strange way this may make others open up how they communicate more between their lovers.
Then we have to consider other sexual acts and the rate of transmission. The COVID-19 virus has been found active in faeces, meaning if you are into hard sports and possibly are starting to show signs of illness that you should withhold from these acts until you are better.
Oral sex, which involves bring the mouth towards another person’s genitals may have an increase in sharing the bacteria due to its upper respiratory involvement. The vagina is capable of absorbing organic or inorganic compounds but it is not known whether or not this particular virus is one of them.
Alcohol based hand gels can be used between hand holding and things, but putting it onto your hand and then your genitals is only for a true masochist. One man found this out the hard way, “I’m getting paranoid about this Covid 19 caper that I’ve even started using hand sanitizer after I touch myself now. Little tip for anyone that feels the same way. Don’t use it beforehand.”. Whilst I fully understand that some of you are bathing in the tingly liquid due to how much of it you have stockpile, it could very well upset the pH of the gentiles leading to burns and thrush. Medical grade powder free gloves could be worn, but the reality of it is if you touch a surface and then anywhere on yourself or someone with the same gloves, you have the same possibility of transmitting the infection as to when using bare gloveless washed clean hands. Some handwashes and soaps do have a prolonged antibacterial protective affect that can last for up to 8 hours or more but again there is no evidence that it will work against this particular illness. Whilst comedian Russell Kane has some of his own sex advice to share when it comes to Anti-Bac gel and sex: “Anti-Bac, strip, mount, penetrate.”, but keep in mind that this stuff burns!
Some have found that their dating life has been affected already, with people using the virus as an excuse not to meet up at restaurants.
When you get ditched for corona virus..
probably a get out clause but a fucking good one.. I might try it 😂!!!
‘sorry can’t make tonight work has informed us corona virus has arrived in the building…’ 😂
‘currently self isolating awaiting testing’ 😂 anon
Those that do may be subjected to social distancing regulations as they below out their romantic conversations from a few meters away. It’s entirely possible that people may start actually forming conversations on dating apps and actually writing content for their profiles, so people have more of an idea of who someone is before actually get together – oh we can dream.
A Chinese search engine Baidu found that since people had to self-isolate that there had been an increase in porn keyword searches meaning that there was possibly a rise in porn consumption. This is likely to happen elsewhere when people have the energy to view such stimulating content. Sex workers have already noticed the demand in online services and the materialisation of coronavirus porn has already become very popular in vanilla and fetish porn alike.
There are links that intimate contact and masturbation can help raise the immune system, so stating that if you have lots of sex that you will not catch the illness. Whilst this does have some basic research evidence behind it there is no solid evidence that this immune system response will lead to an increase in resistance to the coronavirus. Well known celebratory Vanessa Feltz suggested that people should take to using sex toys and have sex during episodes of self isolation. A rechargeable winner may be the best choice to see you through moments like this where your only living space could consist of a bed you might as well take advantage of it. It’s worth noting that if you are using sex toys to help you through your self isolation stint that you could fully clean your devices regularly (people should be doing this already, but shockingly don’t!). If you are a well person you should not use another person’s sex toys if they are unwell without cleaning beforehand, and most importantly they should clean them, not you.
Anna Borges senior editor at SELF magazine too has taken to the use of sex toys during the pandemic, but also realised that there could be unseen implications of your favourite toy dying, “i’m washing my hands. I stocked up on food. I have enough toilet paper and plenty of books. I’m working from home. But all of my coronavirus preparation didn’t prepare me for the unspeakable tragedy of my hitachi buzzing its last buzz last night.”
If you don’t have a back-up vibrator, it may be time to buy one now!
Related Article: Cleaning your Sex Toys
Other realities not address if whether or not many will be able to explore alone time as school closures could happen throughout the nation, meaning that tiny humans will need to be kept entertained more than usual with much limited resources. One couple I spoke with said that they were already planning a nudist retreat for after the “worse” of the epidemic, to give themselves a much-needed break from the over burdens of parenting.
Then there’s the worry of the lack on much-needed personal space and time, particularly affecting those who normally work home alone where their partners are migrating from their normal office job to the home environment limiting the time they get by themselves.
@BootstrapCookPlease spare a thought for those of us who work from home already, who now face the very real and terrifying #COVID19 prospect of our spouses also working from home. Suddenly become so territorial I’m genuinely surprised I’m not pissing on the carpets and scratching up the couch
It’s predicted people may become stressed as they try and avoid habits such as nose picking, singing, random dancing, and routines which commonly their partners would be blind to due to difference social schedules. So may feel OK expressing these, others may find it a challenge to accept their partners odd behaviours, and others may want to still keep them private which is completely acceptable.
So, can you catch coronavirus from having sex with someone? Well yes, if I’m honest being close to someone with coronavirus in general can just put you at risk, it doesn’t have to involve sex. The World Health Organization (WHO) wrote a series of tweets recently on what terminology to use in regards to the virus, and this actually did lead to educators discuss issues of purposeful transmission and how stigma may affect people’s relationships.
Hmmm. That is a little frustrating. I care about stigma. But let’s keep our prior straight here.
If you have the virus you should try and avoid meeting up with your play mate until you are in the clear, this if I’m honest should be the same protocol for when other illnesses strike. If you can’t help being around your lover for other reasons such as living with them, being in a position of care, or they are your career, please don’t feel guilty about accidentally transmitting the virus as you both will not know the original cause of your infection. It does go without saying, that no one should purposely transmit any illness to anyone.
Restricting sexual contact may not be realist as naturally it can be difficult when urges are being challenged. Some may find the self-isolation a highly erotic awakening on-par to what some feel when taking part in chastity and other forms or erotic denial.
Important factor in all honesty is that after sexual engagement we should all be practising good hygiene. From hand washing and cleaning up, to going to the toilet afterwards to avoid UTIs – it’s worth pointing out that it is being recommended to close the toilet lid before flushing to avoid germs from becoming airborne, but this was known long before the novel corona virus appeared.
The most underplayed part of this illness is not the physical restrictions and possibilities but the mental strain many may struggle with over the coming weeks. Whilst masturbation and sex may be an excellent option to pass the time, many may find they are too worried to relax into it. This panic in turn could put stress on focusing on orgasms as the popular sexual achievement goal neglecting other forms of erotic stimulation. Currently time between orgasms and expectation of climaxing is still one of the most challenging things to teach within adult sex education, where many have been influenced by media outlets and Chinese whispers rather than being taught and reassured of long-standing evidence-based facts.
Overall, common sense does speak volumes here, if you are infected being in close contact with someone for even 15 minutes can transmit the illness to another regardless of which sexual act you perform. Some guideline that have been released have highlighted the extreme extent of self isolation, pointing out that if you have to be isolated it is alone in a room, which is very unrealistic in a world where many do not have their own en suite bathroom, unless we go to the extreme and do Zimbardo’s prison experiment on mass.
If you are affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) or are worried about it, please check out the following resources:
NHS advice on the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response