COVID-19 isn’t an STD, but you can contract the disease if you come into close contact with others who may be carrying the virus, whether they know it or not. Social distancing is the best way to reduce the spread of coronavirus, but there are still plenty of ways to have sex safely in quarantine.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the name given to this novel coronavirus. A novel coronavirus is a new coronavirus that has not been previously identified. COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness like the common cold. The World Health Organization announced the official name for this novel coronavirus outbreak in February 2020. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ ‘D’ for disease, and ‘19’ for ‘2019,’ the year the outbreak began.
How is the new coronavirus spread?
At this time, the virus that causes COVID-19 is believed to spread mainly from person-to-person contact, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Some people who are asymptomatic may be able to spread the virus, so it is hard to know definitively if everyone you come in contact with can transmit the virus to you. Right now, the best way to reduce your risk of contracting the virus – or spreading the virus to others - is by social distancing and wearing face coverings when you do go out in public.
Can I get novel coronavirus through sex?
The recommended minimum distance to maintain from others is 6 feet. Unless you are masturbating from a distance, you need to be a lot closer than 6 feet to have sex. COVID-19 is not an STD and other coronaviruses do not efficiently transmit through sex, but the virus can be spread through any direct contact with saliva or mucus. According to NYC.gov, there is still more to learn about COVID-19 and sex. COVID-19 has been found in the feces of people who are infected with the virus. COVID-19 has not yet been found in semen or vaginal fluid.
Do condoms prevent coronavirus?
Condoms and dental dams can reduce contact with saliva or feces, especially during oral and anal sex. Condoms help prevent unwanted pregnancy and protect against STDs.
What are safe ways I can have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t still get it on. There are plenty of creative ways to be safe and sexplore with confidence, whether you are still in quarantine or are starting to reconnect in person.
If you are living alone or single (or if you’re not, no judgements here), we don’t need to tell you that masturbation is the safest form of sex there is. There’s no risk of STDs, no risk of unwanted pregnancy, and no risk of spreading COVID-19 through saliva or feces. With all this new-found alone time, take your ooooh’s up a notch. Slow down and explore your body – nobody knows it better. Figure out what feels best and really gets you going. Maybe you like a slow build, maybe the faster the better, maybe try a vibrator if you’ve never used one before. Whatever your preference, just be sure to wash those hands and sex toys before and after with soap and water for 20 seconds.
If you are quarantined with your partner*, you’re spending a lot more quality time with them so why not make sex part of this temporary normal? Use this time to openly communicate your desires and take your sex life further. Do you want more sex? Longer sex? Sex in a different room you’ve never had it in before? Maybe there’s a new position you’ve been wanting to try, or maybe you want to take it back to basics. No matter what you want, just remember – if you want to prevent unwanted pregnancy and protect against STDs, always use a condom. Think of it like a face mask for the penis. In addition, take extra care in prepping yourself and your surfaces. Wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after sex. Make sure your sheets and any other surfaces you’re going to do it on are clean. It may not be the sexiest part of sex, but it’ll help keep you healthy. And, if you or your partner feel sick, abstain from any physical contact until you feel better. Sex and sick don’t mix.
If you are dating or in a relationship but separated by quarantine, this is a good time to ditch the sweatsuits during those video chats. Use the masturbation tips above, but together. Wear a sexy outfit. Play a virtual game of strip “Never Have I Ever.” Talk about your fantasies for the next time you can be physically together. Again, wash your hands and sanitize your surfaces – that includes phones and laptops.
Another way to keep the fire going is sexting. If you’ve never done it before, now is the time to learn. There are plenty of ways to get creative in sexts. Start with a tease. Share a fantasy. Use all your senses, and enjoy your time apart, together. Just be sure to get consent before you let your eggplant or peach roam free in a sext.
If you are ready to see people outside of your home, remember you should still limit close, intimate contact with anyone outside of your househould. If you are planning to have sex with others, have as few partners as possible and only choose partners you trust. Talking to your partner(s) about COVID-19 should be no different than talking to them about other safe sex topics. Before you hook up, ask them if they have or had symptoms in the last 14 days, if they’ve ever been diagnosed with COVID-19, and if they’ve been close to anyone who has shown symptoms or has tested positive. If the answer is yes to any of these, you should probably abstain from sexual contact.
What precautions should I take during sex?
You should take extra care of your health during this time especially if you are planning to be intimate with someone. In addition to wearing a condom, the following precautions are suggested during sex:
- Wear a face mask or other face covering: If you are having sex, it is impossible to stay 6 feet away from your partner. Face masks help reduce the spread of droplets that can transmit the novel coronavirus.
- Avoid rimming: The virus has also been found in feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Wash your hands before and after sex for 20 seconds: This is our fourth reminder in this article.
Where can I learn more about COVID-19 and sex?
The CDC is updating its COVID-19 site as regularly as new information is learned. As it pertains to sexual health, the NYC Health Sex Guidelines also has a detailed PDF on how to enjoy sex and avoid spreading COVID-19.
Visit www.cdc.gov/covid19 or download the NYC Health Sex Guidelines here: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/covid-sex-guidance.pdf
Where can I buy condoms near me during the coronavirus pandemic?
You can buy Trojan™ condoms at any of our retail partners in-store or online. Check out our Where to Buy tool to find condoms near you.
*We realize that in some situations, social isolation may not be safe and can lead to abuse or violence. If you feel like you are in an abusive relationship, help is available. The National Domestic Violence hotline offers virtual support over the phone or online.