HEALTH + WELLNESS

Is It Safe to Hookup During the Pandemic? Yes, If ...

While the CDC has the most up-to-date information about protecting yourself from COVID-19, we've got facts about protecting yourself in other ways during the pandemic. You've got questions about COVID-19 and sex and we have answers, starting with yes, it's safer to hookup once you're vaccinated.

Can I Date and Have Sex if I've Been Vaccinated Against COVID-19?

As of March 9, 2021, the CDC has issued updated information about what people can do once they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That guidance has implications for dating and hooking up during this phase of the pandemic. Here's the gist:

If YOU have been fully vaccinated*:

You can gather inside a home or private setting without a mask with other fully vaccinated people.

You can gather inside a home or private setting without a mask with one household of unvaccinated people who are not at risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.

Know your date's vaccination status so you can consider the right precautions to take.

Being vaccinated doesn't mean everything is back to normal. First off, if you're hooking up, you are still at risk for unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. So even after you're vaccinated, you still need to wear a condom for protection. Plus, the CDC recommends that you continue to:

Wear a mask in public places and stay 6 feet apart from people you do not know or unvaccinated people from more than one household.

Avoid medium and large-sized crowds & poorly ventilated spaces.

Follow all guidelines at businesses and your workplace.

Continue to monitor yourself for COVID-19 symptoms.

Keep up-to-date with new information as it becomes available.

* According to the CDC, being fully vaccinated means 2 weeks after the second shot in a two-dose series, (e.g., Pfizer and Moderna) and 2 weeks after a single dose vaccine, (e.g., Johnson & Johnson).

Can You Get COVID-19 from Sex?

COVID-19 isn't a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD), and the virus has not yet been found in semen or vaginal fluid. However, if you are not vaccinated and you don't know if another person is vaccinated, 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. Thus, while COVID-19 isn't transmitted through sex, you can get COVID-19 by being in close contact with someone who is infected (even if they don't have symptoms), or direct contact with their saliva or mucus.

How is the COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus Spread?

According to the CDC and WHO, the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person breathes, coughs, sneezes, talks or sings. This is why masks are so important to contain your own respiratory droplets and to protect you from breathing in those from others.

Some people who are asymptomatic may be able to spread the virus, so it is hard to know for sure if someone you come in contact with can transmit the virus to you. The CDC recommends that you get vaccinated, social distance, wash your hands frequently, and wear a face mask when you go out in public to reduce your risk of contracting the COVID-19 or spreading the virus to others.

Do condoms prevent coronavirus?

Condoms themselves do not prevent the coronavirus, since COVID-19 is not spread by having sex. However, condoms and dental dams reduce contact with saliva or feces (both places where the COVID-19 virus has been found), especially during oral and anal sex.

What precautions against COVID-19 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 CDC recommends these precautions that apply to dating or hooking up in the pandemic:

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

Limiting your sex partners to folks who are fully vaccinated.

Wearing a face mask to help reduce the spread of droplets that can transmit the novel coronavirus.

Avoiding rimming: The virus has also been found in feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

Washing your hands (or your whole body) before and after sex for at least 20 seconds.

Does the COVID-19 Vaccination Cause Infertility?

There is no evidence that any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility. Infertility is not one of the symptoms or side effects of COVID-19 or the vaccine. There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines prevent human reproduction, lower sperm count or quantity, harm the reproductive organs, or harm a developing fetus.

What is COVID-19?

Whether you call it "corona," "rona," "covid" or another name, COVID-19 is the official name given by the World Health Organization to the novel coronavirus that first appeared at the end of 2019. In COVID-19, 'CO' stands for 'corona,' 'VI' for 'virus,' 'D' for disease, and '19' for '2019,' the year the outbreak began.

Although it's in the coronavirus family, COVID-19 is not the same as the coronaviruses that cause mild illness like the common cold. COVID-19 is much more contagious, and much more serious, sometimes leading to long-term organ scarring, respiratory failure and even death.

All viruses mutate over time (that's why there is a new flu vaccine every year, as the influenza virus changes), and there are now several variants of COVID-19 virus around the world.

Where can I learn more about COVID-19 and sex?

The CDC updates its COVID-19 site as new information is learned. New York City has developed detailed Health Sex Guidelines on how to enjoy sex and avoid spreading COVID-19.

Visit www.cdc.gov/covid19 or download the NYC Health Sex Guidelines.

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 or ask Alexa to add your favorites to your shopping cart.