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Can I have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Find out if it's safe to have sex during the coronavirus pandemic


Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in news


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While the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is going on, we’ve been told to keep our distance from other people. This means if we don’t live with someone, we can’t see them, and if we do, we must keep 2 metres apart. This can raise questions on whether or not you can have sex during social distancing

This can create a barrier to being intimate with partners, especially if we don’t live with them. Here are some things to be aware of when it comes to having sex during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is it safe to have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic?

There is no evidence that you can catch the virus from sexual intercourse, but it could be passed on through kissing. This is because you are more likely to come into contact with their saliva, which could contain droplets of the virus. You are also at risk of catching the virus if you have been in close contact with someone who is infected, so having sex would bring you into close contact.

Whether or not you could have sex depends on your individual situation. Here are some things to consider.

Can I have sex during COVID-19 if I live with my partner?

If you and your partner live together and neither of you are showing signs of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), then it should be okay for you to have sex. Make sure to practice safe sex by using condoms or dental dams, and if you are on prescription contraception, such as the pill, keep an eye on your prescription to make sure you don’t run out.

If there is a possibility of pregnancy and you are worried your contraception might have failed, you can access emergency contraception from your local pharmacy. It might be a good idea to phone them in advance to let them know you are coming and what you are looking for, due to the restrictions on numbers that many pharmacies have at the moment. Some pharmacies also offer the option to order emergency contraception online and you can collect it in person.

It's important to note that many STI clinics are closed or have restrictions, which means it may be very difficult, or not possible, to get an STI test at this time. This is why it's so important to practice safe sex and use protection.

This is a stressful time, and everyone responds to stress differently. If you want to have sex, make sure your partner is fully comfortable and you have their consent throughout.

It's a good idea to wash before and after you have sex. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.

Can I have sex if one of us has COVID-19 symptoms?

If you live with your partner and they are showing any signs of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), the advice is for them to isolate themselves and keep away from others in the household as much as possible. The same goes for you if you are the one who is experiencing symptoms.

During this time, it is best to avoid having sex, kissing, and being intimate for at least two weeks.

Can I have sex during COVID-19 if I don’t live with my partner?

If you don’t live with your partner(s), then according to the guidelines around social distancing, you should not see your partner. It’s important that everyone stays at home and limits close contact with others as much as possible. If you were to see your partner, you must keep 2 metres apart at all times. This means it wouldn’t be possible for you to have sex while social distancing. This also means you should avoid kissing or having any other kind of close contact with someone who is not part of your household.

It's important to remember that close sexual contact between you and someone you don't live with can put you both at risk of contracting the coronavirus, especially since either of you could have the virus and not be showing symptoms. It also puts the people you live with at risk too. 

How to be intimate without having sex

If you are unable to have sex with your partner, you can be intimate in other ways. This can be as simple as checking in with each other, spending time together (even if this is remotely), or sharing things that you like about each other. Find out how you can stay connected to your partner while social distancing.

If you decide to start sexting, there are some things to consider. Make sure you and your partner are both comfortable with the idea, and only continue with it if it’s enjoyable for both of you.

Remember, if you are under 18 it is illegal to send sexual messages or media (photos or videos) and to send sexual messages or media to anyone else under the age of 18. It is also illegal to forward a sexual picture or video of someone under 18. Doing so could lead to criminal prosecution.

Masturbation

It’s perfectly okay to want to have a sexual release, and masturbation is a great way to do this if you can’t be with a partner. Masturbation can also help to relieve stress and help you feel better. If you want to use sex toys, make sure to use them safely.

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Published March 27th2020
Last updated Sep­tem­ber 18th2020
Can this be improved? Contact editor@spunout.ie if you have any suggestions for this article.
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