You’ve heard of the “new normal” around things like going back to work or shopping. But it also applies to s3x, according to a s3xual health charity.
The Terrence Higgins Trust has published advice suggesting people avoid kissing, wear a face covering and choose positions that aren’t face-to-face during s3x. It may sound tough, but people need to find a way “to balance our need for s3x and intimacy with the risks of the spread of COVID-19”, the Trust says.
The best s3xual partner during the pandemic is yourself or someone you live with, the Trust says. M@surbation, using s3x toys or participating in phone or online s3x are recommended as the safest options.
We should still be socially distancing but after months of lockdown the charity says it is unrealistic to expect people to stop having s3x indefinitely. If you are having s3x with people outside of your household, it’s important to limit the number of partners, it says.
Like with everything at the moment, be aware of any Covid-19 symptoms you or your partner might have – and isolate if you have them.
If you are meeting someone new, the charity says to ask if they or anyone in their household have had symptoms or tested positive.
Does the virus spread through s3x?
The virus can spread through saliva, mucus or the breath of those who have it, along with contact with hard surfaces.
“If you are going to touch each other’s g3nitals it’s likely that you will potentially be k!ssing at the same time – and we know the virus is passed through saliva,” Dr Alex George told Radio 1 Newsbeat in March.
Dr Alex is an A&E doctor and former Love Island contestant and says “any possibility of transfer of coronavirus – from your mouth to your hands, to g3nitals, to someone else’s nose or mouth” increases the risk of passing on coronavirus.
That’s why the Trust recommends not k!ssing, wearing a face mask during s3x and favouring positions where you’re not face-to-face.
It adds the virus has been found in semen and poo, which is why you should use cond()ms and dams for oral s3x to minimise risk.
And given we’re supposed to be doing it after most things – washing your hands for more than 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser before and after s3x is recommended.
All of this is not to say you should forget about your s3xual health in general.
The charity says it’s important to get tested for s3xually transmitted infections before starting to have s3x again.
“Lockdown has meant that most people have had fewer s3xual partners, if any at all, and now is the perfect time to be sure you don’t have an STI and to know what your HIV status is,” it says.