COVID-19: Couples should wear face masks during sex – Harvard study
Safe sex during the coronavirus pandemic might soon require protection beyond just the nether regions.
A new study from researchers at Harvard University says that hooking up carries some risk for transmitting COVID-19 from one partner to the other and recommends — among other practices — wearing a face mask while doin’ it.
The research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, ranked frisky situations based on how likely it is to catch coronavirus while in the act. Researchers recommend wearing a mask for the riskiest sexual scenario: sex with people other than those with whom one is quarantined.
If you have an out-of-house coronavirus crush, the study says, besides keeping your mask on, you should avoid kissing, any oral-to-anal act and anything else that involves semen or urine. Shower before and after, and clean the space with alcohol wipes or soap.
The study also mentions that having sex with people who are together in quarantine is safer, but there is still a risk. For instance, if one partner goes outside to run an errand and is exposed to the virus, they can transmit it to the other. Even if that person is ultimately an asymptomatic carrier, they can still infect the other.
The safest approach to sexual activity, according to the researchers, is not having any. Abstinence, they say, is “low risk for infection, though not feasible for many.” Another option, they add, is masturbation.
Other recommendations have come out since the coronavirus outbreak in the US, with some of them providing graphics to enhance the lessons. In April, the Oregon Health Authority released a sex guide that went viral, just weeks after the same happened to one released by the NYC Department of Health. The Oregon example stood out for its illustrations of condoms, a fleshlight and a peach, and NYC’s with its vivid warning about anal rimming.