Unfortunately, the novel coronavirus is here to stay for the foreseeable future, forcing the world to either shelter in place or drastically limit social interactions.
However, it is impossible to force abstinence on every American. For those seeking to have sex, New York City, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, and even Harvard University researchers have released recommendations on limiting risk. See some of their guidelines below. And remember — if you're feeling sick, don't have sex!
The more partners you have, the greater your risk of exposure to COVID-19. In the Netherlands, the government has even recommended its citizens find a dedicated “sex buddy.” The safest sex is with someone you live with in your quarantine bubble.
Trust is important in any sexual encounter, but particularly during a pandemic. Before any hookup, ask with your partner(s) about any COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis. A recent study showed that most gay and bi men who recently experienced symptoms lied about this information to partners. Don’t take this route, and find someone who will honor your health in return.
A June study from Harvard University researchers recommend wearing a mask during sex with those outside of your quarantine bubble. This makes sense, since the virus is spread primarily through the saliva, mucus, and breath of an infected person. A mask will also cover "heavy breathing and panting,” another risk factor.
A condom will protect you from STIs. It may also provide protection from COVID-19. The virus has been found in the fecal matter of some patients, although there have been no confirmed transmissions through anal sex. A condom will also prevent contact with saliva during oral sex.