This article originally appeared on VICE ASIA.
As people continue to stay indoors due to the pandemic, researchers from Harvard University took it upon themselves to create guidelines for one of the few activities people can do: Sex. Their advice? If you want to get it on, don’t forget the face mask.
They suggested this in a scientific commentary published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in May. While the coronavirus is not passed on through intercourse, one can still contract it during sex through droplets from the nose and mouth. That means kissing is off the table if you want to stay extra safe.
The commentary came with a list of sexual practices and a summary of the risks involved in each one. Abstinence is the least risky, for obvious reasons, but the researchers were first to admit that this is “not feasible for many.”
Those only having sex with someone they’re in quarantine with are still at risk if their partner was exposed to the virus or was asymptomatic. The most vulnerable are those having sex with someone they were not in quarantine with. The researchers advised them to avoid sexual partners with COVID-19 symptoms, kissing, and fecal-oral transmission that involve semen or urine. Wearing a face mask will help them stay safe, along with cleaning up the space with soap or alcohol wipes.
Safer alternatives are masturbation, phone sex, and video sex. “You are your safest sex partner,” the New York City Health Department, said in a statement, reminding people to wash their hands and sex toys with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after.
The pandemic and lockdowns have given rise to new sex habits and trends around the world.
In the United Kingdom, the government's restrictions on gatherings consisting of two or more people are preventing couples who don't live with each other from hooking up, leading tabloids and netizens to jokingly call it a "sex ban."
Even Pornhub released a campaign called “The Cleanest Porn Ever,” which aims to educate people about how to get a little dirty while staying clean, to prevent coronavirus transmission while having sex.
Find Miran on Instagram.