SHADE answers common questions about safer sex.
Is it safe to have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic?
This is a very personal question, and only you can determine your comfort with the potential risk. ‘Sex’ means different things to different people, and as always your personal values should guide your decision-making.
These links can help you understand COVID-19 as it relates to sexual activity NYC Department of Public Health’s ‘Sex and Coronavirus Disease 2019’ document and the Harvard Health Blog article “Intimacy, sex, and COVID-19”, and will help you make the best choice for yourself.
If I’ve decided to have sex, how do I minimize risk to myself and my partner(s)?
Consensual sex with a partner or partners that live in the same household, so long as no one is showing COVID-19 symptoms, is safer than sex with non-household members. As always, using barrier methods (condoms, dental dams) during sex remains crucial for prevention of STIs, pregnancy, and now COVID-19. Because COVID-19 can be transmitted through contact with saliva and feces, using barrier methods (condoms, dental dams) during sex remains crucial for prevention of STIs, pregnancy (when sperm and egg may be present), and now COVID-19.
What are some safer ways to express my sexuality while social distancing?
We prefer the phrase ‘physical distancing while staying socially connected’. There is no need to emotionally isolate yourself from your people while you are physically isolating, and this includes your consenting-adult sexual partners.
These activities are safer ways to meet your sexual and romantic needs while practicing physical distancing, without coming into physical contact with another person. As always, consider your own values, and how any sexual behavior aligns or conflicts with those values.
- Masturbation is at the top of the list of safer ways to meet your sexual needs, as there is no exposure to someone who might have COVID-19
- Sexting or phone sex with a partner(s)—steps 1-10 in this article detail how to more safely engage in sexting
- Video chat dates
- Reading or writing erotica
Experiencing changes—increases or decreases—to your sex drive? That’s normal, too!
You've got questions, and we've got answers!
Below are some of the most common questions we hear from students and some SHADE-approved videos and websites that will help you enjoy healthy and safe sex.
Scroll down for answers to our most frequently asked questions.