Safe sex during COVID now includes face masks, according to Canadian guidelines.
Because sex is one of the few things we can do to bring us pleasure and a sense of normalcy in a pandemic, new health guidelines are being recommended to help us all ease back into real life dating. Still, even if you try your best to meet up with someone who is COVID free, there are risks to having sex with someone outside of your bubble during the pandemic; and governments are making this very clear.
Canada is the most recent country to release guidelines on sex, recently outlining steps people should take to stay careful. One of their golden nuggets of advice is to wear a mask that completely covers the nose and mouth, because that isn’t at all awkward.
“If you choose to engage in an in-person sexual encounter with someone outside of your household or close contacts bubble, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk,” Canada’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said in a statement.
The report says the safest sex you can have is with yourself (who else is getting high school sex ed vibes?), echoing what other governments have said recently. Health experts also advise that before having sex, you and your partner should check for COVID-19 symptoms, including sore throat, fever, coughs, etc. Even if there are none, they express that it’s still a risk to expose yourself to someone who isn’t a part of your bubble, which is why they suggest skipping kissing and face to face contact.
“Current evidence indicates there is a very low likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus through semen or vaginal fluids. However, even if the people involved do not have symptoms, sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing COVID-19 through close contact, like kissing. Remember as with all social interactions, try to keep your number of close contacts low if possible,” explains Dr. Tam.
Like all activities that put you in close contact with other people, sex is a thorny issue during these complicated times. It’s up to everyone to weigh the pros and cons and measure their level of risk, contemplating their age or if there’s an underlying condition that they have to cope with. Afterwards, they can make a decision that works best for them and what they need.