*NOTE: For informational purposes only. Consult your local medical authority for advice.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization
In this period of confusion, you can isolate yourself while still trying to retain as much of your daily life as possible. Human touch is important to our happiness, and if you have someone in your life with whom you happen to be erotically intimate, or with whom you want to be intimate, you may ask yourself if sexual activity is healthy.
This article will assist readers in making safe decisions by explaining how the Coronavirus is contracted, how to navigate our sexual lives during a threat and remind readers of regular safe sex practices they may have forgotten about or not have clearly understood before.
The intent of this outline is to help readers stay sexually and physically healthy through this unsettling time and beyond.
How does the coronavirus disease spread?
First, it is important to realize that COVID-19 is transmitted from a person’s respiratory system mainly by droplets. Therefore, if an individual sneezed or couched, tiny particles will scatter into the air. When that person is infected, the infection may also enter the air, either on a surface or in the respiratory system of someone else.
An infected person could also spread the virus by touching a surface that someone else touches. If an uninfected person touches the infected surface with their hands after, then puts their hands around their mouth, eyes or nose, then the uninfected person will become infected.
Just as with STIs and STDs, many people who are infected with coronavirus may never know they carry the virus, as they might show no symptoms at all or very mild symptoms resembling a common cold or flu.
Just as we can get sexually transmitted infections by asymptomatic partners, we can also contract other illnesses, such as COVID-19, by asymptomatic people.
The good news is that even if you or a friend is sick, you’ll most certainly recover, but no one really wants to get the mild flu so it’s socially unethical not to try our utmost to discourage us from becoming subjected to anything that we may have.
Just as a person can be legally punished for violating CDC guidelines concerning coronavirus, so can they face legal repercussions for violating public health laws concerning sexually transmitted diseases.
Coronavirus: Safety Tips for You
To do this, we need to see to it that we’re using the safest and most sanitary practices possible.
If you are following CDC guidelines, do not believe you have been in contact with any infected persons and feel healthy with no fever or symptoms of any sort, then you are as safe as you can be to engage in your normal safe sex practices with a partner, as long as they, too, have been doing the same and also feel perfectly healthy. If you live with your partner, you can do as you’ve always done with them without worry.
When you don’t live with your partner, you will not be able to communicate with them comfortably, but it’s necessary to give careful thought to who you have not been in touch with and whom they were in touch with. When you are still well and have followed the CDC rules closely then you can work with them as you have always done.
However, it’s important to follow your state’s isolation rules. If you live in a city that’s been ordered to stay home, you need to pay careful attention to that. Any time the two (or more) of you depart after being together may increase the risk of getting and transmitting Coronavirus.
The act of sexual intercourse itself does not spread the Coronavirus, but, as discussed above, touching contaminated surfaces and breathing in pathogens does. Saliva, the stuff we can breathe in when other people sneeze bits of it out, can also be contaminated. Since these things are involved in sex and foreplay, it would not be possible for an infected person to intimately engage with an uninfected person and not put the uninfected person at risk.
You should add this to your coronavirus hygiene checklist
Know your partner, follow state guidelines, practice excellent hygiene, and symptom self-monitoring. You don’t need to worry about getting the newest virus during intimate moments if you put all of these into effect.
Of course, as responsible adults and considerate partners, it’s important to continue practicing smart, safe sex even after COVID=19 rates drop and things are back to normal again.
The following will provide some sexual education to help you move forward in your intimate activities with minimal fear of catching or spreading anything at all.
Here’s a preview of what we should all be keeping in mind when we’re engaging in close contact, whether we are or aren’t facing a viral pandemic:
- Saliva can act as a carrier for viruses and bacteria.
- STD tests are advised between all unprotected partners can be accessed discreetly and at little to no cost.
- Many cases of infections and diseases are asymptomatic.
- Saliva in place of lubricant can potentially cause infections.
- Not all lubes can be safely used with all toys or condoms.
- Toys need to be washed after every use.
- Our genitals can house bacteria if not properly washed.
- Douche can exacerbate infections.
Just as saliva can transfer the coronavirus, it can also transfer a number of STDs. Some people may participate in oral sex thinking that it’s safer than other forms of sex without realizing that it can also present several risks.
Here’s a fun fact: In reality, the common mouthwash, Listerine has been shown to help control the spread of certain STDs in pairs of all orientations. Although this can by no means is the only healthy sexual activity, it will help you avoid the spread of infections, most commonly gonorrhea, from having regular, everyday use.
The way to be certain that you and your partner are free of anything transmittable is to get an STD panel.
STD panels are blood tests that should be taken before engaging in unprotected sex with any new partner. If you are unable to see a practitioner of your preference, there are free centers that will discreetly provide these services to you. The blood draws are simple and quick and are an excellent practice if you are serious about your health and the health of your partners.
It is advisable to have this done in between every unprotected partner because, just like Coronavirus, sexually transmitted viruses and infections can also be asymptomatic.
Because saliva can contain sexually transmitted viruses, it’s important to be wise about who we share it with and how we use it. How would we know who’s safe? Use that saliva as lubrication for conversation.
Partners who are mature enough to interact with one another in physical activity should also be mature enough to have open discussions and be honest about their sexual background and health.
Many may use saliva as a sexual lubricant, but even if the saliva is completely free of viruses or diseases, it still contains digestive enzymes and bacteria that can upset the natural flora fauna of the vagina and cause infections.
While some people may opt to take this chance over having unlubricated sex (and therefore risking microtears in our soft tissue) the best practice to use lubrication designed for erotic encounters. The use of lubricant makes sex significantly more enjoyable for many and should be just as commonplace as the use of condoms.
It’s important to note, however, that not all condoms are healthy with all the lube. Latex condoms are protected with silicone or water-based lube, but not with oils as the oils break down latex and can cause ruptures and degradation. Oils are only safe to use with condoms made from lambskin or polyurethane.
Also remember that lambskin condoms only protect against pregnancy, not against STDs, while polyurethane and latex protect against both.
Also, while silicone lube is safe to use with all condoms, it is not safe to use on silicone sex toys, as silicone lube on silicone sex toys acts in a similar way that oil on latex does and it will deteriorate the toy.
This carries over into our sex lives, too, whether we do or don’t have a partner.
Sex and Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Are sex toys safe?
Toys and anything used to enhance or add to sexual pleasure are surfaced that can carry pathogens and they should be cleaned before and after every use just as we should clean ourselves before and after intimate encounters.
If you’re using a toy that goes inside you but can theoretically go inside someone else, handle it like you’d be a real partner and put a condom on it. Upon usage, take the condom off and wash the toy with hot water and soap, or with a special adult product cleaning solution, or both.
If you’re using a device that does not penetrate, remember that these can still pick up fluids from other places and should also be washed with hot water and soap or a specialty cleanings product meant specifically for it. STDs can live on surfaces for up to a week after contact with the host. Make sure all objects used during sex (or articles of clothing) get washed promptly.
Our genitals are another important thing to remember when washing up. Both men and women have folds and crevasses that hide places that love to collect bacteria. Simply getting in the shower or splashing ourselves over a sink is not sufficient enough cleaning.
Just as we wash the objects we use with warm soap and water, we need to do that as well, paying close attention to what’s under the foreskin or between the labia.
When men have foreskin, when shaving, they should also try to pull it back and give it a good clean to extract invisible fluids and bacteria that sometimes get trapped between the penis and the skin. Women’s labia can function in trapping bacteria in similar ways.
Ladies, your vaginas (the interior of your vulvas) are self-cleansing but your external bits are not. Just as men need to be thorough with their foreskin and even testicles, we need to not be afraid to get into the parts that often go overlooked.
Women should never use douche as that rocks the vagina’s natural PH and can cause infections. If you are a woman who believes you should douche because you have a bad smell, there’s a good chance that’s a bacterial infection that can only be resolved by getting antibiotics from a doctor.
Trying to wash it away would not only prove futile but can also aggravate the issue by giving you a yeast infection that can be passed on to the mouth or genitals of a friend.
While this is, by no means, an exhaustive list of safe sex practices, it’s one that contains advice that can help you keep yourself and your partner(s) safe, happy and confident about their sexual wellness.
Stay healthy out there during and beyond the coronavirus, and note that the work of prudent sexuality far outweighs the negative impacts of contracting an infectious and potentially life-changing disease irrespective of how much work it might sound.
Respect for our wellness and that of our intimate partners is the smartest, most loving, and sexiest thing we can practice.
What are you doing to reduce your risk of COVID-19? Let us know your views on the same.
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