Safe kissing COVID

Safe kissing and other activities during COVID-19

Sexuality, ,

The COVID crisis has changed many things in our daily life, and maybe one of the most difficult things is that many people have been shut out of a healthy sexual life. Someone married or living with their sexual partner may not notice any change. But for the single person, the prohibitions may seem intolerable.

Many single people wonder if it’s safe to meet new people, date, kiss, or have sex. On 8 June, the New York Health Department released a detailed document with their recommendations. In March and April, New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic, but recently, they have “flattened their curve.”

The safest activity

The Health Department document recognizes that many people will continue to kiss and have intimate relationships despite COVID, and they list ways to lower the risk for everyone. They emphasize masturbation as the safest activity, and that the sale of sex toys has boomed.

Next safest

The next safest intimate activity is with someone who is already in your household, someone you trust is taking precautions such as social distancing. This virus is spread though respiratory secretions, including saliva, so kissing carries a high risk of spreading the virus from an infected to a non-infected person. It is believed that sexual intercourse itself will not spread the virus, but intercourse usually also involves kissing and being physically close to the respiratory secretions of another person, and that is the risk. 

Beyond your known circle

Meeting someone new, beyond your known circle, carries a higher risk, but there are ways to lower that risk. First, you should have a discussion with the other person just as you would (in the past) regarding safer sex, condoms, and STDs. But beyond those questions, which should still be discussed, you need to add other questions before you kiss and maybe have sexual relations.

Questions to ask

Question the other person if they have had, within the past 14 days, any symptoms of COVID such as fever, cough, sore throat, or breathing problems. Also if they have noted any decrease in their taste or smell function, which can be the first symptom. Have they been in contact with anyone suspected of having COVID? Do they live with lots of people? How well have they been using masks, and social distancing? 

The right answers to these questions does not ensure they don’t have COVID—since people can have COVID and not have symptoms (asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic)—but these questions certainly lowers the risk. If you yourself are in a higher risk category, by virtue of age or medical conditions, or you or the other live with someone in a higher-risk category, consider taking more precautions if you decide to become intimate.

Intimacy precautions

Ways to decrease the risk of infection during sexual activity include: everyone wearing masks, enjoying sexual positions that minimize the two people breathing on each other, and, to really lower the risk, consider no kissing of the face or mouth. Note that the COVID virus has been found in feces, so any oral-anal contact is considered higher risk. 

Other suggestions include the alternative of mutual masturbation, having a partial wall between the two people (to avoid close face to face contact), having sex outside, or in more open, well-ventilated indoor spaces. Fans and open windows are your friends to disperse any virus particles. If you can, avoid touching your face or the other person’s mouth, nose, or eyes, and use alcohol gel when you are done.

Risk reduction also includes limiting the number of sexual partners; the fewer, the lower the risk. Some have suggested that a silver lining in the epidemic is that dating and the rush to have sex will slow down, and allow people to actually talk and get to know each other before becoming intimate. We hope that is the case!

To find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website:

See also in ProcuraMed:

The current state of COVID and treatments in Brazil

How to avoid COVID-19 as the world opens up 

Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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