A global pandemic, cyclones, earthquakes and locust attacks: 2020 has been quite an eventful year, to say the least. If there's any respite for couples (who are fortunate enough to be quarantined together) it's the chance to work on their relationship and understand each other more and more each day. And of course, sex is an indispensable part of every relationship and the lockdown leaves us with a lot of time for that too. But now researchers at Harvard University in the United States suggest that couples might contract the virus even through sex. Researchers suggest that couples should be wearing face masks even while having sexual intercourse.
All this after the UK has now made it illegal to have sex with someone you don't live with.
Here's what the study says
The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and was led by Dr Jack Turban. "For some patients, complete abstinence from in-person sexual activity is not an achievable goal. In these situations, having sex with persons with whom they are self-quarantining is the safest approach."
Even if you're living together, one partner stepping out to run errands or groceries can potentially be a carrier of the virus, so practising safe sex is the best bet right now.
But if you're not living together then the study recommends abstinence. And if that's not possible then couples are advised to avoid kissing and wear face masks, even while having sex. Avoid any oral-anal acts that involve semen or urine. After sex, bathing is essential to ensure that any potential trace of the virus has been washed off you. And the study also recommends "cleaning of the physical space with soap or alcohol wipes."
Although it hasn't entirely been proven that semen can contain coronavirus, research recommends taking precautions like avoiding mouth to mouth contact and unprotected sex. "The relevance regarding sexual transmission remains unknown. Until this is better understood, it would be prudent to consider semen potentially infectious," says the study.
It further went on to recommend other forms of sex like masturbation and phone sex. "Patients can be counselled to engage in sexual activity with partners via the telephone or video chat services. Given privacy concerns, they should be counselled to use secure encrypted platforms," the study added.
If social distancing wasn't bad enough, sexual distancing is now a thing. What's next, 2020? 😒