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Safer Sex in the Time of Covid-19

Can I catch or share Covid-19 from having sex?

While COVID-19 isn’t a sexually transmitted infection, engaging in sexual activity will increase your risk of catching or sharing the virus because:

  • You will be close to one another, and
  • You will probably share saliva (spit) or mucus which can transmit the virus.

Who can I have sex with?

If you are going to choose to have sex, the safest person to do it with is someone you already live with, because we are all supposed to be staying within our own homes to limit the number of people we come into contact with.

For this reason, starting a new sexual relationship, dating face-to-face, or using dating website or apps like Tinder or Grindr to hook up are not advised right now.

Of course, if the person you live with isn’t already your sexual partner there is no reason why you have to start having sex with them – consent is always essential. And your existing sexual partner might not want to have sex right now either, for many reasons.

At the time of publication, in Tasmania, it is still legal to visit a romantic partner if they live in another home. You may choose to visit them, or you might decide to not see each other for a while to reduce risk. If you have been ordered by the government to remain in quarantine or self-isolation you cannot visit anyone, and they can’t visit you.

During the pandemic, you may need to get creative with how you engage with sex and focus more on masturbation (sex with yourself, with or without sex toys), or using technology for sexts/phone sex/virtual sex with a partner who doesn’t live with you or who is unwell.

How can I be safer?

Great hygiene and protection are always important, but more now than ever.

Remember to wash your hands, face, and sex toys thoroughly with soap and water (for a minimum of 20 seconds) before and after sex or intimate play including masturbation.

To minimise the risk of sharing fluids and fecal matter, use barrier protection like condoms or dental dams. Condoms will also help reduce the risk of STIs and unplanned pregnancy.

If you’re running low on your usual contraception, Family Planning Tasmania is offering telehealth services (a consultation over the phone). Now could also be a great time to consider a long-acting reversible contraceptive, such as an Intrauterine Device (IUD) or an Implant. Family Planning is still providing these services. You’ll speak to a doctor over the telephone and then come in to the clinic for contraceptive to be inserted.

If you’ve had unprotected sex and want to get tested for STIs, Family Planning Tasmania can provide a telephone appointment for this.

What if I’m sick?

If you or your partner are feeling unwell, you should visit, and do not engage in intimate activity of any kind, including hugging, kissing, touching, oral sex, and intercourse until you have received medical advice specific to you.

So, can I have sex or not?

Ultimately, as long as you aren’t breaking any laws and everyone is a consenting adult, then it is still your choice.

This information is general in nature and does not take any individual circumstances into account. Contact your GP for personalised health advice.

This information may have changed since publication of this document and so it is important to visit before making any decisions about interacting with others.

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