Just because many people globally are being advised to work from home doesn’t mean that working’s the *only* thing they’ll be doing—and the city of New York knows that. Health officials realize that in times of crisis—or, TBH, boredom—people will turn to one thing to destress: sex.
And why wouldn’t they? Consensual sex is fun, releases tons of endorphins, burns calories (you are supposed to move your body once a day for mental health, after all) and can make you feel emotionally closer to your partner. These are all great things, if sex is practiced safely. The catch? With the spread of COVID-19, safe sex means more than just using contraception. The New York City government has released an advisory outlining safe sexual practices in the time of coronavirus. And we should *all* be taking note.
And don’t worry: You can still have sex, just with some extra precautions and considerations.
Have sex with those physically close to you
Because COVID-19 can be spread through direct contact with saliva or mucus, NYC health advises that any hanky-panky should go down with a partner or person who is physically close to you—meaning someone you live with. “Having close contact—including sex–with only a small circle of people helps prevent spreading COVID-19,” the guidelines say. This means that you should avoid close contact—and sex—with anyone outside your household. So, apologies to your regular booty call, but unless they’ve been self-isolating *with* you, they’ll have to wait until IRL contact is OK again. (There’s always FaceTime though!) If you do have sex with partners outside your isolation pod, make sure it is a very small group.
Read this next: The Best Sex Toys to Romance Yourself With
For individuals in the sex-work industry, the guidelines also advise that anyone who meets sex partners online or makes a living this way should take a break from in-person dates. “Video dates, sexting or chat rooms may be options for you.”
Rimming is a no-go right now
While it’s always important to be safe when you have sex, the guidelines emphasize that now more than ever, condoms and dental dams are our friends, as they can reduce contact with saliva or feces, especially during oral and anal sex.
Into rimming? That’s fun but unfortunately might not be the safest thing to do right now, as the virus can be in your partner’s feces and enter your mouth via the act. Which would decidedly *not* be fun.
Read this next: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Orgasms
Feeling unwell? No sexy time
And as much as you may want to blow off steam with your live-in partner, if either of you isn’t feeling well, the best thing to do is abstain. It may suck now, but you’ll be thankful later.
Masturbation is your BFF
And finally, per the guidelines: “You are your safest sex partner.” In a precarious time like now, masturbation is 100% the safest way to have sex. Just make sure you wash your hands and your sex toys with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and afterward (which, TBH, is good practice *anytime* you have sex or masturbate).
“You are your safest sex partner” — obsessed with NYC’s guide to sex during corona pic.twitter.com/xuKRzD0Jhw
— Chrissy Rutherford (@chrissyford) March 21, 2020
What better time than now to get *in touch* with your body and find out what works best for you? Not only are you guaranteed a good time, but this way, when this period of self-isolation is over, you can take what you’ve learned about yourself and teach it to your future partner or partners. Which will lead to orgasms all around—great for everyone involved and will surely be much needed after getting through this.
And wash your damn hands
This goes for anytime really. But please, please, please wash your hands. There are so many fun songs to sing while doing it!
Read this next: How to WFH When You Live With a Roommate or Partner