Wear a face mask and don't kiss: Harvard's advice for safe sex during Covid-19

11 June 2020 - 14:57 By Yolisa Mkele
Face masks are a must for safe sex during the Covid-19 pandemic, says a new report.
Face masks are a must for safe sex during the Covid-19 pandemic, says a new report.
Image: 123RF/lanych

When one thinks of bedroom attire, one generally tends to think of the secrets you’ve been told by women named Victoria and trying to enunciate tongue-twisting words like negligee and lingerie.

Face masks — unless they’re the kinky kind and you’re so inclined — probably don’t cross most people’s minds.

However, according to a report from researchers at Harvard University, donning a protective bit of fabric over your nose and mouth is a good bet when doing the sideways shuffle during the Covid-19 pandemic.

That’s because “it appears that all forms of in-person sexual contact carry risk for viral transmission, because the virus is readily transmitted by aerosols”.

Technically speaking, none of us are supposed to have been visiting, let alone bumping uglies, with anyone we haven’t been holed up with during lockdown, but let’s face it: some people have likely been bending the rules.

If you’re one of them, the report recommends you that wear a face mask, avoid kissing and “behaviours associated with the risk of fecal-oral transmission”, shower before and after the event, and even clean the scene of your rendezvous with soap or alcohol wipes.

To be honest, none of us can say we are all that surprised by this advice. If we can’t even whisper sweet nothings into a stranger's ears in public, then doing so into each other’s mouths in private is a definite no-no.

What may come as a bit of a surprise, however, is that enjoying some sexy time with the person you’re cohabiting with still puts you at risk of infection. As the report points out, that person could have been exposed to the virus any time they’ve left home.

As is the case with these types of reports, the researchers suggest the safest way to get your rocks off is to engage in a little bit of DIY.

This echoes the advice renowned sexual health educator Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng gave TimesLIVE previously. “I think that people can use this time to reflect, have fun and explore their own bodies,” she said.