Mask, Coronavirus, Quarantine, Virus, Epidemic, Disease

What's the least sexy thing you can think of? For most of us, a global pandemic is pretty high up that list -- but think again. 

Many of us have been stuck at home with few distractions, making it an ideal time to get intimate. Sales of high tech, long-distance sex toys are skyrocketing given the fact that many partners cannot safely see each other, let alone have sex. And those of us who are single now have endless hours to spend on solo masturbation time.

Needless to say, quarantine is the perfect time to explore your sexuality with or without a partner. From the privacy of your home, you can focus on pleasure with few distractions and explore new sex positions, luxury sex toys, or fantasies that feel sexy to you. But with the risk of contracting the virus looming overhead, you might be wondering if it's even safe for you to risk connecting with a partner. We hear you, and we get it. 

We definitely don't know everything about COVID-19, but we have learned a few things about how it spreads. Below, we'll explain what that means for your sex life, including what's safe and what's off-limits during the pandemic. 

Coronavirus, Virus, Mask, Corona, Pandemic, Outbreak  

Can You Get Coronavirus from Sex?

The major question most of us have is this one: can you get coronavirus from sex? Unfortunately, the answer is complicated. 

No, having sex is not a surefire way to contract COVID-19. The virus spreads from "sustained close contact" -- hence social distancing rules. But while it's true that most sex acts require you to be less than six feet from a partner, experts suggest it is safe to explore your sexuality with a healthy partner who hasn't been sick.

This bodes well for people who are quarantining at home with a significant other or in a committed relationship. Singles, however, might want to press pause on mingling. After all, an online hookup might say they haven't had coronavirus, but you never know who you can and can't trust in this day and age. Not everyone is who they say they are online and that includes testing negative for COVID-19.

There's also evidence that coronavirus particles can be shed in bodily fluids like saliva, semen, and feces, making protection just as important as ever. You should still only have sex with a partner who feels healthy, but using a condom, dental dam, or another barrier method may protect you from asymptomatic transmission.

If your partner has been sick with the virus, consider sex off the table for at least seven days after symptoms first started and other symptoms have improved. Your partner should also be fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of medications before attempting sex. When your partner is still symptomatic, it's best to abstain from contact, including sharing a bed, until they feel better. 

Can You Get Coronavirus from Sex Toys?

When it's important to stay six feet apart, sex toys can play an important role in intimacy. You can use sex toys during mutual masturbation with a partner or in order for you to orgasm. However, you still might be wondering if sex toys are safe to use, or if they could increase your chances of contracting coronavirus. 

In general, the use of sex toys is safe during the COVID-19 pandemic -- but you need to commit to good hygiene. That includes cleaning your sex toys before and after each use, as coronavirus can live on some surfaces for days to weeks. You can use antibacterial sex toy cleaner, since it’s much safer for your genitals than soap, which can leave residue on your sex toys. 

You may also consider sanitizing your sex toys to kill off germs, which is different from cleaning them with sex toy cleaner. Nonporous silicone, steel, and glass toys without motors can be boiled for five to ten minutes to kill bacteria. Motorized toys (like vibrators) and those made from porous materials cannot be sanitized this way, so you should consider a UV sanitizer to keep them extra squeaky-clean during COVID.

As usual, you should never, EVER share sex toys with anybody, especially given that bodily fluids may be able to transmit the coronavirus. But as long as your sex toys are for you and only you, and as long as you keep them clean, there's no reason you can't enjoy a sex session with your favorite toy. In fact, long-distance sex toys, such as those enabled by apps, are an excellent way to get intimate with a partner from afar, since they can control the speed and intensity of the toy without coming into close contact.

What Sex Acts Are Safest During COVID-19?

In general, sex between healthy partners is safe. Using protection and cleaning sex toys are two important steps to take to reduce the risk of transmission during sex acts. Still, some sex acts pose a lower risk of transmitting coronavirus than others. It's important to have a conversation with your partner about what risks you're willing to take, especially if your partner is an essential worker or medical worker who comes into frequent contact with the virus.

Oral and penetrative sex acts are safest between healthy partners who are quarantining together -- so, press pause on hookups with strangers, at least until restrictions are loosened,  and make sure your partner hasn't been sick in the past week before getting down to business. If you're looking to stay intimate but minimize contact with your partner (whether because they have been infected or because they work in a high-risk job), you might consider mutual masturbation from six feet apart, which doesn't require contact but can still be incredibly intimate.

As for partners who aren't quarantining together, phone sex and long-distance sex toys can help you feel close without breaking social distancing rules. And, of course, if you're single, don't rule out the power of masturbation to bring you pleasure during this stressful time!

Image Credit: Engin_Akyurt / Pixabay
Image Credit: Tumisu / Pixabay