Given the latest national health directive on 22 March 2020, social distancing is still something we all need to adhere to and do over the next few weeks. It is a crucial time as we all collectively put our efforts to minimize the spread of this pandemic.
A recent article published a few days ago by the Guardian website talks through intimacy in the time of the coronavirus; they had three experts weigh in on the risks associated with intimacy during this time. I have extracted a few things that are relatable to this article.
According to Dr Jessica Justman, what they have been seeing is that it is not sexually transmittable. 'It’s primarily spread through respiratory droplets. And touching contaminated surfaces is thought to be the secondary mode of transmission.'
In the article, Dr Carlos Rodríguez-Díaz, explained that there is no evidence that the Covid-19 can be transmitted via either vaginal or anal intercourse. 'However, kissing is a very common practice during sexual intercourse, and the virus can be transmitted via saliva. Therefore, the virus can be transmitted by kissing.'
The advice is that if you or your partner have the virus, it is important that you stay clear of each other until you recover. According to Dr. Julia Marcus, if both you and your partner do not have any symptoms and have been close to home, then having 'sex might actually be a really great way to have fun, stay connected and relieve anxiety during this potentially stressful time.'
Due to the health directives that are asking us to practice social distancing and stay home, sexual intercourse as you can imagine may be a challenge, together with a number of sexual behaviours such as kissing, being in close proximity, touching and much more. It would be best to abstain if you are in between partners, don’t have a regular partner, not living with a partner or getting to know a new partner.
There are things we can do and still enjoy ourselves, be social and still be in touch with our sexuality. Here are a few suggestions you can try, whether you live on your own or with your partner.
- Discover yourself – that’s right, beautiful people! Discovering what you like and unlearning or relearning your body is a great way of using this time as we need to adhere to social distancing. If you do use sex toys, please ensure you keep them clean – use soap and water after each use, and store them in a clean and sanitized space. If you are single, you can also use this time to figure what you would want in a partner and even what kind of sexual behaviour you are open to or not open to.
- Chatting to potential partners – if you are single, then this is also a great time for you to get to know someone new, through video calls, sex chats or regular calls. The focus will not be on physical penetrative sex and you can share ideas or things you would like to do with this potential romantic partner, get to know them and arrange to meet up when it is safe to do so.
- Socializing online – this weekend, I got to see how some of my friends (in different parts of the world) socialize on Facebook and Instagram. Some were dressed up with a glass of wine in hand and talked through the evening on Skype or Zoom. Some were video chatting in their PJ’s and others were playing virtual games such as chess, solitaire and scrabble.
- Online movie nights – if you live alone, another thing you can do is sync up your movie night with a friend. This is a really different experience from watching a movie at the cinema or having an actual drink with someone. However, there is a lot you can get to know about a person when you both have to choose a movie that you both like, sync it so that you can provide ongoing commentary and agree on when breaks can be taken. It offers a wonderful way of getting to know someone - maybe the old fashioned way, with a twist that technology can offer us virtually.
- Reading erotica – reading erotica is another way you may explore or discover new interests. You can do this with a potential partner or on your own. There is plenty of online literature that can allow you to still feel sexual in the absence of a partner - or even with one!
- Give each other space – if you do live with your partner, it is important to give each other space and offer some alone time during this period of being asked to stay at home. A lot of families/couples do not regularly spend this much time (continuously) with each other, and so having a schedule for the family, with regular breaks, specific activities you can do together with your spouse and also with the kids would be good to think about and put together.
- Couple activities – during this time at home you can choose to do a range of activities together with your spouse/partner such as; cooking your favourite meals, cleaning or reorganizing specific rooms, looking through old pictures or videos of past holidays, playing board or card games, learning a new dance routine, gardening, reading to each other from the same book, taking turns in choosing a movie to watch and taking turns in choosing a music playlist. You may come up with other activities too.
As you have read, there are so many things you can do, whether you live with your partner or not, and even outside of this list. There are also ways you can enjoy being sexual or explore your sexuality. Please remember to follow health directives, do not share unverified information in groups you are a part of, do your part, practice kindness and mindfulness; and be safe always.
How are you and your partner dealing in a time of Corona?