The sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) has said that wearing a mask during sex and avoiding kissing are vital practices in helping to prevent COVID-19 from spreading. The coronavirus pandemic has effected the way we go about our daily business in so many ways, with face masks and social distancing measures implemented in various different areas to help slow the spread of the virus.
Due to such social distancing measures, research has found that the number of people looking to find sexual partners has dropped, the THT finding restrictions have resulted in 84% of people abstaining from sexual practices with those outside their households. Whilst restrictions in the UK have partially eased since first implemented in March, the charity have claimed that it is no longer realistic to expect the public to refrain from sex entirely. In light of such claims, the THT have now put out published guidelines on practicing safe sex during the current pandemic, including wearing a face mask during, as well as refraining from kissing.
The wearing of face coverings and masks has become somewhat of a new normal in recent times due to the coronavirus pandemic; in confined and indoor spaces, on public transport and in supermarkets to name but a few places, something TechRound takes no issue with, in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. Some countries around the world, including some parts of Europe have previously mandated the wearing of face coverings in outdoor settings, a practice with very limited supporting evidence. When it comes to sex however, would people actually wear a mask?
Will People Realistically Wear Face Masks During Sex?
Taking the term safe sex to an entirely new level, THT have published guidelines on how to practice sexual activities whilst preventing the spread of coronavirus as much as possible, including the use of face masks, refraining from kissing and other tips explored later in this article.
Although reports suggest that many Brits have abstained from sex outside of their household during the lockdown period, as the charity warns it’s now unrealistic to ask this of people more long-term, however, is it also unrealistic to expect them to wear face masks during sex?
A study published by YouGov in the second half of 2020 found that 22% of Brits would wear a mask during sex, this number going up to 27% when excluding those abstaining from sex regardless.
Whilst these figures reveal a significantly low number of Brits claiming they would be willing to take the country’s leading HIV and sexual charity’s advice on this, they may not exclusively indicate that people would wear masks solely to prevent the spread of COVID, YouGov stating alongside these results that “we don’t know how many already liked doing so before COVID”.
So whilst these results may be of some indication as to number of Brits willing to abide by the charity’s advice, they could also be suggestive of the UK’s more interesting…well…interests and amidst reports of the emergence of COVID-19 themed porn, this weirdly comes as no surprise.
The study also received some colourful responses when posted on the YouGov’s Twitter, including “If they can find someone for me to have sex with then sure” and “I already have to wear a paper bag on my head so why would I care about a mask?”
Can I Have Sex During Coronavirus?
All jokes aside, it is still crucial to follow any and all government advice that applies to your daily activities. Whilst lockdown has prevented many from sexual practices with partners, as previously mentioned, the THT claims it is unrealistic to expect people to abstain from sex indefinitely.
The Terrence Higgins Trust states:
“Sex is a very important part of life and, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we all need to find ways to balance our need for sex and intimacy with the risks of the spread of COVID-19. As there are increasing concerns about a ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 your best sexual partner during the pandemic is you or someone you live with. Having said that, there are ways to make your sex as safe as possible.”
In addition to wearing a face mask and refraining from kissing, throughout their guidance, the charity advised the following:
- The best sexual partners during the current pandemic are those you live with (or yourself!).
- The safest sexual practices recommended were masturbation, phone/online sex, or the use of sex toys – as these can be practiced from a distance.
- Sexual partners outside of the household should be limited as much as possible.
- Discussing COVID to see if sexual partners, or anyone they interact with, have had symptoms or tested positive for the virus.
- Not partaking in sexual activities if feeling unwell, and isolating yourself if COVID symptoms appear.
- Wash hands before and after sex for 20 seconds.
The THT further comments on their published guidelines page, “As with returning to the workplace, going food shopping or getting a long-awaited haircut, our ‘new normal’ involves following government advice, being aware of the COVID-19 risk to ourselves and others and making decisions based on that and the same applies to sex.”