There has been a lot of confusing, sometimes contradictory advice regarding if, how and with whom you can have sex, but finally the message has been distilled into one clear statement – love the one(s) you live with and no one else*.
If you are in a long term, monogamous relationship, you and your partner live together, and neither of you shows symptoms or has been exposed to risk, then you may continue enjoying each other’s bodies.
Everybody else will need to improvise.
Casual sex, sex work, buddy sex, sex with a new partner, and even sex with a long-term partner who doesn’t live with you all present risks.
COVID-19 is a respiratory infection passed on via mouth, nose, hands and possibly anus. It can be passed through direct saliva contact (kissing), through the air (sneezing, coughing, heavy breathing), or contact with a droplet spattered surface.
It’s pretty hard to imagine too many acts of intimacy that don’t involve any or all of the above.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find pleasure in the company of another human being; you just need to maintain your distance and be a little creative.
Combine voyeurism and masturbation in a very informal, intimate audio or video chat.*
Go solo and explore your own erogenous zones. Order some toys online and experiment with complete inhibition.
Watch, read, listen to erotic material. It’s not all hard-core porn.
Or you could choose to be celibate…
Both ACON and THH have released fact sheets providing their advice on sex.
Karen Price from ACON
“Obviously the question of sexual contact has come up for us quite a bit. And we know that there is a range of diverse relationships that people have in our community, emotional and also physical…
“We know that good physical health and healthy sexual lives are important to our well-being, so it’s a question of how we keep those healthy behaviours, while adhering to the advice and instructions. We need to do our bit for each other, but also for our health workers and hospital systems which are facing a massive struggle.”
Simon Ruth from THH
“Even though this is not a sexually transmitted disease, there is probably no safe way to have sex with someone and not look at transmitting the virus…
“The community will come up with a whole range of creative ways, as they always do to do a range of things including having sex. So we’re going to set up a service where you can email us those ideas and we’ll get our clinical experts to consider them and give you a risk rating on how risky that activity is.”
*On April 1, Victorian Chief Health Officer, Prof Brett Sutton has since clarified the State’s stance on non-defacto couples:
Regarding ‘Stay at Home’ rules: We have no desire to penalise individuals who are staying with or meeting their partners if they don’t usually reside together. We’ll be making an exemption. Hope that helps.
— Chief Health Officer, Victoria (@VictorianCHO) April 1, 2020
In NSW, Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller, further attempted to clarify confusion over the definition of ‘care’ by stipulating that visiting your partner is a reasonable excuse for leaving home.
This morning NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said he considered visiting a partner to fall under “care” as reasonable grounds for leaving home. "I would put that under care, absolutely, mental health, that’s under care … we need to look after each other.”
— Clare Armstrong (@ByClare) March 31, 2020
*Be safe. See our section on staying safe online.