Monday, April 15, 2024

BCCDC recommends “glory holes”, masks during sex to prevent COVID-19 transmission


In case you were looking for guidance on love in the time of COVID-19…

The BCCDC website has launched a page that tackles some of the “kissing questions” that has left provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry flustered over the past few months.

Specifically, the site offers advice for people looking to get busy on how to do so in the safest way possible during the pandemic.

First of all, if you’re sick, skip the lovemaking and stick to the solo act.

You are your safest sex partner; your next-safest sex partner(s) is/are the person(s) you live with, or the person(s) who has close contact with only you and no one else,” reads the website.

According to the BCCDC, the virus has been found in semen and feces, but it is not yet clear whether it can be transmitted through sex.

See also: “Fewer faces, bigger spaces”: How to safely expand your social circle in B.C. 

For those who are not feeling sick and have no symptoms of COVID-19, masturbation is still the top recommendation—the centre also encourages doing so with a partner while physical distancing, as that reduces the spread of the virus.

Virtual sex is touted as the next best option as—video dates, phone sex, online chat rooms, and group cam rooms are recommended, with the caveat of needing to be wary of sharing information or photos online, and web camming.

“Some people do not share personal information or show their face or other identifiable body parts, for more privacy,” says the BCCDC.

For the physical act of lovemaking, the centre says having one or a few regular partners for intercourse reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19.

The agency goes on to further outline steps to take while having sex to reduce the risk of being exposed to the virus. These include:

  • Asking partner(s) if they’re feeling unwell or have any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Before and after sex:
    • Washing your body with soap and water.
    • Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Washing sex toys thoroughly with soap and water before and after use. Do not share them with multiple partners.
  • Wearing a face covering or mask as heavy breathing during sex can create more droplets that may transmit COVID-19.
  • Avoiding or limiting kissing and saliva exchange.
  • Choosing sexual positions that limit face-to-face contact.
  • Using barriers, like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact.
  • Using condoms, lubricant, and dental dams may help to further reduce the risk by minimizing contact with saliva, semen and feces during oral and anal sex.

Back in May, Dr. Bonnie Henry was visibly flustered when asked questions about dating and sex during the pandemic.

After an amusing moment of B.C.’s top doctor struggling to find the right words to describe the dating lives of young people in the 21st century, she stated that “online encounters” — presumably referring to dating apps like Tinder and Bumble — have been useful thus far in keeping loneliness at bay.

“This is not the time to do rapid serial dating,” she added, advising people to “pick someone and see if it works out.”

Together, the advice from the BCCDC and B.C.’s top doctor should help most people figure out how they want to go about getting frisky during the pandemic.

Brishti Basu
Former Senior Staff Writer and Content Manager at Victoria Buzz.

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