The One Thing You Should Be Doing Less in Bed Right Now, Doctor Says

You can still get intimate during the pandemic—just make sure you're not kissing too much.

The coronavirus pandemic has made basic socialization much more complicated and distant. So when it comes time for some good old fashioned intimacy, health experts have struggled to come up with dating and sex guidelines that are realistic. Luckily, doctors say you can still get passionate with someonejust make sure you're kissing a lot less in bed to avoid potential exposure to COVID.

In a press conference on Sept. 2, Canada's chief medical officer, Theresa Tam, MD, said, "Like other activities during COVID-19 that involve physical closeness, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of getting infected and spreading the virus." In addition to explaining that refraining from locking lips during sex could help protect you from catching the novel coronavirus, Tam advised wearing a mask as another safety precaution, as well as monitoring you and your partner's symptoms before engaging in any sexual activity.

senior asian woman smiling with senior asian man underneath white comforter
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However, Tam added: "The lowest risk sexual activity during COVID-19 involves yourself alone."

She also discussed how, besides physical intimacy, the act of sex itself does not open other avenues for transmission of COVID. "Current evidence indicates there is a very low likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus through semen or vaginal fluids," Tam said. "However, even if the people involved do not have symptoms, sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing COVID-19 through close contact, like kissing."

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But the guidance from Tam is far from the first time public health officials have weighed in on the safe ways to have sex during the coronavirus pandemic. In June, New York City health officials made headlines when they released a list of incredibly detailed—if not downright explicit—dos and don'ts for the bedroom. "Make it a little kinky," the guidelines suggested. "Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact."

If kiss-free intimacy is a step too far, health experts from Mayo Clinic recommend going on a virtual date, writing each other love letters or poetry, sharing music, or dressing up for one another instead. And for more on how the coronavirus has changed relationships, check out The Pandemic Has Made This Life-Changing Decision Much More Common.

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Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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