COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, is real you guys. And while it is not a sexually transmitted infection, the virus which has been ruled a pandemic by the World Health Organization, certainly is communicable, and something that impacts sex lives. More specifically, as it seems, it impacts queer sex lives and hook-up culture.
As we progress into quarantines, whether self-initiated or mandated by government officials, people have been increasingly been discussing what exactly this means for sex. Some apps like Grindr have put up notices warning users of the spreading virus but many stopped short of telling anyone to stop hooking up. On social media it's clear that people are split. Well, now the NYC Health Department has weighed in.
"All New Yorkers should stay home and minimize contact with others to reduce the spread of COVID-19," the agency wrote in a white paper dated March 19, 2020. Though it was once on the Health Department's website it's not accessible now — some believe this is because traffic caused the page to crash. But while the overall advice is to minimize contact, the paper does explain some ways to still engage in a bit of sexual relief.
"You are your safest sex partner," the note explains. We've certainly heard this before: masturbation is some of the safest sex you can have, and that extends to coronavirus. This is even safer if you wash your hands and sex toys with soap and water before and after. Maybe it's time to join the wave and stock up on a few more toys if you need a little variety in your life.
But if masturbation isn't enough, "the next safest partner is someone you live with." Keep it within the quarantine guys, much like Ezra Miller with his polycule. If you're quarantining with these people you are already being exposed to them and are in close contact with them, so maybe it's time you have the conversation about making the situation a little more intimate.
Outside of the quarantine though, hookups are out. You really shouldn't be going over to another guy's place to arrange a get together. The more you're outside and in different environments, the more you're giving yourself exposure for either contracting or spreading the virus — whether you know you have it or not. Going out every night — or every other night for that matter — to meet up with a different person or a different group of people to chat or even to have sex is not social distancing. The point is to limit your in-person social interactions to just a few.
This doesn't mean you can't find some way to get off with someone who isn't with you. the Department of Health advises "video dates, sexting, or chat rooms." SEND NUDES YOU GUYS!! GET CREATIVE. You can figure it out, but doggy style is not enough to prevent the spread.
As for transmission, the Health Department emphasizes that "kissing can easily pass COVID-19" while the virus has also been found in feces. This means that rimming is also you might want to consider tabling. Oh, and make sure you shower. Washing your hands as well as anything that you may have touched while having sex (or masturbating,) is pretty important.
And yes, group sex is officially completely off the table you guys!