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Coronavirus Sex Guide

Medically reviewed by Susan Kerrigan, MD and Marianne Madsen

With the number of people in self-quarantine growing by the day, people are looking to take advantage of their time at home–in more ways than one. While some people are using this time to get a jump start on the spring cleaning they would normally do this time of year, others are looking to strengthen their connections with their partners and keep that spark in their relationship going. 


But it’s not just self-quarantine that’s the name of the game. Social distancing is a catch phrase that has ramifications for people living together, too, whether they be spouses, partners, or even roommates. Current guidelines involve keeping a distance of minimum six feet away from the next person, not sharing commonly shared objects like cutlery and linens, and minimizing direct contact as much as possible.


With that being said, how risky is it to have sex during a pandemic? Is it even advisable at all?


Dr. Jessica Justman and Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz both assert that the method of transmission for this particular disease is respiratory droplets. So, if you’re infected and you sneeze or cough into the air, all the people around you now have a chance of becoming infected. However, Dr. Diaz does warn that there is a chance of something being transmitted via the act of kissing, as there is often a transference of saliva involved.

So if you’re at home holed up with your partner, you can rejoice! As long as neither of you is symptomatic, it is perfectly reasonable to keep up with your sex life. In fact, having sex can be a great way to get some of that stress and tension out that the two of you must be feeling. Just make sure that you use a birth control method unless you know that you want a baby in nine months.


But if you’re single and living alone, now may not be the time to make use of one of the many hook-up apps that are widely available. A pandemic is not the time to meet up with a stranger from the internet when you have no idea where they’ve been or with whom they’ve come in contact. That hour or two of fun is not worth the chance of contacting a highly contagious disease.

If that’s the case, then how is a single person supposed to take care of themselves during a time where strangers are overall staying away from each other? While masturbation may not always give complete satisfaction, it is one way of taking care of yourself whether you’re in isolation or not. It won’t give the human connection many crave, but it will at least take care of the physical aspect. And in this age of technology, we’re more in luck than some of our ancestors stuck in quarantine during the Spanish Flu pandemic. With the wide availability of phones and laptops, some of that aspect of human connection can be taken care of with sexting and video calls. 

Not quite the same, perhaps, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and taking care of all aspects of our wellbeing is important during times of crisis. Having any needs not met can be a recipe for depression, and keeping your mood up is important when potentially facing weeks indoors with minimal human contact. 


So in conclusion: sex with your current, uninfected, asymptomatic spouse or partner is a reasonable way to spend the time in quarantine to build your relationship and get rid of some stress. Someone who is single may want to abstain from reaching out to strangers and instead take the time to get to know themselves better and look for alternate ways to get their physical needs taken care of. 


With everyone taking the proper, appropriate precautions, the pandemic will hopefully die down and life will get back to normal as soon as possible.



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