Does social distancing also mean sexual distancing? We’ve got you a special medical opinion from Dr. Noor Gill, a doctor who is on front-line, handling case and allaying fears.
By Dr Noor Gill
With an ongoing global crisis, sexual intercourse is not at the top of our priority list when it comes to ‘trending topics of discussion’, and so it is easy to foster wrong ideas and harbor misinformation.
Expecting people to abstain from sex when they are stuck with each other for 21 days (or more) with no one but each other to talk to, you do run out of topics to graze through after a point of time!
Can Coronavirus be transmitted sexually?
The answer is: We don’t know. But here’s what we know- the Novel Covid-19 is the latest from the family of viruses known as the Coronaviridae. This is a notorious family of viruses known for causing respiratory infection outbreaks. Their chief mode is transmission through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or nasal discharge. Others become infected by inhaling these droplets or by coming in contact with them and then touching their face, nose or eyes. Which is why, if not directly, you might come in contact with the virus indirectly most certainly if you indulge in unprotected sexual activities.
Christian Lindmeier, a spokesperson for the World Health Organisation (WHO), told the New York Times that coronaviruses are not typically sexually transmitted.
But, do know that “sexually transmitted” is not the same as “catching it from your sexual partner”. You don’t have to go from vertical to horizontal for you to catch the virus from an infected partner.A kiss on the lips could do the deed for the virus just as well. So, hold your horses right there, kind sire. Since the virus is present in all respiratory secretions, any sexual practice could put you and your partner at a risk of transmission.
Is social distancing = sexual distancing?
Social distancing does not mean sexual distancing. Ideally while practicing social distancing we are supposed to keep a distance of at least 2m (yes two meters) between one another, but we understand that it is not realistic.
How do I keep myself and my partner protected and satisfied?
It is impossible to ask people to deny oneself the simple pleasures of life and lock-down. But if you’re always at a risk of jeopardizing your physical health, how does one make the most of this lock-down without putting oneself and their partner at risk.
- Get yourself tested–Since COVID-19 does not always present with symptoms, both of you need to get yourselves tested before hitting the hay. This way you would also be contributing in controlling the ongoing pandemic. Who knew it could be that easy to be a hero. If you are showing mild symptoms, practise distancing yourself – only because the disease did not hit you hard, does not mean it would be the same for your partner.
- Safe Coitus –Walk up to your partner and ask them to wash their hands in your sexy voice, both before and after you do anything. Make this your new foreplay ritual.To further reduce the risk of contamination and transposal, use condoms, dental dams and latex gloves. Desperate times call for tweaking the norms of sexual practice. You’re a hero, remember? And this is your superhero suit.
- Get creative–Let your imagination flow.Look for ‘off the beaten track’ individualistic ways of intimacy. Instead of kissing and indulging in sexual intercourse, try erotic massages, foot rubs, chatroom’s, watching/reading erotica or write stories to each other. Take advantage of this time and distance. I’ve heard actually paying attention to what your partner is trying to say seems to work wonders as well.
- Communicate – Talk to your partner. Let them know if you’re feeling a little under the weather. This might not ‘just’ be the flu. And if you truly care for your partner, you would not throw them under the bus, or take them with you like that.
- Avoid Multiple Partners –This is also not the time to revamp your Tinder profile. You do not know where that stranger you met at the bar has been. And I don’t think you would want to lay in an isolation room wondering who it was.If you’ve been with someone who has either presented with symptoms or was tested positive, I would suggest you get yourself tested as well. And while you’re at it, inform everyone you’ve been with, both before and after you presented with the symptoms yourself.
- Keep yourself updated –Whether that is regarding the health status of your loved ones or with regard to the latest advancements pertaining to the ongoing Covid-19 global crisis. But only take in information from verified sources, and do not pass it on until you are very sure that it is true and not a misreport.
Engaging in any form of sexual activity involves a risk, one that can be avoided, at least until we find a vaccine or medicine to treat the threat. Forbidden fruit always looks sweeter and luring, but refraining and abstaining from biting right into it will only make it sweeter once the storm has passed. And as cheesy and tempting as “you’re worth catching a cold over” sounds, they are not worth catching an excruciatingly crippling and bone crushing respiratory virus that might take you down with it.
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