Lifestyle

Couples should be wearing face masks during sex, expert says



After the UK government announced that having sex with someone you don’t live with is illegal, there’s been another blow to those who are feeling frisky in the summer heat.

A new study from researchers at Harvard University in the US has found that having sex could spread coronavirus, and recommends that couples take preventative measures in the bedroom – including wearing face masks.

These preventative measures also include showering before and after sex, avoiding kissing and ‘cleaning of the physical space with soap or alcohol wipes’.


The study saw Harvard scientists rank sexual scenarios on the basis of how likely it was that you would catch coronavirus while doing them. Those at the lower end of the scale included abstinence (not having sex at all) and masturbation, while sex with people from your own household and those from other households were determined to be ‘high risk’ activities.

Dr Jack Turban, the study’s lead researcher, said: “For some patients, complete abstinence from in-person sexual activity is not an achievable goal. In these situations, having sex with persons with whom they are self-quarantining is the safest approach.”

The UK Government announced this week that it’s now illegal to have sex with people from other households during lockdown. Under a new amendment to The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 bill, it says only those with ‘reasonable excuses’ can meet indoors and sex is not listed as one of those excuses.

Yet, the Harvard researchers aren’t recommending long-term abstinence. It said: “Some groups, including sexual and gender minority (SGM) communities, may be particularly vulnerable to sexual stigma, given the historical trauma of other pandemics, such as AIDS.

“Abstinence recommendations may conjure memories of the widespread stigmatization of SGM people during the AIDS crisis. For the population at large, a recommendation of long-term sexual abstinence is unlikely to be effective, given the well-documented failures of abstinence-based public health interventions and their likelihood to promote shame.”

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