Love in the Time of COVID-19
To keep COVID-19 transmissions as low as possible and protect vulnerable members of our communities, New Zealand is now in an alert level 4 lockdown (click here for some easy visual information about how social distancing can keep us safe). During lockdown, you should definitely not be leaving the house for casual sex or inviting people into your home - but that doesn't mean you need to go online shopping for a purity ring or a chastity belt.
While COVID-19 isn't a sexually transmitted infection, being in close personal contact with another person is one of the highest risk behaviours for this virus – when you add in shared bodily fluids, it's even higher risk.
COVID-19 is completely different from HIV and STIs and requires a totally different approach and prevention measures. Unfortunately this means our three trusted HIV prevention strategies (condoms, PrEP and U=U) won't do anything to stop this pandemic, so here are some other ways to stay safe!
Touch of my hand
Take some advice from our favourite pop queens Britney, Gaga and Hailee and spend some time reconnecting with you (and your hand/s). You already know your favourite porn sites, so just click the bookmarks in your banner, put your fingers to your genitals and you're away! If you're the type to delete your browser history, this is a good place to start.
Toys can be a great way to spice up your solo sessions, while also letting you explore different things to eventually try with partners! Just remember to wash them well afterwards - especially if there's any chance someone else could be using them, as COVID-19 can live for a long time on some surfaces.
We live in a digital age, and chances are you've already tried online sex in some form, whether it's sending some sexy pictures or having a jack-off sesh on Skype. If you're missing one of your regular fuckbuddies, why not see if they're up for an online encounter instead - just be mindful of what you post online, and make sure the person on the receiving end has given their clear consent.
Is the thrill of meeting up with someone new what you're missing? Show your butthole to a willing stranger on a site like Manroulette!
F**k me through the phone
Phone sex - it's back from the 80s! Give one of your regulars a call and let them know what you'd do to them if you were in the same room.
If you're feeling even a little bit unwell, don't kiss anyone - COVID-19 is spread through saliva so kissing has a high risk of transmission.
If you're the type to meet up with lots of different people for sex, you need to reduce your numbers during this pandemic - ideally to zero. You should not be having sex with casual partners at this time, but if you do make the ill-considered decision to leave the house, then buddying up with just one partner is a less dangerous way to practice social distancing and reduce community transmissions. Again - you should not break the lockdown for any reason, especially casual sex. Basically, if they don't live in your house, don't fuck them!
Soap those hands
If you do have sex with someone (even if it's your long-term monogamous partner) make sure you've washed beforehand. A full body shower is best to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria, but at the very least you should both wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before you get started - especially if one of you has travelled to get there.
Four weeks of romance
If you're in lockdown with a partner, take this time to try some new things! Use your 15-minute breaks for a quickie, or discreetly massage their oiled feet while they're video conferencing.
If either one of you thinks they might have been exposed to COVID-19 before the lockdown, it's best to avoid close contact until you know you don't have the virus. Watch each other masturbate (toys can add a sexy new element) or shout dirty things to each other while maintaining 2 metres distance - and don’t be in the same room together longer than 15 minutes. It can be just like video chatting, but in much higher resolution!
If one of you has confirmed, probable or suspected COVID-19 but doesn't need to be hospitalised; follow the Ministry of Health's advice and avoid all close contact and make use of technology to keep things intimate. Sex and intimacy are great ways to help stay connected and boost each other’s mental wellbeing – but you can do it without physical touch!
COVID-19 for people living with HIV
Following the expert international conference, CROI 2020, there remains no evidence to determine whether people living with HIV are at greater risk of acquiring the new coronavirus or developing more severe disease as a result of that infection. Read more information for PLHIV here.
Want to know more about how COVID-19 is spread? Keep updated with the CDC here.