Johannesburg – As physical distancing is impossible during sexual relations, the prospect of getting infected with the novel coronavirus during intercourse is considered to be reasonably high.
Evidence show that those infected can pass the deadly disease onto others through their saliva, mucus and breath as Covid-19 spreads through tiny particles that an infected person exhales or when they talks,, coughs, or sneezes into the air.This is as
But sex experts have insisted that the need for connection and a way to blow off some steam during the global health pandemic has resulted in lovers across the globe willing to take the risk and engage in sheet-shaking antics.
“People will never, ever give up the need for human connection and will risk themselves to be close and that is never going to go away,” local clinical sexologist and couples therapist Marlene Wasserman, known as Dr Eve, tells The Saturday Star this week.
She adds that controlling adults and their sexual desires was not feasible and that they should be able to make their own decisions, particularly when it came to their sex lives. “It is a fact that people are having sex, and we can’t police them and we shouldn’t be policing them.”
Wasserman says that there were conflicting Covid-19 prevention protocols in different countries around the world which has left people confused and unsettled, which she believes has consequently left them to make their own decisions.
But health experts have cautioned caution people about the dangers of engaging in sexual intercourse during the coronavirus pandemic, with The Terrence Higgins Trust, a UK charity which specialises in sexual health, recently suggesting people avoid kissing, wear a face covering and choose positions that aren’t face-to-face during sex.
The dangers associated with intimacy and Covid-19 has even prompted Hollywood to alter the way they film sex scenes.
An article by the Business Insider revealed that actors were now increasingly using sex dolls for scenes which require touching with thin flexible plastic sheets, which can be edited out during production, also being used to enable kissing to done safely.
Local sex expert Sharon Gordon, who is also the owner of Lola Montez, the purveyor of adult toys and relationship advise, believes that while risk couples should take more caution, most people are at risk of contracting the virus while going about their lives than they would during sex.
“I think you’re in as much danger if you go to a bar for a hook-up or a coffee shop. “My partner and I live separately and didn’t see each other during the hard lockdown but we see each other now but if one of us was exposed we would stay apart until we were better.” “I think I’m more at risk from all the people I am in contact with during the day,” she said Gordon.
Meanwhile, sexologist Dr Stephen de Wit explained explains that instead of policing an adult’s free will, communication was key when it comes to sex during the pandemic.
“What I am clear on is people’s sexual expression rarely bows to the wisdom of an expert. So, rather than saying ‘No it is not safe’ or ‘Yes, it is safe’, I think it is prudent to evaluate your risk, your partner’s risk, and who else you may put at risk.”
De Wit said it was essential to have a “covid convo” in addition to the “safer sex” conversation when enjoying hook-ups.
“Additionally, on a global scale, parts of the world are experiencing different levels of success in managing Covid-19, so if you are in Samoa, I would say get your freak on but if you are in Florida you may want to hang it up for a while.”
While these sexual experts agree that consenting adults should evaluate their own risk factors when it comes down to engaging in x-rated entanglements, there is also a general consensus that the global health crisis has opened up an exciting avenue for people to explore different sexual options, including masturbating, using sex toys, watching porn, sexting, steamy video sessions and other uses of technology for sexual satisfaction.
“Generally speaking, in non-global pandemic times, I encourage people to expand and diversify their sexual repertoire,” says de Wit. “Now more than ever is an opportunity to explore, and when one door closes you may be forced to crawl out a window and be delighted by what you find on the other side.”
For those wanting to have sex but limit their coronavirus exposure, Wasserman suggests using face masks and covering as part of role playing, not wearing them simply out of fear.
De Wit agrees and adds that sexual experiences differ for people. “It really depends on what pleasure looks like for you.” “There are people who wore masks and didn’t kiss before Covid-19 because it was pleasurable for them.
“You could explore role play and wear masks for a little doctor/patient excitement, there are lots of ideas out there,” he says.
Gordon is also in favour of exploring different sexual avenues. “I have found that new couples are getting to know each other better before jumping into bed, especially during the hard lockdown and there were intimate conversations on Zoom, or something similar, which gave us an opportunity to see the person in their natural habitat.”