Coronavirus in Australia: Should you stop having sex as part of social distancing?
To bonk or not to bonk? It depends on your individual circumstances. Picture: StockSource: Supplied
Australians are being told to limit their interactions with people and maintain a 1.5m distance from others wherever possible to slow the spread of coronavirus.
But what does that mean for physical contact of the especially intimate kind?
Professor Paul Hunter from the School of Medicine at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom said he’s been asked whether or not people should still have sex in this uncertain new world.
Like many social interactions and the coronavirus crisis, the answer is complex and depends on individual circumstances.
“If you are free of symptoms but are social distancing, then there are no reasons why you cannot continue to have sex with your partner when you live together,” Professor Hunter said.
“If your sex life is rather more bohemian and you cannot get to have sex without mixing with some or many other people, this mixing is advised against, so stay at home.
“This is especially important if you are in one of the at-risk groups.”
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Experts have shared their view on whether people should still have sex during social distancing measures. Source:Getty Images
Close interaction with others increases the risk of spreading the infection and it’s no different in physically intimate scenarios, he said.
“Even during sex, the main risk probably comes from being close face-to-face through droplet spread, through kissing and touching each other’s faces,” Professor Hunter said.
“I am not aware of any evidence to date that the infection can be spread through vaginal intercourse per se. So, please continue to wash your hands regularly and especially before sex.”
For those who are self-isolating because they or their partner is unwell with symptoms such as a cough or fever, abstinence isn’t necessarily your only option.
“However, if you partner is in one of the vulnerable groups because of age, pre-existing disease or she is pregnant, then you need to stay away from them as much as possible and this would mean avoid sex for the first seven days,” Professor Hunter said.
“If your partner does not live with you then they should be staying away.
“The evidence is unclear about whether vigorous exercise is bad for you when you are acutely unwell with fever or pneumonia. Nevertheless, it would probably be best to avoid sex while you feel poorly.
“Whether you do or do not still have sex during this period remember to wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds and avoid touching your or your partner’s face with unwashed hands.”
Strict social distancing restrictions have been put in place in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Australia’s Department of Health has offered its views on whether it’s wise to be romantic at the moment.
“It is a matter of common sense,” a spokesperson said.
“Limiting contact with an intimate partner who shares your home is really only necessary when a person is unwell. Otherwise, continuing good hand hygiene practices in the home is the recommendation.”
It echoed the advice of Professor Hunter in urging anyone who is particularly at risk – the elderly, for example – to minimise their physical contact with others, and vice versa for their partners.
“This would extend to kissing and other intimate contact, particularly with people who are outside your home environment, such as casual partners,” the spokesperson sai