Hooking up hints
Current guidance in the UK, and many other parts of the world, ask us to stay away from other people as much as possible. This means that in-person sex hook-ups are discouraged. Many sex apps are now encouraging us all to find other ways of getting-off that do not involve any COVID-19 transmission risk.
Meeting other people for hooks-up can increase your risk of picking up or passing on COVID-19. You, or the person you’re having sex with, might have COVID-19 and not know it: not everyone show symptoms. You’ll also increase the risk of passing COVID-19 onto others you or your hook-up are in social contact with – including family members, housemates, and regular partners. If any of those people have an underlying serious health condition and get COVID-19, the implications for their health could be serious.
There’s another reason hook-ups are being discouraged: many health services are overwhelmed with dealing with COVID-19 and are unable to offer usual health services. Routine STI testing is being reduced. If you get or pass on an STI during a hook-up, it’s going to be harder to get it tested and treated than usual.
Casual physical hook-ups during these times can put us, our partners, and others we’re in contact with, at potentially huge risk of picking up or passing on COVID-19. These are extraordinary times and the universal precautions around hand washing, physical distancing, isolation and quarantine will save lives.
If you decide to continue to have hook-ups, you can reduce the COVID-19 risk by:
Avoiding sex that involves the exchange of saliva, such as kissing, snogging or spit-play
Washing your hands and face in soapy water before and after sex
Showering before and after sex (sharing towels with your hook-up isn’t a good idea; use a clean towel each or have your own from home)
Reducing the numbers of hook-ups that you have
Reducing the numbers of people involved in each hook-up
Having sex that reduces the amount of body contact – we hear of some people making their own glory holes and having sex through them, or mutual masturbation, or spanking, or using condoms
Having an encounter that does not involve touching, and involves staying a distance away from each other – such as watching each other jack off, or dressing up
Avoiding encounters that involve face-to-face contact
Not sharing sex toys
Right now, it’s not clear exactly what sex acts might pass on COVID-19. There’s some evidence that COVID-19 might be transmitted through feces (poop). Avoiding rimming, or any other sex that could lead to traces of poop getting into the mouth, will reduce your risk. Washing your hands thoroughly after taking off a condom, or after anal sex, will also help reduce your risk.
For more information on sex during this time visit How to Have Sex in the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic.