Have you felt your sex life change during this pandemic?
Do you feel anxious about isolation?
Has everything become a threat to you?
You are with your partner at home and the hours pass slowly without being able to enjoy uncomplicated sex?
If you had told us in January of last year that we would experience the year we have experienced, we certainly would not have believed it.
Things were frankly different then.
We have had to adapt to a world of viruses and masks, hydroalcoholic gel, and safety distances. We had to become aware and try to stay healthy.
And logically, within all this accumulation of changes, there are social relationships...
Almost the most abrupt turn we have had to assume. In other times, there are still the outings to go out to have sex, the meetings at any time without limits of guests or the appointments with this or that.
Fortunately, there are also other ways to enjoy your sexuality fully and that is where you should put all your energy, living with spontaneity and savoring the relationship we can have at this moment, even if it is not ideal.
Generating fear of sex will only increase your emotional problems and the feeling of loneliness.
If instead of educating we prohibit doing things having sex becomes a problem with which you stop enjoying your intimacy by being less free, since you have less opportunity to exercise your free will, carrying more anxiety by having to prevent our fellows from giving us kisses and hugs.
That is why more and more people are unable to compensate for the lack of affection and human closeness.
What is the solution to all this uncertainty and worry?
First of all, we have to start by accepting the new reality, instead of being against it or living it with anger or added suffering.
Our lives and plans, at least in the short term, must be readjusted and adapted, but the current scenario, in any case, is better and much safer now than at the beginning of the year, when we did not know how the situation would evolve, the viral load circulating was very high and health personnel did not know if they would be able to cope with the pandemic.
What to do to regain calm and serenity
Self-love and serenity go hand in hand. Recent research has shown that loving oneself reduces stress levels.
People who practice self-compassion, who are kind and loving to themselves, can better withstand and manage stressful situations.
Tips to start regaining serenity
■ Train meditation exercises. They help you to connect with yourself, to understand and know yourself better and promote mental calmness.
Besides, meditation reduces the heart rate, which tends to increase when we suffer stress and anxiety.
■ Do not take responsibility at this time for what is not yours.
The situation of confinement, not being able to work in certain businesses, economic difficulties, etc., are not your fault.
It is the fault of the coronavirus and the pandemic.
Don’t sit around all day feeling bad about it. This way you will not find solutions, you will only increase your anxiety. We will get out of everything as we have done many times before.
What are your options?
If you have a stable partner and you live with him/her, in principle it is not necessary to avoid contact and relations, of course, unless either of you has been exposed to a risky situation, in which case it is advisable to keep a physical distance between 10 and 14 days.
And if you have symptoms, wait until you get better and overcome the disease.
If it is a new relationship, some people advise to resort to the imagination and have "sex at a distance" or sexting, acronym of the terms "sex" (sex) and "texting" (sending text messages) through online platforms, to provoke the excitement of the other or reach mutual orgasm by sending messages and images that facilitate it.
This practice is not recommended unless it is a relationship of great trust, and even then, there is always the risk that the content can be forwarded or disseminated by networks without consent, so it shouldn't include personal images or audio recordings that may be compromising.
Kissing, a coronavirus risk
Just as sneezing and coughing without the distance of one and a half meters is a risk, kissing is even more so because of the direct contact that occurs with saliva by the simple fact of joining your mouths.
So we should not relax preventive measures during this practice, since it involves close contact with another person, which can facilitate contagion.
So for the time being and until we have the solution to prevent or cure Covid-19 infection, the most prudent thing to do is to reduce kissing on the lips to our regular partner or to people who are objectively not infected.
Is there any form of intimacy and sex that is completely safe at this time?
The Covid-19 pandemic raises the question of whether sex is still safe and whether we can take some precautions to reduce the likelihood of becoming infected or infecting our partner.
Covid-19 is known to be highly contagious by airborne transmission up to a distance of 2 meters.
The small droplets that are expelled when talking or coughing remain on the surfaces of objects for several days, and we can become infected by touching them and bringing our hands to our faces.
To this we must add more data: in most infected patients the virus is present in the feces.
As regards urine, it is rare, but its presence has been observed in a small percentage of infected patients.
In semen and vaginal secretions, so far, no data have been published on its presence in these fluids, although other similar coronaviruses are not sexually transmitted.
Taking into account these considerations, it is obvious that having sex with an infected person is a sure source of contagion or being infected.
Therefore, the first rule to keep in mind is not to have sex if you are infected, or with people suspected of being infected.
Once the symptoms disappear, there is also a high probability of contagion, since the virus can remain in nasal secretions and feces up to 16 days later.
If treatment of coronavirus infection has included the use of corticosteroids (drugs that regulate the immune system), it takes up to 20 days for the virus to disappear.
Sexual intercourse and COVID-19
There is no evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted through vaginal or anal intercourse, although it cannot be ruled out, since it has been detected in the semen of patients convalescing from COVID-19.
Thus, the virus could be present and proliferate inside the male reproductive organ, especially in the presence of systemic inflammation.
Even if the virus does not replicate within the male reproductive system, it could persist.
Therefore, sexual transmission could be a critical part of preventing the spread of the disease.
Abstinence, safe sex practices, and condom use could be considered necessary preventive means.
On the other hand, evidence of oro-fecal transmission of COVID-19 has been found and implies that oro-anal practices may pose a risk of infection.
In pregnant women with the infection who gave birth vaginally, transmission to the fetus has not been observed in a generalized way, so the transvaginal transmission does not seem to be a clear route of infection.
Safe sexual practices and unsafe sexual practices
Intimacy is changing during the pandemic. Sexuality in the times of Coronavirus requires knowing clearly what to do and what not to do to avoid contagion.
Safe sexual practices
- Masturbation: "You are your safer sex partner," states the New York City Department of Health in its recommendations for maintaining safe sex as long as Covid lasts.
- The safest pleasure at this time is with oneself. Masturbation will not spread the virus, as long as you have all the relevant hygiene measures for hands and sex toys, it can also help manage some of the anxiety and stress of quarantine.
- Always have sex with your partner: If you stay at home in quarantine with your partner, one of the best ways to increase pleasure and reduce anxiety is to have more protected sex, since in this time of isolation is estimated the increase of unplanned pregnancies, therefore we recommend you to use a modern contraceptive method.
- If you're far away from your sexual partner, you can connect by doing things like creating a playlist with your favorite sexy/sensual songs, reading the same romantic or sensual story (or writing one!), and sending each other letters or postcards.
- Put on your favorite clothes, put on makeup, get all dolled up, and have a photoshoot.
- If you and your sexual partner are adults who are clear about your boundary and privacy agreements, you can have sexual encounters through text messages, photos, or videos.
- If you are just starting to date, you can have a virtual date. Here are some ideas: watch a movie at the same time, play a digital board game, have a coffee or snack while video calling, or listen to an album or playlist at the same time.
Self-isolation or social distancing are ways you can help keep yourself, your sexual partner, and your community safe during this pandemic. It may be difficult, just try to remember that it won't last forever. The more people who practice social distancing now, the more lives will be saved, and the faster we can get back to normal.
Unsafe sexual practices:
- No "casual" kissing: COVID-19 has not been detected in vaginal fluids or semen, but in saliva it has. So, if it’s not your steady partner, it’s best not to kiss anyone between the sheets...or outside of them.
- No group or casual sex: Sex with strangers is not recommended during this pandemic. Anyone can be a carrier or have symptoms of the disease without knowing it and transmit it to one or more people during sex.
Are there safe sexual positions to minimize the risk of exposure?
The safest position would be the posterior approach, that is, the back of one person against the chest of the other, so that the faces would not be facing each other, it is a sexual position adopted by most sexually active animal species, it would also avoid kissing on the mouth, but it is also very difficult not to involve friction with hands or other parts of the body or fabrics involved in the encounter.
How to reduce the risk of contagion
To reduce the risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus:
- Minimize the number of sexual partners you have.
- Avoid sexual partners who have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Avoid kissing.
- Avoid sexual behaviors that have a risk of fecal-oral transmission or involve semen or urine.
- Use condoms and dental dams during oral and anal sex.
- Wear a mask during sexual activity.
- Wash hands and shower before and after sexual activity.
- Wash sex toys before and after use.
- Use soap or alcohol wipes to clean the area where you have sexual activity.
Why have sex online?
Online sex, although limited by distance, can still offer an intense experience in terms of sexual pleasure.
During this practice, you can realize any fantasy you want, being possible that you see the other person and she sees you, exchanging messages at all times so that in this way the experience is more intense.
And thanks to the ease of today's devices, you have the opportunity to enjoy these dates or online sex from your mobile or PC, in the privacy of your home, and without having to go out and risk getting sick.
Final thoughts: What we have learned from covid 19
- Knowing the habits of others can help. If you know that the other person is taking care of themselves two or three times a day, it can be an option. We’re talking about responsibility and everyone is going to make certain choices. Or say 'you know what, I know your habits are going out, going up and down, I’d rather set a limit.
- The need exists. We are creative beings and we can find a way to do it, but mainly it is a call to self-care. We have to be aware that when I am taking care of me, I am also taking care of my loved ones, especially in asymptomatic cases.
- Let us sow hope after stating the obvious: that isolated, isolated, we are vulnerable, but that together we are capable of building things differently, putting people and not money at the center of our lives once and for all.
- We miss when we can’t touch, smell, feel. The laughter, the touch, a hand from that person, or a kiss on the nose. People who fill us up and we need to hold tightly against us. Forbidding our contact is the hardest restriction of this quarantine, on a sentimental level.
- We know that love is the engine that moves the world, so if we hold on to it tightly, we can handle whatever comes our way. Of course, this does not detract from the messages of hygiene and prevention, we must be cautious and have a social responsibility, it is our duty.
- Continue to enjoy sex but first consider whether the conditions are in place to make the moment as special as it should be. Don’t take unnecessary risks and don’t use the other person as a disposable toy for your own satisfaction.
- It’s a great time to meet people through dating apps. More and more conversations between users highlight the importance of getting to know someone special emotionally rather than physically.
Thanks for reading!
Rocío Rivers (Misspinkfairy)
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