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Covid-19: Love in the time of lockdown — how safe is it to have sex?

“The safety of having sex during [the coronavirus pandemic] depends on your risk profile,” says Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng.
“The safety of having sex during [the coronavirus pandemic] depends on your risk profile,” says Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng.
Image: Pixabay

It’s official. The spread of coronavirus has reached the point where President Cyril Ramaphosa has shut down the country. So unless you fit a very specific set of criteria, you're housebound for the next three weeks.

Erudite people with pensive faces will have a lot of questions right now, such as “how much will this slow the spread of the virus” and “how will the SA National Defence Force know I’m going to visit my friend when I tell them I'm off to the chemist?” Then there are those with just one question on their minds: “How safe is it to have sex?”

By now you’ll have realised that social distancing doesn't lend itself to impromptu meetings in the bedroom. But what if you are married or cohabitate? Creating the beast with two backs requires the type of human contact that's now ill-advised.

The easiest and safest solution is masturbation — and that's not just our opinion. “I think that people can use this time to reflect, have fun and explore their own bodies,” says Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng, the medical doctor and renowned sexual health educator.

“In my book, Dr T: A Guide to Sexual Health & Pleasure, I talk about how people want to please their partners but don't know what pleasure means for themselves and how to get it themselves. Now is a good time to learn,” she adds.

Mofokeng cautions, however, that sex toys should not be shared and must be kept clean. 

If you're determined to shake the sheets with another person, know that your risk of contracting Covid-19 will increase.

“The safety of having sex during [the pandemic] depends on your risk profile,” says Mofokeng.

According to her, if you and your partner have no recent travel history, do not come into contact with groups of people often and are generally at low risk of being infected, then go ahead.

If, however, you are single and ready to mingle, don't, especially if you don't know the other person's travel history or have a reasonable idea of who they have been in contact with. Besides that, you're NOT ALLOWED to leave your house anyhow. 

Also, the general Ts&Cs regarding safe sex — condoms and so on — still apply.