Ten tips on how to practice safe sex during the pandemic

Remember to practice safe sex during the pandemic.
Remember to practice safe sex during the pandemic.
Image: Lightfield Studios/123RF

Lockdown has left many people craving human contact but there are new risks to consider when participating in casual sexual encounters

In June 2020, New York City’s department of health issued regulations for safe sex during the pandemic.

If you’re going to go on dates or have casual sex during the pandemic, here are a few tips to keep in mind:


  1. Solo sex is the safest sex. You can use the time to explore your own body — your likes and dislikes, for example, so you know what to ask for when you next have partnered sex.
  2. Housemates are best as you already share a physical environment and have relatively low risks of infecting each other (provided you have been safe outside of the home).
  3. Keep your partner and social circle as small as possible and make lists in order to establish a level of contact tracing.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask, and to answer honestly, so that you can make an informed decision about the risks of the situation you are participating in.
  5. Take it online and use platforms like Zoom or WhatsApp to have virtual sex with different partners.
  6. Follow the Covid-19 protocols you’re already used to, like washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after sex.
  7. Protect your face with a mask or face covering that prevents the exchange of saliva or breath particles. Kissing or rimming (mouth on anus) are high-risk activities for infection.
  8. Get creative with physical barriers like walls, positions that keep your faces as far away from one another as possible, and use condoms and dental dams as extra protection.
  9. Take a raincheck if either one of you isn’t feeling well or has an underlying medical condition that could lead to a serious Covid-19 infection; and make sure to monitor your symptoms.
  10. Don’t forget the other risks of casual sex, including HIV, STIs and unplanned pregnancy. Take the precautions you usually would to stay safe from these risks.

This article is adapted from one that first appeared in the December 2020 print edition of S Mag.