Minimise the risk of coronavirus during intimate contact and sex
At this moment there is little coronavirus in the Netherlands. That is why the measures taken by the government have relaxed. If you want to have sex or intimacy, you can also do a bit more now. If the virus returns in full force to the Netherlands, the measures will become stricter again. Her you can read how to limit your risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus when you have sex.
Corona and sex: what you need to know
- The risk of contracting coronovirus or pass it on becomes higher when you are in contact with more different people;
- You don't know with how many other people your sex partner has been in contact;
- It does not matter much in what way you have sex. If you are close together (within the 1.5 metres), there is a risk of transmission;
- Right now there is little coronavirus in the Netherlands. So the chance that you will contract the virus has become smaller. That is why the measures taken by the government have relaxed;
- At the same time, with every relaxation the chance of new infections increases a little. So keep an eye on the news: with new increases in the number of infections, you may want to become a bit stricter for yourself again;
- There is always some risk of coronavirus transmission. Even before you show any symptoms, you can pass the virus on. You or your partner could carry the virus without knowing it. Discuss whether you both find this risk acceptable;
- If you are not afraid to get corona, please be aware that you could pass the virus on to others. So if you are prepared to take more risks for yourself (for instance by having sex with many partners), try to minimise the risk of infecting other people. For instance by not visiting your parents and take extra care to keep 1.5 metres distance;
- Finally: when you go to someone’s home, wash your hands and your genitals (penis, vagina, anus) before you have sex or intimate contact. You could have got the virus on your hands on the way there. From a doorknob, for example, or a traffic light button. Use public transport as little as possible;
- There are now enough tests available to test everybody who has symptoms. That makes it all the more important to warn others after you have tested positive for COVID-19. So try to exchange phone numbers with everyone you have sex with. That way, the health services can do better contact research and prevent the virus from spreading;
- Although someone can carry the coronavirus without knowing it, most infections seem to come from people who have symptoms. So always ask your sex partner if he has symptoms of corona. These are: fever, colds, sneezing, coughing, tightness of breath, loss of smell and/or taste. Stay at home if you have these symptoms yourself. And don't have sex with others, especially with a partner who is not your roommate.
Trust and agreement
Agree with your sex or cuddle partner on how many other people you will both see and how you will follow coronavirus advice. Talk about how both of you will stick to the rules. If you both follow all the coronavirus advice and don’t have sex with other people, there is less risk of either of you getting coronavirus. Both of you do need to be comfortable with the rules you agree on.
It is not yet clear whether or not you can get corona again. The WHO and RIVM do confirm that it is unlikely that you can get corona again 'in the short term'. Especially if you had (serious) complaints from your corona infection. But new studies show that antibodies disappear with most patients after a few months. In practice, this means that you can probably have safe sex (in terms of corona) if you've already had COVID-19 recently and are completely cured of it. But this is not 100% guaranteed.
Positions and props to prevent corona
You reduce the risk of corona transmission during sex, especially before you have sex, by hygiene and limiting your contacts. Yet some people also try to limit the risk in many ways during sex. Those ways are no guarantee that you will not get the virus. They could make sex less enjoyable.
A homemade glory hole (for example a shower curtain with a hole in it through which you stick your penis) is just as effective as a splash screen at the checkout: it stops large drops of saliva. This reduces the chance of corona transmission.
Positions such as doggy style or not kissing each other are not a guarantee against corona transmission. You are still close together. In combination with face masks (as long as you use them properly) or a full-face helmet, it makes sense, but this is probably less fun. Good ventilation or outdoor sex can reduce the risk somewhat. Please note: there are no hard guarantees. If you have sex with someone who has the coronavirus, there is always a chance that it will be passed on.
Minimise the risk for singles
The fewer people you are in close contact with, the lower the risk of you getting coronavirus. Take that into account if you decide to have sex or intimate contact with someone. In each situation, there are things you can do to minimise the risk.
Intimicy or sex from a distance
Do you want to rule out any risk of coronavirus and still enjoy sex in some way? These are your options:
- You don’t get together. You have sex or intimate contact by using a webcam or chatting, for example. So you are not in close contact.;
- You do get together, but stay 1.5 metres apart. If you have sex, then you only touch yourself. A striptease, masturbation, playing with a dildo or other sex toys are some of the things you could do.
Intimicy or sex with one or more people you know (corona buddies)
If you have sex or intimacy with someone who does not live with you, there is a chance of corona transmission. This is how to minimise the risk:
- Everybody follows the coronavirus advice as best they can
- You agree not to have sex or intimate contact with anyone else (not even hugging)
- Talk about whether it’s worth waiting for 10 days before having sex. That’s because it can take 10 days before the virus makes you ill. Stick to all the rules during those 10 days, so don’t have sex with anyone else
- Don’t get together if any of you have developed symptoms during those 10 days that could indicate coronavirus (fever, cold, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste)
- Don’t get together if either of you has any of these symptoms or has been alerted by someone about coronavirus
- The more corona buddies you have, the more difficult it gets to make good agreements and to all keep those agreements. To keep the risk low, it's best to stick to only one corona buddy.
Intimicy or sex with people you don't know
There's a much greater risk of getting coronavirus with people you don't know. For instance someone you met on Grindr or a cruising spot. That's because you cannot know for sure whether someone is being honest about sticking to coronavirus rules. This is how to minimise the risk:
- Try to work out how well you think your date follows coronavirus advice. Talk about whether it’s possible to wait for 10 days before having sex, during which time you both follow all the coronavirus advice and don’t have intimate contact with anyone else. Use those 10 days to chat or perhaps use a webcam
- If you do get together straightaway, then stay 1.5 metres apart. If you want to have sex, then it is best to only touch yourself and stay 1.5 metres away from your date. A striptease, masturbation, playing with a dildo or other sex toys are things you could do
- Have neither of you had any coronavirus symptoms (fever, cold, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath, loss of smell or taste) during the 10 days since you first got together? If you both still have no symptoms, and you haven’t been alerted by someone about coronavirus, you could decide to have sex or intimate contact.
- Try to exchange phone numbers or other contact information. This is important for contact investigations by the GGD if one of you gets tested positive with a corona infection. If either of you gets tested positive for an STI, it is also important to warn the other. You can notify your sex partner yourself but the GGD can do it for you too.
If you have group sex, there’s a great risk of getting or passing on coronavirus. And it is difficult to reduce that risk. Because if they are people you only know from WhatsApp, for example, it can be hard to agree on doing things a certain way.
With a regular group that gets together, it may be easier to agree on some rules. But the more people there are, the greater the risk of 1 of them not following coronavirus advice. Or that 1 person has coronavirus and passes it on to others in the group.
If you do want to have group sex, you can reduce the risk of coronavirus by agreeing that people who have symptoms that could indicate coronavirus (fever, cold, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath) should not take part.
Write down telephone numbers of the participants of a house party. This way, everyone can be warned if someone turns out to have the coronavirus. Is corona found after an orgy? In any case, let this be known to the host (host) and other participants whose contact details you have. This is also important if you have an STI.
Sex in a steady relationship
The person you want to have sex with has, or may have, coronavirus (fever, cold, sneezing, coughing, shortness of breath)
There is a great risk of getting corona. Do not get together. So don’t get together. Arrange to see each other after the symptoms have gone for at least 24 hours. If that person has tested positive for coronavirus, they should self-isolate for at least 7 days after the symptoms started, and until the symptoms have gone for at least 24 hours.
You have sex with your own partner. You live together.
There is hardly any extra risk of getting coronavirus from your partner during sex. You are already in close contact all the time, within the 1.5 metres. So there is no greater risk of coronavirus if you have sex or intimate contact.
If 1 of you develops symptoms that could indicate coronavirus, you should both self-isolate. Stay home until after the symptoms have gone for 24 hours. Have you tested positive for coronavirus? Then self-isolate for at least 7 days since the symptoms started and stay home for 24 hours after they have gone.
You have sex with your own partner. You don’t live together.
If you want to reduce the risk as much as possible, do one of the following:
- Don’t get together. Have sex or intimate contact by using a webcam or chatting, for example. So you are not in close contact;
- Do get together, but stay 1.5 metres apart. That means you don’t touch each other. If you have sex, then only touch yourself. A striptease, masturbation, playing with a dildo or other sex toys are things you could do;
- You’re already seeing each other a lot and have close contact, within the 1.5 metres. So there is no greater risk of coronavirus if you have sex or intimate contact. If 1 of you develops symptoms that could indicate coronavirus, self-isolate in your own homes. Arrange to see each other again after the symptoms have gone for at least 24 hours.
Is one of you older than 70 years or does one of you have weakened defenses or lung complaints? Then it is extra important to protect your partner: limit your contacts with others and possibly also with each other, you do not want to bring the virus to your partner's home.
You are in a steady relationship with multiple people
In this case the same advice for steady couples as above is applicable.
You’re in a relationship. Before coronavirus happened, you were used to having sex with other people, either together or separately.
Why these advices?
Sex and intimacy: as safe as possible
Soa Aids Nederland supports the rules as laid down by the RIVM. Staying home as much as possible, washing your hands when you go and see other people, and staying 1.5 metres away from them. That’s how you minimise the risk of coronavirus. But we also know that many people find it hard to stick to these rules all the time.
Minimise the risk
100% protection against the virus during sex or intimate contact is not possible. We think it's important to provide you with practical advice on how to minimise the risk as much as possible, if you choose to be intimate with others. So that you protect yourself, the people you have sex with, and others around you, as much as possible. See what you would work best for you and make an educated choice about the risk you are taking. Together we’ll keep coronavirus under control.
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