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I was interested in the information about recommendations for sex with someone new in the Covid era. Just in case I needed to know plus  interested anyway. Are you kidding me?  “Intimate relations” OK but both should wear a mask and not remove them. This sounds way too medical for me. Not sure about occasional partners, think maybe I should just skip it. I don’t know what to think. 

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Really, what can you do and stay 6 feet away from your partner ? A separation by .7 mil visqueen seems required.

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Posted (edited)

It would be just as effective to quarantine your prospective new partner in your closet for 14 days before getting it on, but it might spoil the mood.

Seriously, there does seem to occasionally be a disconnect between theoretical science and applied science here. The thing to realize, especially since we're talking about sex, is that life=risk. You cannot be alive without risk of death. Indeed, we all face a 100% chance of dying, the only question is how long we're going to postpone the event, and whether the people around us are going to need a mop.

COVID-19 is a pathogen. We got lotsa that. Pathogens are all around us. Fortunately, most of us have immune systems strong enough to beat off the vast majority of the little buggers without them causing us any inconvenience. We just haven't met this COVID dude before, and he fights dirty. Never mind - we'll get him sorted out in the end, eventually. But there are other nasty guys out there who can still jump you in a dark alley, too, and they've been with us for ages. Remember gonorrhea? Chlamydia? Syphilis? (She's a baaaad girl...) HIV, HPV, Herpes, Hepatitis A, B, & C? All of these pathogens are sex specialists and every time one of us considers intimacy with a new partner, there's a possibility that one of these nogoodniks may come along for the ride. Some of them, unlike COVID, are bacterial; others, like COVID, are viruses. Some are curable; others, like COVID, are not.

None of this stops most people from hooking up. It doesn't even stop many people for saying "oh, what the hell" when they realize neither party has protection. STD clinics do a brisk business. So what's the difference between any of these pathogens and COVID-19 that should make you think any differently about the risk? There are two:

1) There is a small risk, somewhat higher if you are a member of certain risk groups, that COVID-19 will actually kill you rather quickly if you get it. Even HIV won't do that.

2) Even if it doesn't kill you, or even make you feel sick, you have the potential to pass it on to others when you go home, go to work, go to school, etc. Unlike the STDs, your liability as a spreader of disease isn't limited to subsequent sex partners. That is to say, you don't have to go home and...well...do [sound of elevator music playing 'Bicycle Built For Two'] with your grandmother in order to put her life in jeopardy just because you decided that that other person looked like a good lay.

SO.

First things first. Decide for yourself how much risk you are prepared to take for yourself, and how much risk you can ethically take with regard to those in your immediate circle. Sex is one of the basic human needs identified in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, which means it's not reasonable to expect people to go without sexual release indefinitely. At some point something is going to have to give. You have to decide at what point the risk of a sexual encounter that has a small chance of exposing you to the coronavirus is an acceptable risk on a par with getting in your car and driving to the grocery (a small risk to life and limb every time you do it). If you decide you can take a risk for yourself, you must then decide how you will mitigate any possible risk to those in your circle if the worst should happen. If you can square that with yourself and know that you're not going to end up killing someone accdentally, then move on to the next step:

You get to know the person from a socially safe distance, and have a frank discussion about whether they have any symptoms of coronavirus infection, have traveled out of the country or to any known coronavirus hotspot within the last two weeks, or have been around anyone known to have been exposed to COVID-19. If things go well, take their temperature (anally if you're kinky) before doing The Thing.

By this point, you're committed. Both people wearing a mask is kind of pointless at this stage. There are demonstrations online of how far droplets travel even when someone is wearing a mask, and if you're close enough for [sound of elevator music playing 'The Girl from Ipanima'] then they're going to be useless anyway. Now, this isn't to say that you need to get all French and tongue-sloppy with the kissing - use some common sense, for God's sake.

Next step: If things go well, if you haven't done so already, tell each other your names, then exchange contact information, and quarantine yourselves - separately - for 14 days to make sure you're safe to be around your loved ones. Don't break quarantine except to go to the grocery, the pharmacy, or to have a doctor look at the odd rash that just appeared on your [elevator music].

Stay as safe as you can. These are bizarre times.

Edited by Cerberus

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4 hours ago, notloki said:

Really, what can you do and stay 6 feet away from your partner ? A separation by .7 mil visqueen seems required.

That's already basically a thing. There's a whole culture of people into rubber and latex body suits. Not judging.

  • Haha 1

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Well what I realistically should focus on is reasonable precautions with a known but occasional partner since that’s what’s real vs. theoretical. Did I think it through well enough?  Probably not. I hadn’t heard the suggested precautions until later, and it addressed live-togethers and new-partners. Blinders on, I guess. As the months go by, I need to match up what’s reasonable with some sort of sex risk-benefit calculation I guess. True, no different in some ways from the usual safe sex calculations. But, but—-those, I’ve made my peace with. Covid era precautions— got to wrap my head around that and how to work out what makes sense. 

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I bet there are some folks out there with sex-with-a-surgical-mask-on fetishes who are just going "YESSSS" right now.

I think Cerberus is right about quarantining your partner in the closet for 14 days, except it would be even more effective than masks. I mean, with an occasional partner, you're both potentially being exposed to the virus whenever you go somewhere where there are other people, so it's different from STIs where you could hypothetically be exclusive and essentially eliminate risk. I don't think sex is much more risky (in terms of Covid-19) than say going jogging with someone or eating a meal across the table from them.

For my part though, I'm steering clear of dating and/or sex until things have settled down. Who knows how long that will be... I guess I've resigned myself to it.

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It’s the virus hanging in the air that’s the problem; the point where it’s most infectious is when you breathe it in. I was listening to a virologist on NPR this evening.

So no kissing? Don’t breathe on each other?

They have also discovered the virus in semen samples.

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9 hours ago, Gearhead said:

It’s the virus hanging in the air that’s the problem; the point where it’s most infectious is when you breathe it in. I was listening to a virologist on NPR this evening.

So no kissing? Don’t breathe on each other?

They have also discovered the virus in semen samples.

Keep a barrier of .7 millimeter visqueen plastic sheeting between you and them. I'm serious. I was in college during the very beginning of the HIV crisis, it is about barriers. This is just one example, available at the hardware store.

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12 hours ago, Gearhead said:

They have also discovered the virus in semen samples.

Studies to date have only discovered the presence of viral particles in patients post-recovery, or in a few in advanced stages of illness. No study has indicated, or been performed to test, that COVID-19 can actually be transmitted via sexual contact, and even if it can, that route of transfer can be prevented by the same means you would prevent any other STD.

I would draw everyone's attention to this article from the American Sexual Health Association on "Sex in the Time of Covid-19", which answers many questions.

And Notloki... I'm going to let you try the visqueen thing and let us know how it goes before I take the leap. We await your report with interest and a possibly mild titillation.

Or I might have an ant crawling up my the inside of my pants leg. Not sure.

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I went on a date with someone who described it as a "socially distance walk."  I thought she was kidding.  Apparently not.  Needless to say nothing beyond talking once we made it back to my condo. 

So....you can go on dates, I guess.  Wasn't 100% what I was hoping for, but I can appreciate where she chose to set her boundaries. 

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