Sex with yourself, i.e. masturbation (wanking) is excellent for your physical and mental well-being. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex. If you use a shared computer, phone or touch screen whilst masturbating please disinfect these devices thoroughly. The next safest partner is someone you live with. Sex can be a really great way to have fun, stay connected and relieve anxiety during this potentially stressful time, if:
- you live with your sexual partner, you are both feeling well and you both consent to sex, and
- you haven’t been exposed to COVID-19 and are not in the “at risk” group of having a severe illness with COVID-19.
However, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 (these include a new persistent cough or fever of 37.7°C or above) you should self-isolate for 7 days to prevent further transmissions. If someone you live with or someone you have recently had sex with (within or outside of your household) has these symptoms then you need to self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolating means no physical contact – no hugging, kissing or sex, and have separate sleeping arrangements. Irrespective of symptoms, if you or a sexual partner has a medical condition that may lead to a more severe illness with COVID-19, you should avoid sex.
You should avoid close contact — including sex — with anyone outside your household. If you don’t live with your sexual partner, consider moving in to the same living space temporarily. Additional travel puts your friends, family and community at risk, so make a responsible choice. Video dates, phone sex, “sexting” or chat rooms may be options for you. Don’t share images or participate in recorded content if you don’t want to.