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It should go without saying, but you need to wear a face mask if you have sex with a stranger

Published Sep 4th, 2020 8:07PM EDT
Coronavirus prevention
Image: Maria Sbytova/Adobe
  • All of us know the key coronavirus prevention tips, like social-distancing outside of our homes and wearing a face mask in public.
  • Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, though, Canada’s top doctor has made a recommendation about face masks that might sound strange on the surface — they need to be also worn during moments like when people are engaged in sex.
  • Likewise, she has recommended that people refrain from kissing during those encounters.

By now, people may be sick of hearing the same basic measures repeated over and over regarding the best coronavirus prevention measures we can take to protect ourselves from the pandemic. But doctors, especially those in the public eye like White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, no doubt feel they have to keep repeating them so often because of everything from misinformation to human laziness. Indeed, Fauci himself warned that the number of daily coronavirus cases in the US is still “unacceptably high” heading into the Labor Day holiday weekend, and it’s partly because people are letting their guard down and slacking on things like wearing face masks and social-distancing.

One of the things that’s a little frustrating about the COVID-19 pandemic, even at this late stage of the game, is how so many people are still convincing themselves that they’re doing all the right things — but making this exception, or that allowance. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one example of this. He recently confirmed via an Instagram post that he, his wife, and children have contracted the coronavirus after having been pretty disciplined and staying quarantined … but allowing some people they really care about to meet up with them, which is how Johnson said his family contracted COVID-19. Likewise, Canada’s top doctor has delivered some guidance along these same lines, urging people to wear a face mask — even if they’re engaged in sex with a stranger. And no kissing, she adds.

It’s the kind of thing where you can see people making an exception and deciding to leave a mask off during one of these … encounters. But here again, this is you making an exception for yourself that the virus won’t necessarily recognize. “Current evidence indicates there is a very low likelihood of contracting the novel coronavirus through semen or vaginal fluids,” Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, said via a statement she issued. “However, even if the people involved do not have symptoms, sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing Covid-19 through close contact, like kissing.”

Thus, her recommendation that both parties wear a face mask during these encounters — a mask, we should also specify, that covers both the mouth and nose.

The novel coronavirus is transmitted via droplets of saliva that end up in the air from coughing, sneezing, singing, yelling, or even just talking. So avoiding those droplets while having sex is crucial for both partners if you’re not sure whether either of you is infected. As we’ve noted in the past, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the increased risk of possible transmission of the coronavirus — even during sex. And while wearing a face mask might sound weird during sex, it could reduce the risk of contracting the disease and help protect your loved ones.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.