Sex: Safe Sex During COVID-19

Much to our dismay, we’ve all got a bit of a COVID denier living inside of us.

There’s a small part of us that doesn’t care about guidelines or rules or others’ well-being. Sometimes it doesn’t even care about your own well-being. It wants to do what it wants to do when it wants to do it and does not want to take no for an answer. That piece of us is our libido. I bet that libido of yours has heard about the vaccine and whispered in your ear, “It’s go time!” Well, slow your roll. The pandemic is not over. You still need to take precautions. “Vaccinated Top” might be looking mighty fine on Grindr, but he’s still not the safest ride to climb and go to town on.

Now seems like a good time to remind us all of the best practices when it comes to getting our rocks off in the age of COVID-19.

Let’s all remember that sex is a very easy way to transmit or catch COVID-19. Miss Corona is a clever girl. She can hitch a ride on many of aspects of sex. She can be found in spit, semen and feces. Even breathing hard in someone’s general direction is a dangerous game, and I’ve yet to meet someone who can do any sexual activity without breathing hard at least a little bit. Once you understand these basic aspects of COVID-19, navigating safer sex becomes a bit easier.


We all know who the safest partner we can have during this time. If you don’t, stop reading and go look in the mirror. Actually, everyone should do that. Look at the person in the mirror. Smile at yourself. Wink. Flirt. Appreciate aspects of your body. Light a candle. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Then wash your hands or any toys you may like to use for at least 30 seconds and then go ahead and take advantage of yourself. Explore. Learn what you truly like. It’ll make you a better lover when the time for partnered sex comes along. Need some visuals? Subscribe to someone’s OnlyFans and support a sex worker in this hard time as a bonus.

The ones you’re with

Still desiring a partner? Well, take a look at your housemates or roommates. Think about it. Y’all have spent a LOT of time together recently. Are they starting to look pretty good to you? No? Well, that was a bit harsh. Damn. Just so you know, though, they’re the next safest partner you can have. I’ll just plant that seed.


If a household member is not an option for you that’s fine. You just have to take some more precautions. Communication is key. You should definitely discuss any possible symptoms you or a your potential partner may have had in the past 14 days. I know that’s not sexy. Foreplay shouldn’t feel like a medical exam but do you want to get off or not? Yeah you do, so you have to have that talk. If anyone is not feeling 100%, be patient and quarantine for 10-14 days and then let the fireworks fly.

Take it virtual

There are other options for partnered sex, too. Those tools that have helped with our jobs and social lives during this isolated time can be used for sex as well. I’m talking about Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, etc. Technology is quite the wonder. Get in front of the camera, put on a show and pleasure each other digitally. Hell, throw a virtual sex party! Obviously, group sex is very risky when it comes to COVID-19, but not when everyone is in separate spaces. Just make sure you change your display name before your next work meeting. Linda from HR might have a stroke if she sees “DomDaddy” or “LusciousLadyLumps” checking in for a strategic planning session.

Even before COVID-19 showed up on the scene, sex came with precautions. Do not forget those.

PrEP, condoms and dental dams, and regular STI screenings at Central Outreach are all still necessary. COVID-19 just adds some more necessary precautions but these new additions can be hot if you do it right.

You need to wash your hands and body parts before sex, so go ahead and have a sexy shower together. You need to wash everything afterwards, too, so go ahead and have a sort of sex debrief in the shower with your partner. Rimming and kissing are not recommended but you can put on a mask and role play a bit to turn up the allure and secrecy of a half-covered face. Putting a bit of distance between you and your partner might sound like a killjoy but not when I put it like this: Gloryholes!

Sex does not have to involve penetration of any kind. Masturbate together and you can learn how to pleasure each other later. Being safe does not mean being boring.

Finally, please remember that having COVID-19 antibodies does not mean being forever immune, and being vaccinated doesn’t mean instant immunity. Orgasms are great but we still have to be careful for ourselves and for each other. Please, before having sex, prepare yourself. We’ve gone without a lot of things in the past few months but orgasms do not have to be a part of that list.

Stay safe and stay sexy!

Guidance provided by the Allegheny County Health Department, the New York City Health Department, and the Oregon Health Authority.

Sex is a monthly sex positive column written by various authors covering all subjects of sex and sexuality affecting the LGBTQ Community. Sex is published as part of QWellness, presented by Central Outreach Wellness Center and QBurgh.

Jason Shavers is a born and raised Pittsburgh native. He is an actor that has worked extensively on stage and not so extensively on screen. Jason is also a self proclaimed expert on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Musical Theater and sitcoms that feature 4 women leads. Yeah, he’s gay AF. Follow him on Instagram. (He / Him / His)