New Study Suggests Couples Should Keep Masks on During Sex

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Researchers recommend that couples wear face coverings during sex, among other ways of staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic, based on a new study out of Harvard University.

Published in May in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the study indicates that the highest risk comes for couples who are not quarantined together, but even couples who are, run a risk of transmission. For example, one partner could go out of the house and become exposed, and then transmit the virus unknowingly to the other partner.

For those trysts outside of quarantine, the study says, in addition to keeping your mask on, people should avoid kissing, oral-to-anal sex, and any act that involves semen or urine. Partners should shower before and after sex and disinfect the space with alcohol wipes and/or soap. 

According to researchers, abstinence is the safest and least risky for infection. "Masturbation is an additional safe recommendation for patients to meet their sexual needs without the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection," the study reads. 

Additionally, the study suggests video or phone chat for couples not quarantining to stay safe. 

The study also advises health care providers to "consider counseling patients on this topic whenever possible."

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