By Andy Fyne, Harm Reduction Manager

Are you hornier than hell, and is the current situation with Covid-19 making it worse?? Are you craving physical connection at a time when we’re being told not to get anywhere near other people? Believe me, you are not alone. It’s definitely a thing!

Many of us are finding ourselves with lots of time on our hands. What better way to fill it than by having sex? Sorry, think again. Consensual sex is fun, releases tons of endorphins, burns calories and can make you feel emotionally closer to your partner. But for many of us, sex is just the opposite of social distancing. We have not been left high and dry, though. Just as we have had to reinvent ourselves in other ways lately, we can reinvent how we do it as well.

Anyone who has lived through the onset of the HIV/AIDS pandemic will find some of this disturbingly familiar and younger folks who have eliminated HIV risk by taking their daily pill, PrEP, will find it daunting. But here we are: what is old becomes new again.

Today we have new guidelines, new harm reduction practices and a new way of looking at safer sex. The NYC Department of Health has assembled some tips into a clear and sane guide to help reduce your risk of acquiring Covid-19. Check it out at: here.

Let me point out a few take homes:

Covid-19 can be transmitted sexually.

Just as with HIV, Covid-19 can be exchanged through some body fluids. But unlike HIV, it can be transmitted very casually—just through the air or a sneeze or cough. The only truly safe sex right now is with partners you have sheltered together with to prevent Covid-19 infection. Or just with yourself. Yes, really. More about this later.

Have sex only with those physically close to you.

And that doesn’t mean you are physically close because you Uber’d to their apartment. Again, you should limit your intimate contact only to people in your household. Your outside partners, regular booty calls and those hotties on Grindr REALLY have to wait until safer times. We are just looking out your health, but if you are thinking we sound like the sex police, there is an outfit in my drag bag I can get into.

Masturbation is your best friend.

You are your safest sex partner. What better time than now to get *in touch* with your body and find out what works best for you? Not only can you blow off steam from the Isolation Horniness Syndrome (IHS), but when this all ends, you can take what you have learned about yourself and teach your future partner or partners.

Does video porn work for you? PornHub is offering free premium these days. And the apps we all love for hooking up can now be used to have sexy chats, trade pics and set up hot and heavy Facetime sessions. Come on folks, it time to get creative.  Is there a Zoom orgy in your future?

Think about whether and how to have sex.

If you really truly absolutely can’t manage not having sex, and really have to have sex with partners outside your isolation pod, make sure it is with only one other person. Both you and they should practice impeccable isolation from Covid-19, and you should be able to trust them implicitly. How do you measure trust? Would you send them on an errand with your bank card and pin? Will they honestly disclose to you what they have been up to and allow you to make an accurate assessment of your risk of acquiring Covid-19?

Although the virus has not been found in sexual fluid, it has been found in feces, mucus and importantly, saliva. Intercourse itself isn’t what is spreading the virus, it’s the fact that our bodies are so close together. Swapping spit is a big part of that intimacy and if rimming is usually on your sexual menu, you may want to reconsider that also. Opt for positions where you are facing away from each other.  Think reverse cowboy as opposed to missionary. Miss the eye contact? Bone in front of the mirror for that romantic touch.

If you or your partner is feeling a bit off or under the weather, definitely put off sexy time until you know what is going on with that.

If you do come down with Covid-19 or any symptoms of it, you need to have NO sex at all, and you should tell your recent partners.  If you wish to do that confidentially, take a look at the “tell your partner” website here. This handy website has been a great way to disclose STI’s to our partners and now they have added Covid to the mix.

Wash your hands.

Enough said on this topic, but don’t forget to wash sex toys too.

We are all learning new things and ways of doing the old. Hang in there through all of this. Remember, your brain is your most important and powerful sex organ. Use your words and communicate with others.  Use your brain to relieve all this stress and frustration safely. We will get to the other side.