How To Have Safe Sex During A Pandemic?
I believe that the Coronavirus pandemic is allowing people to practice clear communication and boundaries that could be applied to practicing safe sex. My experience with the pandemic right now is that some friends have caution fatigue; they want to go back to life as usual while other friends are still being very careful. I have had to tell them via text what I am comfortable with should we see each other. Yes, my friends complain and give me a hard time but typically they honor my requests. Only a few friends have refused to honor my rules so I don’t see them in person. After several conversations like this, it struck me how similar it is to negotiating safe sex. I am not out there dating again but I think these new skills will come in handy when I am! What do you think?
Safe and Sound
What Should You Use For Safe Sex During Coronavirus Pandemic?
Dear Safe and Sound,
Such skills will serve you well, during the pandemic and in your dating life. It takes clear and emphatic communication to protect yourself whether it is a novel virus wreaking havoc worldwide or an easily preventable STD. Just like condoms with STDs, the barriers of masks and gloves offer some protection. Knowing symptoms and watching for them helps. Minimizing contact with partners of unknown status helps. Don’t assume that someone familiar or someone who looks healthy actually is. Inform whomever you have contact with ahead of time what your boundaries are; for example, we will use barriers (condoms, dental dams, gloves) unless you are willing to have a comprehensive STD panel and share the results with me. It is one step to verbally express your boundaries and it is another to enforce them. People might take it personally that your idea of safety is different from their own. Folks may, as you have seen, turn down contact. That is their prerogative, just like your safety is your own.