The B.C. Centre for Disease Control threw logic out the window with its “COVID-19 and Sex” advice. The document reveals contradiction, ignorance and hypocrisy.
“If you’re feeling fine and have no symptoms of COVID-19, you can still have sex. If you’re feeling sick, skip sex,” it says.
Thanks. “Not tonight, I have a headache,” is something people never would have thought of.
And what about the idea that even if someone feels okay, they might still be infected?
“Sex can be very important for mental, social and physical well-being; it is a part of everyday life,” the centre says. “People can, will and should continue to have sex during the COVID-19 pandemic. Messages that discourage or shame people from sexual contact can be harmful and may discourage people from seeking essential sexual health services.”
Kids in school or playgrounds, walking in public spaces without a mask, and standing closer than two metres from people were also part of everyday life. Governments banned or discouraged those practices but do just the opposite for sex.
Advising sexual abstinence during a pandemic makes more sense than most of this document. And if the B.C. government is so concerned about access to sexual health services, why does the document also say many sexual health clinics have reduced their hours or services?
What else should we know?
“The COVID-19 virus is spread by liquid droplets in saliva and respiratory (breathing) fluids when a person coughs, sneezes and … talks or sings.”
Have sex but whatever you do, don’t sing.
COVID-19 “can be spread to people who are within two metres of a person with the virus if the droplets are inhaled (breathed in) or land in the mouth or nose of someone nearby – whether you are engaged in sexual activity or not.”
Sex is okay but breathing – oh no!
Uh oh, COVID-19 “can also be passed by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
“The virus has been found in semen and feces (poop). It is not yet known if the virus is found in blood or internal genitalia/vaginal fluids. It is not yet clear if the virus can be transmitted through sex.”
If readers were smart enough to know what feces is they might have asked how “contaminated surfaces” come about. This document suggests it must be semen, feces or spit. But what activity could involve all three that wasn’t sexual? And who has heard of a disease that could be spread by moist breathing but not by contact with blood or vaginal secretions?
Now hear this: “You are your safest sex partner. Masturbating by yourself (solo sex) will not spread COVID-19. If you masturbate with a partner(s), physical distancing will lower your chance of getting COVID-19.”
That’s not quite true. Based on preceding information, a man would have to clean up after himself.
“Having one, or a few, regular sex partner(s) can help lower the chances of being exposed to COVID-19.”
Imagine a world where everyone had “a few, regular sex partner(s).” No diseases would spread, so long as when they shopped, they all walked the same direction going down the aisles and kept six feet apart, lest they go six feet under.
Lovers should discuss “precautions that you can each take to make sex safer for you and your sex partner(s), like wearing a mask and social distancing.”
Socially distant sex sounds like promiscuity itself.
“Wash sex toys thoroughly. … Most, but not all can be cleaned with mild unscented soap and water. … Do not share them with multiple partners.”
Share your private parts with “a few, regular sex partner(s),” but not your sex toys. Soap and water work on sex toys, but alcohol-laden hand sanitizers are necessary for everyone walking into a store.
The climax is just ahead. Wear a mask due to “Heavy breathing. … Avoid kissing and saliva exchange.” Choose “sexual positions that limit face-to-face contact” and “Use barriers, like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact.”
Glory holes are now official government advice. Kissing is out.
The final safeguards are “using condoms, lubricant, and dental dams … minimizing contact with saliva, semen, feces, blood and/or … vaginal fluids during sex.” Maybe the latter aren’t so benign after all.
This sex advice for pandemic prevention makes as much sense as implementing a security system while leaving the front door open. Now we need a public service announcement that tells us how to prevent such terrible advice from being given at the expense of taxpayers.
Lee Harding is a research fellow for the Frontier Centre for Public Policy.