Sexual Health Team launches initiative to promote safe sex during COVID-19 crisis

Solo sexual activity safest way for students to engage in sexual activity during pandemic

Students are encouraged to avoid saliva exchange during sex.
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With COVID-19 hampering the ability to expand social circles, students hoping to engage in casual sex are facing the challenge of how to do it safely.

To combat this challenge, the Sexual Health Team from Student Wellness Services (SWS) has launched an initiative to help students engage in safe sexual activity.

“The Sexual Health Team recognizes the importance of preventing COVID-19, the challenges of engaging in sexual activity during the pandemic, and the need to address how students can effectively manage both,” the Sexual Health Team wrote in a statement to The Journal.

“Our team is super passionate about Health Promotion, so we wanted to come up with an engaging way to provide students with up-to-date, relevant sexual health information from a peer perspective.”

The Sexual Health Team said it’s been looking extensively at government guidelines and recommendations to compile recommendations that are “digestible, relatable, and relevant to students.”

READ MORE: ‘I got my test results seven days after I showed symptoms’: Students worried the University can’t stop an outbreak

The initiative consists of social media posts that will be shared to the Queen’s University Be Well Instagram and Facebook pages on how to have safe sex during a pandemic. The first set of posts was shared Oct. 3.

In these posts, the team advocates for solo sexual activity as the safest way to engage in sexual activity during the pandemic.

“You are your safest sex partner. Masturbating by yourself will not spread COVID-19. If you masturbate with a partner(s), physical distancing will lower your chance of getting COVID-19.”

The initiative also suggests online alternatives to sexual activity, such as video dating or sexting with a trusted partner, as ways to engage in sexual activity during COVID-19.

For students who choose to have sex during the pandemic, the initiative tells students to limit their number of sexual partners and keep contact information of sexual partners on hand for contact tracing in case of COVID-19 infections.

The initiative also suggests that students avoid saliva exchange, wear a mask during sex, and choose sex positions that limit face-to-face contact. Students are also encouraged to use barriers, such as glory-holes, as ways to limit face-to-face contact.

READ MORE: AMS advocates for more safe social spaces on campus

“We know that humans crave connections with others, whether they be sexual or non-sexual in nature,” the team said. “We want our social media posts to not only address the physicality of sexual encounters, but also the social aspects of relationships and how to build these relationships safely on dating apps.”

Future posts will also touch on how students can maintain their sexual health in other facets.

“Over the year, we want to highlight the importance of establishing and maintaining one’s personal barriers while online dating and how to identify relationship ‘red flags’ in an online context,” the team wrote. “We also want to highlight how normal it is to be exploring one’s sexuality and to reduce some of the stigma around topics previously viewed as ‘taboo.’”

“Our topic team does not have all of the answers, but through synthesizing evidence-based information we will communicate the best evidence to [Queen’s] students to allow them to make informed choices”

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