Sexuality & Stress in the time of COVID-19 aka Coronavirus

Recently, The World Health Organization declared COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) a pandemic [1]. Humans every day are being told daily to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds (preferably with soap). Humans are also advised by government officials and scientists to limit who they come into contact with, as the symptoms can lay dormant for two weeks after initial contact with someone who is carrying COVID-19 [2]. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) even suggests staying six feet away from someone who may appear to be sick [2]

Stress and Sex in a world with COVID-19 / Coronavirus

COVID-19 has made all of us much more selective with who we interact with for the time being. Due to the novelty of this virus, the body is not entirely sure of how to handle it. COVID-19 is not only impacting the economy, sports, and educational institutions, but it is also impacting our personal lives, and the question on the minds of many is: Can I still have sex?

And the short answer is that doctors do not know. This uncertainty can create a great deal of stress in the minds of many people, and this stress can result in less sex between couples, which may lead to issues in the relationship. The virus can spread from close contact, with close contact generally defined as being within six feet of a person.

If you’re kissing or having sex, then you are within this six feet range and could be at risk if your partner is a carrier, which is why asking your partner if they have been sick recently is a good idea. If you or your partner have been ill lately, then it would be wise to refrain from having sex for a little while. COVID-19 is present in respiratory secretions (such as coughing or sneezing). If you’re concerned about staying healthy, then it makes sense to avoid kissing or getting physically close to a partner who is showing signs of COVID-19, which include flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and fever [3]


While sex is not entirely off the table, it is best to make sure neither you nor your partner has been feeling sick lately, especially if the symptoms of the illness match those of COVID-19. 


1 – WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID. (2020, March 11). Retrieved from

2 – Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prevention of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19). (2020, March 10). Retrieved from

3 – World Health Organization (WHO). Coronavirus. (2020). Retrieved from

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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