NYC pushing kinky COVID sex!


My little town is reopening in more ways than one. On Monday of this week, the day the city entered Phase 1 of reopening, New York City’s Health Department published a guidance document entitled “Safer Sex and COVID-19.” I am posting it below in its entirely because (1) it’s amazing, and (2) I have no idea whether other states (or countries) are doing anything similar. For instance, I highly doubt Alabama is following suit, since sex toys are illegal there. And something tells me all those conservative panty-sniffers in states where “abstinence-only” non-education is standard fare in public schools would start shooting their elected officials if they dared to publish anything so…so… reality-based.

But in order to appreciate just how good NYC’s safer sex guidance is, it is worth noting how gawdawful it is elsewhere. In case you are blissfully unaware of (or have blissfully forgotten) how disturbingly fucked-up the US is with regard to sex and sexuality, just consider a few facts. According to Guttmacher:

  • only 17 states require sex education programs in public schools to be medically accurate.
  • only 20 states (plus DC) require teaching information on contraception. (Uhh, seems to me if 30 states are not teaching students about contraception, then they really cannot call whatever it is they’re doing “sex education.” FFS.)
  • only 3 states prohibit these programs from promoting religion. (!!!)
  • at least 6 states require only negative information to be provided on homosexuality and/or positive emphasis on heterosexuality, including Alabama (I KNOW SHOCKER!), Arizona, Florida, Illinois, South Carolina and Texas. (W. T. F.)

39 states are on the taxpayer-funded abstinence-only train to STDs and teen pregnancies.

  • 10 states and DC require that abstinence be covered.
  • 29 states require that abstinence be stressed.

This is a good analysis and debunking of the smugly touted “100% effectiveness rate” of abstinence as birth control. All you have to do is measure it by the same standards as other forms of contraception, i.e. rates of “perfect use” and “typical use.” (SPOILER ALERT! Epic fail!)

Since nearly 80% of states have been engaging in this educational malpractice for decades, perhaps that explains why STD rates are at record highs.

And that’s hardly the only damage abstinence miseducation causes:

According to a 2004 report prepared for House Democrats, language used in abstinence-based curricula often reinforces “gender stereotypes about female passivity and male aggressiveness” — attitudes that often correlate with harmful outcomes including domestic violence, the report notes.

Okay, one more – and this one’s personal:

  • 36 states and DC allow parents the option to remove their child from instruction.

Mine did.

There are more jaw-dropping statistics and state-level details at that Guttmacher link, and of course none of this takes into account over a million kids homeschooled by conservative Christians. These benighted children are indoctrinated with sex-role stereotypes and abstinence-until-marriage, under penalty of eternal damnation and hellfire, right along with stories of Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark as explanations for the origins and diversity of life on Earth.

I could go on (and on and on…) but I think this paints enough of a picture of the status quo to contrast with NYC’s…different approach. Please enjoy this reality-based document, and feel free to forward the information and/or the link to anyone and everyone you think may benefit. Especially people in Alabama.

[Emphasis in original, except ♥]

 

"NYC Health" (logo)

Safer Sex and COVID-19

All New Yorkers should stay home as much as possible and minimize contact with others to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Sex is a normal part of life and should always be with the consent of all parties. [] This document offers strategies to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 during sex. Decisions about sex and sexuality need to be balanced with personal and public health. During this extended public health emergency, people will and should have sex. [] Consider using harm reduction strategies to reduce the risk to yourself, your partners, and our community.

But can you have sex?
Yes! [] Here are some tips for how to enjoy safer sex and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

1. Know how COVID-19 spreads.

  • You can get COVID-19 from a person who has it.
    • The virus spreads through particles in the saliva, mucus or breath of people with COVID-19, even from people who do not have symptoms.
  • We still have a lot to learn about COVID-19 and sex.
    • The virus has been found in the semen and feces (poop) of people with COVID-19.
    • We do not know if COVID-19 can be spread through vaginal or anal sex.
    • We know that other coronaviruses do not easily spread through sex. This means sex is not likely a common way that COVID-19 spreads.

2. Have sex only with people close to you.

  • You are your safest sex partner. Masturbation will not spread COVID-19, especially if you wash your hands (and any sex toys [♥ unless you’re in Alabama!] ) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after sex.
  • The next safest partner is someone you live with. Having close contact—including sex—with only a small circle of people helps prevent spreading COVID-19.
    • Have sex only with consenting partners. []
    • To learn more about consent, visit on.nyc.gov/consent. [♥♥♥]
  • You should limit close contact—including sex—with anyone outside your household. If you do have sex with others outside of your household, have as few partners as possible and pick partners you trust. Talk about COVID-19 risk factors, just as you would discuss PrEP, condoms, and other safer sex topics. [] Ask them about COVID-19 before you hook up.
    • Do they have symptoms or have they had symptoms in the last 14 days? Most people with COVID-19 have symptoms, but asymptomatic spread is possible. Fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath are symptoms to ask about. Note that asking about symptoms is not a perfect way to know whether someone has COVID-19.
    • Have they been diagnosed with COVID-19 using a nasal swab or saliva test? People who have recovered from COVID-19 at least 10 days from the day their symptoms started and who have not had fever for at least three days are likely no longer infectious.
  • If two is company then three (or more) is definitely a crowd. Large gatherings of any type are not safe during COVID-19. Close contact with multiple people should be avoided. But, if you decide to find a crowd, below are tips to reduce your risk of spreading or getting COVID-19: []
    • Limit the size of your guest list. Keep it intimate.
    • Go with a consistent sex partner.
    • Pick larger, more open, and well-ventilated spaces.
    • Wear a face covering, avoid kissing, and do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Bring an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. [Hand Sanitizer: always the perfect hostess gift for any orgy! ♥]
  • If you usually meet your sex partners online or make a living by having sex, consider taking a break from in-person dates. Video dates, sexting, subscription-based fan platforms, sexy “Zoom parties” or chat rooms may be options for you. [♥ Thank you NYC for acknowledging and including sex workers.]

 

  • If you decide to have sex outside of your circle of contacts or a hook up:
    • Closely monitor yourself for symptoms.
    • Consider getting a swab or saliva test for COVID-19 on a more frequent basis (monthly or within five to seven days of a hookup). Visit nyc.gov/covidtesting or call 311 for information on where you can get tested. Testing is free at sites sponsored by NYC Health + Hospitals. []
    • Take precautions interacting with people at risk for severe COVID-19 illness such as people over 65 years of age or those with serious medical conditions.
    • Be vigilant with face coverings and healthy hand hygiene to minimize risk to others.

3. Having antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19 or a prior positive diagnostic test do not mean definite immunity. Use test results with caution in helping you make decisions about sex.

  • A positive antibody test for the virus that causes COVID-19 may indicate prior exposure, but it does not mean you are immune from reinfection.
  • A prior positive diagnostic test(nose swab or saliva) means you have had COVID-19 and may be less likely to be re-infected. We don’t know how strong that protection is or for how long it lasts.
  • Be cautious in using these tests to make decisions about who you have sex with and what kind of sex you have since antibody test results are not definite proof of immunity. For more information about COVID-19 tests and how to interpret results, visit nyc.gov/health/coronavirus and look for COVID-19 Testing: Frequently Asked Questions.

4. Take care during sex. [ This is always good advice.]

  • Kissing can easily pass the virus. Avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts.
  • Rimming (mouth on anus) might spread the virus. Virus in feces may enter your mouth and could lead to infection. [The NYC Health Department just used the word “rimming,” in a document accessible to anyone on the web, and explained what it means in plain language without throwing shade or shame. ♥]
  • Wear a face covering or mask. Maybe it’s your thing, maybe it’s not, [] but during COVID-19 wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth is a good way to add a layer of protection during sex. Heavy breathing and panting can spread the virus further, and if you or your partner have COVID-19 and don’t know it, a mask can help stop that spread.
  • Make it a little kinky. [♥♥♥♥♥!] Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact. [Glory holes FTW! ♥]
  • Masturbate together. Use physical distance and face coverings to reduce the risk.
  • Condoms and dental dams can reduce contact with saliva, semen or feces during oral or anal sex. Visit nyc.gov/condoms to find out how to get free safer sex products. [♥ NYC provides free condoms to anyone. (And they are not terrible.)]
  • Washing up before and after sex is more important than ever.
    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Wash sex toys with soap and warm water. [♥ Depending on the material(s), I recommend washing them in the dishwasher.]
    • Disinfect keyboards and touchscreens that you share with others.

5. Skip sex if you or your partner are not feeling well.

  • If you feel unwell, or even start to feel unwell, avoid kissing, sex or any close contact with others. For more information, visit nyc.gov/health and search COVID symptoms.
  • If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, avoid close contact with anyone outside your household and follow NYC guidance about how to prevent exposing others. People exposed to COVID-19 should get tested for the virus using a swab or saliva test.
  • If you or your partner have a medical condition that can lead to severe COVID-19 illness, you may also want to skip sex.
    • Medical conditions include lung disease, moderate to severe asthma, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer or a weakened immune system (for example, having unsuppressed HIV or a low CD4 count).

6. Prevent HIV, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy. []

  • HIV: Using condoms, taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and having an undetectable viral load all help prevent HIV. For more information, visit nyc.gov/health and search HIV.
  • Other STIs: Using condoms help prevent other STIs. Visit nyc.gov/health and search STI.
  • NYC Sexual Health Clinics: Call the NYC Sexual Health Clinic Hotline at 347-396-7959 (Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) to speak to a health care provider about STIs. Clinics in Chelsea and Fort Greene can provide walk-in patients with emergency contraception, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV, and initiation of HIV treatment. Visit nyc.gov/health/clinics for updated information on hours and services or call 311.
  • Pregnancy: Reproductive health services—as well as fertility services, prenatal care and cancer screenings–are considered essential services and are available in all five boroughs. Providers may be able to help you without an in-person visit.

[↑ ALL OF THIS ↑ ♥]

For the latest information, visit nyc.gov/health/coronavirus or cdc.gov/covid19. For real-time updates, text “COVID” to 692-692. Messages and data rates may apply.

The NYC Health Department may change recommendations as the situation evolves. [♥ Oh you mean you’re not an authority dictating some eternal “truth” from on high? And will simply revise or even reject these recommendations as new information is evaluated?! All righty then! That means I might even be able to trust you. Possibly. I mean, you do work for de Blasio, so.]

6.8.20

__________
If you will pardon the cliché, I  NY.

Comments

  1. blf says

    But, but, what about squirrels? (Precisely how to interpret this serious and critical question is left up to the reader. And, possibly, other readers’s imaginations.)

  2. kestrel says

    @#1: But…. squirrels can not give informed consent. So, sorry, but you can’t have sex with them. :-D

    @the OP: That is brilliant and so great to read. I did not think I’d want to read the entire document but once I started I kept thinking, wow, they are actually giving some good advice here! And I kept reading all the way to the end. :)

  3. says

    blf 1: The NYC “Health Department receives approximately 70 reports of squirrel bites a year, and the cause is mostly attributed to feeding.” According to Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett, “Most squirrel bites occur when someone attempts to feed the animal. Keep a safe distance from wildlife and never feed wild animals.” YOU’RE WELCOME.

    kestrel 2: I had the same experience, thinking it was going to be dry, technical and ultimately not very helpful for people who have sex in the real world. But as I continued reading I kept being pleasantly surprised, and overall, impressed. After I posted though, I started to wonder whether it’s really all that, or if everything else in this context is either absent or just sucks so badly that this only shines by comparison. Like, what glaring oversight did they miss and I’m just not seeing it?

  4. Jazzlet says

    I don’t see what they have missed either, and I too thought “I’ll just glance at it” and ended up reading all the way through, jolly good work.

  5. says

    Sex toys are illegal in Alabama! Holy shit, that’s ridiculous. Such laws make me wonder how people can even try to enforce them, after all, it’s perfectly possible for people to instead call dildos “phallus-shaped sculptures” and vibrators “back massagers.” This reminds me of a German company that sells silicone dildos that look like carrots, cucumbers, or eggplants. They look pretty and you could easily call those “silicone sculptures.”

    And that statistics about sex education in various USA states is horrifying. A while ago I wrote about sex education I got at school https://freethoughtblogs.com/andreasavester/2020/01/07/can-we-talk-about-sex-part-1-sex-education-for-children/ and even though it was much better than what American kids get, I still feel it was inadequate.

    Regarding the guidelines for sex during COVID-19—I agree that they are great and much better than I expected.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    The really big problem with abstinence only, is that in order to work, you hafta tell the kids, in detail, what it is they are abstaining from.

  7. cafebabe says

    chigau 6: Nice observation. It’s parallel to the problem of explaining what the name of god is that you get stoned to death for saying.

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