Another lockdown, another set of sex guidelines.
England shuttered Thursday (November 5) amid a rapid resurgence in coronavirus infections, padlocking households and limiting outdoor trips for many to doing groceries, taking exercise and little else.
In place until December 2 at the very least, the new rules will have countless wondering if they will ever eat out again – and we’re not just talking restaurants here.
Here’s the lowdown on having sex under lockdown.
Can I have sex under lockdown in England?
In England, the new stricter guidance says you can not meet up socially with anyone indoors – and that includes cars – unless they are someone you live with or if they’re part of your support bubble.
A support bubble, according to government officials, is a network between a single-adult home (including single parents with children under the age of 18) and one other household. Households can visit each-other, stay overnight and visit public places together.
In other words, if your partner doesn’t live with you and is not part of your support bubble, canoodling is illegal.
So, regardless of whether you’re single or a committed relationship, anything below the belt is, well, below the belt.
How about outdoors?
The new regulations do permit meeting a person from another household outdoors, such as in a park (but not in private gardens).
Even then, social distancing is still recommended, which kinda puts dogging out of the question. Sad times indeed.
Can I have sex in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland?
Much of the UK is now under some form of lockdown.
In the patchwork of public health drives, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have tended to be more cautious in their approaches, often leaving England as the cocksure outlier.
Scottish officials have opted for a five-tiered system. If you live in a level zero or level one patch, you can still meet a capped number of people indoors, but those in levels two, three or four cannot.
Wales’ so-called firebreak lockdown, which ends Sunday (November 9), is slightly more flexible. Two households can form a bubble, and folks living alone can create temporarily extended households where you can meet indoors and, crucially, have physical contact.
Maybe love isn’t dead?
Well, it is in Northern Ireland.
Dust off that boyfriend pillow and pick a lockdown coping mechanism (will it be baking bread this time? Exercise? Or maybe crying alone?) because regulations there are near identical to England’s – only those who live together or are in a support bubble are allowed to experience human touch.
Crucially, you must stick to the rules applicable to your postcode, meaning no crossing the border to get your end away.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
‘Your safest sexual partner during the COVID-19 pandemic is yourself,’ says top sexual health expert.
Public health officials have grappled with drawing up guidelines when it comes to sex amid the pandemic, acknowledging the importance of human touch for mental health.
While certain health agencies have been more skittish than others, some have suggested people who do not have a committed sex partner throw on their face masks and hit the local glory hole or well-ventilated outdoor space to have safe sex.
Overall, however, most stress the importance of minimising close-contact with others.
“Our core advice remains that your safest sexual partner during the COVID-19 pandemic is yourself or someone within your household,” Dr Michael Brady, Medical Director at Terrence Higgins Trust, told PinkNews.
Brady sought to stress that those having sex, especially those without an exclusive partner, must be wary of coronavirus guidelines. Safety, he said, is crucial.
“We are continuing to learn how to live with this virus and expecting people to abstain from sex indefinitely isn’t realistic,” he said.
“However, as infection rates are rising across the country, steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 should be factored into decision making when it comes to sex.”