Sex in a time of social isolation

Dr Adesh Sirjusingh
Dr Adesh Sirjusingh

THE past few weeks have taken a toll on everyone. With TT and several parts of the world under stay-at-home orders, who would have thought being at home could be so difficult for some people?

People have gotten creative coming up with ideas to pass the time, but even with the advent of technology, sex is still the best past-time. As tempting as it may be to use this time to connect with your partner, however, how practical is intimacy in a time when we are being urged to remain apart?

In a recent interview, radio personality Dominic Kalipersad of i95.5 fm questioned gynaecologist Dr Adesh Sirjusingh, director of women’s health for the Ministry of Health, on the issue of sex in a time of social isolation. Sirjusingh said the data coming from the relevant authorities, including the World Health Organization is evolving. For the first time in our history, she said, health experts are looking at data as it is happening. “For now, we have not seen transmission from male to female through sexual intercourse. The advisement may change.”

However, she did warn that because the virus is very contagious, from the moment you get to the point of intimacy that breaches the recommended three to six feet of distance, you are in danger of transmitting or contracting the virus.

“The risk is already there,” she said. Sirujsingh said the general advisement from government officials is to isolate yourselves from the outside world and practise general hygiene by washing your hands, cleansing your body and constantly disinfecting your home.

Even with these precautions, quarantine conditions do not have to mean the end of intimacy. Sexologist Onika Henry said couples need to assess the risk. This may not be the best time to be intimate, especially for those who work in high-risk professions like health workers and other front-line personnel. However, she said couples can find other ways to maintain sexual intimacy. There are apps and online support for couples such as the Gottman Institute, that specialise in developing and maintaining intimacy.

Henry said this can also be the perfect time to explore new things about each other. Couples can put together a “sexual bucket list” of things they can do after. Those who are separated by quarantine regulations can stay connected with phones and video chats. This can also be the time to explore your own sexuality she said, “so when things get back to normal you can take your sex life to another level.”

Whatever you decide to do, said Henry, just remember to lock your doors.


"Sex in a time of social isolation"

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