What you need to know about face masks and sex during quarantine

So when it comes to sex advice, everybody's go-to Grandma is Dr. Ruth, but she is getting up there — just six years younger than of Betty White. We've been on the lookout for a backup sex guru, and it looks like we just found one: the Canadian government. While they may not have much to say on the subject of onion-ring foreplay, nor will they advise you on whether or not to tell your spouse about a one-night stand (according to The Guardian, Dr. Ruth says no), Canada's Chief Public Health Officer has plenty to say on the hot topic of whether, when, and how you should be doing the deed during this period of pandemic.

As Dr. Theresa Tam, mistress of the obvious, said in a public statement, "Sex can be complicated in the time of COVID-19." But then, as Dr. Ruth would be sure to remind us, it can also be complicated at any other time, as well. Still, if you want to make sure you're staying virus-free, Dr. Tam has a few pieces of advice to offer if you're hanging out with sexual partners that live outside your household or close-contacts bubble. (Non-spoiler alert, since the title already tipped you off: yes, masks are involved.)

Safe sex, coronavirus-style

As Dr. Tam somewhat awkwardly points out, the safest type of sex is, well, a solo endeavor. If you absolutely must invite someone else to the party, however, you should avoid playing smoochy-face — none of that above-the neck stuff at all! Oh, and be sure to stay sober so you won't forget something important... yes, a condom, but not because it'll protect you from coronavirus — as far as the CDC knows to date, COVID-19 isn't spread via that particular bodily emission. Canada's CPHO does say that you should, "as usual, [be] engaging in safer sex practices, including using condoms."

However, that's not the only thing you should keep handy. What she's really urging you not to forget during these times is your face mask. While not a sexually-transmitted disease per se, coronavirus is spread through close contact, and you can't get much closer than when you're doing the no-pants dance. In order to protect yourself and your partner, Dr. Tam says you should probably be masked during sex. If you're into BDSM, be aware that one of those "Story of O" masks won't do — instead, you'll need one that fully covers both your mouth and your nose

Be selective in your pandemic partners

No matter your aspirations, now is not the time to be making a lot of new "friends." Needless to say, swing clubs, key parties, and orgies are right out. Even threesomes are ill-advised, as adding one more participant might double your pleasure, but it will also double your risk. As Tam cautions, "Try to keep your number of close contacts low if possible." She also says you should try to be sure that neither you nor your potential partner is in a high-risk category, such as being older, immune-compromised, or overweight. 

She reassures us, though, that as long as you remember that mask (and the other stuff), abstinence will not be required for the duration of the pandemic: "By taking these precautions and staying conscious of the risks we assume, Canadians [and, we hope, Americans as well] can find ways to enjoy physical intimacy while safeguarding the progress we have all made containing COVID-19."