Mask-up for romance

Mask-up for romance

Monday, September 21, 2020

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EARLIER this month, Canada's chief public health officer urged people to wear masks during sex to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, especially those without intimate partners in their households, or those whose sexual partners are at higher risk for COVID-19.

Dr Theresa Tam said those having sex with a partner who is at risk, or who is from outside their household, should be “skipping kissing and avoiding face-to-face contact or closeness (and) consider using a mask that covers the nose and mouth”.

As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise, it's advice that the experts say will minimise exposure. But is it a recommendation that Jamaicans will adopt?

We asked readers, how have you been safe while getting busy during the pandemic?

Foster, 44, engineer:

I don't have to worry too much now, as because of financial constraints I've been behaving since the pandemic. So in that sense I'm being safe by being monogamous. But if I was still being rude, then just as how I'd wrap up to go on my mission, I'd probably wear the mask and a face shield to protect myself too.

Ainsworth, 37, tutor:

No kissing, no sweating, no close contact like that. A man has to be safe and certain things have to be put on pause. It's hard, but you have to do what you have to do. Wearing a mask isn't much protection if I was to be real honest, but I don't take mine off the few times I've messed around. And I have to get whatever action I can get from now, in case these scientists start recommending that we start dating by Zoom.

Andrew, 32, dental assistant:

Sanitiser, check. Temperature check, check. Mask, check. The only advice I haven't been following is the social distancing. But this doom and gloom advice is typical of the medical profession anyway — right from the start of COVID they've been acting like the world is ending. As far as I see it, we're all doomed anyway so might as well go out with a bang.

Brittanie, 27, fitness instructor:

You know how before COVID certain things could slide — like not showering before bed? All of that is now a no-no. I don't go the extreme of wearing a mask or anything like that, but I make sure that we're both clean before we get in the bed, and that there's no unnecessary blowing in the face and swapping of bodily fluids and all that.

Kirsten, 22, student:

They say no kissing on the mouth, but can you kiss other parts? To be honest, romance and face masks just do not go together. I'd rather risk COVID.

Ian, 37, graduate student:

I've been married for seven years. This extra time on our hands means that I've been pursuing my hot wifey all the time. She loves it. I'm not interested in any strange new partners, but if that was the case, then wearing a mask, and having the other woman also wear one, would mean that I wouldn't have to see her face and feel guilty about what I was doing.

Brian, 40, landscaping artist:

It's actually not so bad once you get used to it, and I'm talking as someone who is out there a lot. At first it felt like I was in a movie, but now it's normal. I just had to get creative, but if you think about it, wearing a mask is just like wearing a condom. It's hard to breathe, but just pace yourself. It would probably be better to just be with my right-out woman during this time, and initially I was doing that, but this COVID thing is not going anywhere so I had to return to normal life. The lack of kissing makes it less intimate, but I always feel like I'm an actor in Eyes Wide Shut.

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