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New York City is officially recommending glory holes for safe, socially-distanced hook ups

Nick Duffy June 10, 2020
New York's safe sex guide includes some surprising advice

New York's safe sex guide includes some surprising advice (Photo by Filip Filkovic Philatz on Unsplash)

New York City’s health department has taken the surprising step of endorsing glory holes as a way of having safer sex during the coronavirus pandemic.

A safe sex guide put out by the city encourages people to take all possible precautions to prevent transmission of COVID-19 during sexual encounters.

Among the advice included in the guide is the suggestion: “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.”

It also suggests that sexual encounters are best carried out in “larger, more open, and well-ventilated spaces” — advice that some gay men may have been unknowingly following for some time.

While shedding your clothing during hook-ups is generally expected, the guide makes clear that the one thing you should keep on is your face mask.

New York's guide advises glory holes and mask wearing

It says: “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.”

As the virus can be transmitted through contact with the mouth, people are warned to avoid both kissing and rimming.

Of the safest sexual activity, the guidance suggests: “Masturbate together. Use physical distance and face coverings to reduce the risk.”

Is it safe to have sex during the pandemic?

The guide reiterates that the safest sex partner is yourself or someone else in your household.

It adds: “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.”

It warns to avoid sexual encounters with more than one person, adding: “If two is company then three (or more) is definitely a crowd.”

More: COVID-19, hook up, Safe Sex, Sex

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