OHA Sex Advice in the Time of COVID-19

The Oregon Health Authority wants you to quarantine and chill – safely.  In case you missed it, the agency tweeted an infographic on April 8, outlining ways Oregonians can enjoy sexual activity while social distancing.   

One tip from the OHA graphic explains, “you are your own safest sex partner.” The OHA encourages Oregonians to “take this time to find out what makes you feel good.”  

The infographic “Sex in the Time of COVID-19″ was credited to the OHA community initiative project End HIV Oregon. Using colorful emoji-style images, the graphic outlines traditional safer sex practices while adding social distancing to the mix.  

For example, OHA encourages the reader to, “Get off while maintaining your distance. The phone, sexting, and web chat platforms can be ways to connect socially and sexually without exchanging fluids.”  

AdAge reported that traffic to Pornhub increased in March after people started self-quarantining, indicating that some Americans were one step ahead of OHA’s guidance.   

The OHA’s tweet provoked a mixed reaction. They received over 334 retweets from an account that usually receives less than 25 retweets.   

Responses ranged, several Tweeters commented, “Seriously, is this a joke?”  

Others expressed appreciation to OHA for addressing the topic. Among them was author Naomi Wolf: “I love @OHAOregon! This poster, like NYC’s, is straight up honest lifesaving info about sex and infection and is a valuable public service. Fun graphics, too! People who have an issue with it really need to reassess what their priorities are.”  

Some found the OHA’s advice on “selective kissing” confusing in light of social distancing: “Kissing can easily pass COVID-19. Avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts.”  

For more updates from the Oregon Health Authority, including infographics containing tips to help prevent the spread of infection, visit their social media profiles: @OHAOregon on Twitter, @endhivoregon on Instagram, and @OregonHealthAuthority on Facebook.  

By Samantha Sied