The UK’s national LGBT+ health adviser is urging people to stop hooking-up during the coronavirus lockdown – making clear that the only safe sex is with yourself or “someone within your household”.
Dr Michael Brady, medical director at Terrence Higgins Trust, warned that hook-up culture could lead to the spread of coronavirus – which is not sexually transmitted, but can easily spread through close bodily contact.
In a blog post, Dr Brady made clear that people should not be venturing outside for hook-ups during the lockdown.
People need to stop having casual sex immediately, says LGBT+ health expert.
He explained: “The country is now on lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus and that has to include not hooking-up for sex.
“I’ve never been an advocate of promoting abstinence, but this message is not about protecting your sexual health: it’s about protecting your general health and those around you from a virus that can be deadly.
“This is extraordinary and unprecedented advice for us to be giving out, but these are extraordinary and unprecedented times.”
He continued: “This advice means that, unless you have sex with someone within your household, it’s important to find sexual pleasure in other ways.
“Despite the situation with COVID-19, we need to remember that sex is an important part of life, but right now we have to find other ways to achieve sexual pleasure and satisfaction.
“It’s only natural that we look to sex for pleasure, to relieve stress and anxiety or simply to pass the time – whether that’s with a regular partner or using hook-up apps.”
He added: “The reality is that, for the time being, you are your safest sexual partner.”
Have sex with your housemates or shack up with your partner during coronavirus lockdown.
The reassertion that your only sexual relationships should be with your housemates comes after the government suggested shacking up with a romantic partner.
England’s deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries said on Tuesday: “If you are two individuals, two halves of the couple, currently in separate households, ideally they should stay in those households.
“The alternative might be that for quite a significant period going forward they should just test the strength of their relationship and decide whether one wishes to be permanently resident in another household, in which case all of the decisions about [household units] would apply.”
Despite the calls to self-isolate, hook-up apps have seen plenty of users during the lockdown – with Grindr among those to add warnings urging people to keep their distance and avoid touching faces – with the latter instruction likely making hook-ups a bit more of a challenge.
A Grindr spokesperson told PinkNews:”The health and safety of our users is a top priority for Grindr. We are advising users to follow guidelines provided by the WHO, and have published these guidelines in the Grindr app to help users make the best informed decisions when interacting with others.”