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Sex, drugs and COVID-19

Sex, drugs and COVID-19

CORONAVIRUS - SEXThis section first appeared under our COVID-19 chapter in April 2020, together with other sections which we have now integrated into the rest of the website.

Physical distancing is at the heart of combating COVID-19: contain the little fucker, break onward transmission, and stop the spread.

Sometimes, it's not possible to make "NO" sound nice, but the bottom line is you should not be hooking up with guys at the moment or using cruising sites.

It needs to be that simple.

Keep It in Your Pants | MEN R US | 30s
Thank you for Keeping It in Your Pants | MEN R US | 50s

If you've already made up your mind to ignore this advice it's unlikely you'll take notice of anything we say here, but we're going to say it anyway:

  • Meeting guys can increase your risk of getting or passing on COVID-19, and you may not even know it
  • You run the risk of passing COVID-19 onto family, housemates, fuck buds and/ or other partners
  • The health implications can be life-threatening for those people with serious underlying health conditions
  • Sexual health and health services are rammed dealing with COVID-19 (some reducing hours/ access); so, you may not get the service you expect or need
  • Do you want to get stopped by the police with your go-bag of poppers, dildoes and lube? "I need a shag officer" is not going to cut it under 'urgent' or 'necessary' travel

Videoing and cam sex

  • Human touch is immensely powerful but we should never underestimate the voice, pics and video.
  • Be mindful if don't know the person you are camming with. You might be viewed and/ or recorded by others without your consent
  • Make sure the person you’re camming/ speaking to is over the age of consent
  • Consider the background of your room as you may not want guys to see stuff
  • Check your mic and speakers, and lighting work to your best advantage
  • You don't necessarily need to jump straight to the virtual sex part. Consider foreplay and teasing (sense of anticipation)
  • Why not try role-play, outfits and fetish wear
  • Phone and sex messaging can be a big turn-on.
  • Though many of us use WhatsApp you may want to check your phone plan includes photo messages because they cost
  • Wanking is very cool. Wanking with lube. Try wanking with your other hand. We also hear that "mindful masturbation" is a thing!*
  • It may take some practice but try a dildo or finger up your arse with porn when wanking. Sensible sizes, please!

It's not real sex

There's no point getting around the fact that some guys are saying it's not "real" sex. They're wrong. It may be not what we're used to but it's the best we have at the moment. If you're one of those guys: you kind of need to get over yourselves and work with what we have rather than bitch about what we don't.

Sex, COVID-19 and physical distancing | HIV Scotland
Give yourself a hand: acts of self-love to keep you satisfied during lockdown | Gay Men Fighting AIDS (GMFA) | 1 Apr 2020
Sex during Covid-19 | GMI Partnership
Don’t hook up during the COVID-19 lockdown | Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) | 25 Mar 2020
Sex and coronavirus (COVID-19) | SX Scotland
COVID-19 tips and tricks: hooking up hints | Prepster
COVID-19 tips and tricks: other ways to get off | Prepster
COVID-19 tips and tricks: info for sex workers | Prepster
COVID-19 tips and tricks: info for people in hostile or abusive households | Prepster

Drugs and chemsex

If you are using drugs and playing: be aware of risks and reduce drugs harms wherever possible. Click any of the links below or visit our DRUGS section.

Reducing the harms drugs can cause | MEN R US
COVID-19 harm reduction for people who use drugs | Talking Drugs @ Release

Drug, alcohol and chemsex support in London and elsewhere | MEN R US
Accident and emergency hospitals in London | MEN R US
Sexual health services | MEN R US

Safer chemsex | MEN R US
Connection and consent | MEN R US
Safer G use including spiking (drinks and lubicant) and sexual assault | MEN R US

Accessing drug and chemsex services

While some of you reading this will know about services like Mortimer Market, 56 Dean Street, Antidote, and Club Drug Clinic which provide chemsex support, you should reasonably assume that they - and others - are especially busy during the lockdown and/or operating reduced hours.

These services are highlighted with a red lifebuoy under Drug, alcohol and chemsex support in London - together with details of all drug services listed by borough. If you can't get through, and you need help and support, consider a mainstream drug service in your area. While they may not be your first choice they may be your only choice, and your health and well-being is your top priority.

Help needed: impact of COVID-19 on drug purchases survey

We have a post-it note on one of our computer screens where we keep a tally of how many surveys we been asked to complete in recent weeks. As of 13/05/20 we're into the 30's!* So, while sensitive about including this, our friends and allies at Release need our help.

Like many commodities, the drugs market is likely to suffer from stockpiling and shortages. Release, the UK's centre of expertise on drugs and drug laws, is interested in hearing from people who use and/ or supply drugs about their experiences.

The purpose of this learning is to ensure Release can share the most accurate harm reduction messages, signpost people, to the right harm reduction interventions and to treatment if that is what they want. If you have any information complete the survey using the link below, contact its confidential phone line: 020 7324 2988 or email

Impact of COVID-19 on drug purchases survey | Release

DRUG SCIENCE | MENRUS.CO.UKDrug Science Podcasts

Provides an evidence base free from political or commercial influence, creating the foundation for sensible and effective drug laws. Equipping the public, media and policymakers with the knowledge and resources to enact positive change. Formed by a committee of scientists with a passionate belief that the pursuit of knowledge should remain free of all political and commercial interest.

Drug Science Podcast | Drug Science

March 2020 articles

How to have sex in the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic | USA | The Cranky Queer
 What’s the deal with hooking up right now? | Emen8 | Australia | 31 Mar 2020
How is the coronavirus lockdown impacting gay hookup culture? | HuffPost | 27 Mar 2020
Sex in the era of COVID-19 | The Bay Area Reporter | USA | 25 Mar 2020
Can I have sex? A guide to intimacy during the coronavirus outbreak | The Guardian | 25 Mar 2020
All your horny little coronavirus questions answered | Vice | USA | 6 Mar 2020

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