Sean Philip Cotter
Stop kissing. Have sex with your clothes on. Or better yet, apply some sexy social distancing and fire up the webcam the next time you’re getting down.
These are just a few of the myriad suggestions that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention felt compelled to throw out there for anyone who both thinks they have monkeypox and wants to keep having sex.
The CDC, which is the feds’ top public health agency, recently has put out a couple of documents on how to knock boots safely in light of the ongoing monkeypox outbreak. The missives, available on the CDC website for anyone interested, are called “Monkeypox Facts for People Who are Sexually Active” and “Social Gatherings, Safer Sex and monkeypox.”
It’s in the latter where the CDC probes the matter of making love in the time of monkeypox.
“Avoid kissing,” the CDC offers up. “Masturbate together at a distance of at least 6 feet, without touching each other.”
Or better yet, the agency writes in a stroke of social-distancing inspiration, “Have virtual sex with no in-person contact.”
But if you are bound and determined to dare to have physical intercourse, “Consider having sex with your clothes on.”
And if you’re additionally determined to be bound, “Remember to wash your hands, fetish gear, sex toys and any fabrics.”
The CDC says it’s looking into whether the disease can be sexually transmitted, but the warnings are less around passing it along as a conventional sexually-transmitted disease and more along the lines of how it seems to spread through skin-on-skin contact. You know — the kind that happens if you have sex in person without having your clothes on, as the CDC notes.
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within two weeks of exposure to the virus, the CDC says, and include sores that can last a couple of weeks plus flu-like symptoms.
Basically, the CDC says, if you have the sores, you’re still contagious until a new layer of skin grows over them.
If you get an unexplained rash or sores, call a doctor, and, “Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out by a health care provider.”
Massachusetts had the first case of monkeypox in the U.S. during what the authorities have characterized as a recent outbreak of a virus that’s normally quite rare, particularly in the Western Hemisphere.
In the CDC documents, the austere public health agency also pondered whether you should still be going to your favorite raves or sex clubs.
“A rave, party, or club where there is minimal clothing and where there is direct, personal, often skin-to-skin contact has some risk,” the CDC wrote, adding that people should “avoid any rashes or sores you see on others.”
And further, “Enclosed spaces, such as back rooms, saunas, or sex clubs, where there is minimal or no clothing and where intimate sexual contact occurs have a higher likelihood of spreading monkeypox.”