Safer sex in coronavirus times

Feels like we're talking a lot about protection at the moment. National restrictions are changing regularly, but it is still essential to prevent COVID-19 in our everyday lives through:

  • Handwashing
  • Social distancing
  • Mask wearing
  • Self isolate – if you've been asked to by your school, college or another organisation such as NHS Test & Trace
  • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, you must self-isolate, and book a free test immediately

Check out the NHS guidance for more information.

COVID-19 can be caught and passed on without you knowing it. So keeping ourselves and those we are close to safe, is our biggest shared public health priority.

But you may well have other priorities in your life at the moment, including any sexual relationship you are in.

Sexual relationships during Coronavirus times

It's not a good time right now to start a new sexual relationship with someone, or any partners that you do not live with. There is a risk of COVID-19 through having any kind of sex. Ways of reducing coronavirus risk could include no kissing, or face to face contact. See the Brook guidance about sexual partners, social distancing and other relationship tips during these coronavirus times.

You definitely need to avoid having sex if you or your partner show any symptoms of coronavirus, and follow the NHS guidance on what to do. In fact solo sex (masturbation) is definitely the safest kind of sex right now.


But protecting our sexual health is something we might still need to think about. Whatever is happening in your life, safer sex is just as important now as it always was.

So if you need a free and confidential local service, don’t delay making contact. For example, condom schemes, sometimes known as CCard, provide FREE CONDOMS to under 25s in many outlets such as pharmacies, sexual health clinics, and youth services across SW London. You just need to register with a scheme to access them, whether this is in person or online.

So the benefits and down sides of condoms...

  • Still the best and only method of preventing both STIs and unplanned pregnancy.
  • Easy to obtain and free (or for as little as 99p, condoms also cheap to buy)
  • Different sizes and types of condoms, and lubricant
  • Both men and women have control over whether or when to have a baby
  • Easier to relax and have fun knowing that you're both protected
  • Sex is easier to clean up after

And a couple of downsides...

  • They do need a bit of skill to avoid them breaking or slipping off – user error is often the reason for problems. So check out our do's and don't of condom use, and a condom demonstration to help you get this right
  • Putting them on can interrupt sex, but make them part of your sex life together – safer is sexier
  • Some men don't like wearing them – try different ones for size and comfort

So don't become one of the stats – a young person is diagnosed with an STI every 4 minutes in England.

Instead, protect yourself and your partner by getting yourself signed up to one of the free condom schemes here.

Find out more

Find where to get FREE condoms