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COVID-19 and Sex

Staying home from school for weeks on end sounds fun, in theory. But a few days into social distancing, your favorite snacks are gone, your TikToks are perfected, and FaceTime just isn’t cutting it.

Quarantine life is so much better with someone, right? If you decide to spend your (completely unsupervised) days with your boyfriend or girlfriend, how can you practice healthy habits to avoid risks during this time? What risks are there? Well, we all know the pot shops are still open. Walmart has plenty of condoms. And beer. And even without condoms, pot and beer, simply by spending so much time with your boyfriend or girlfriend can make you slip into taking decisions you wouldn't take otherwise, if you were attending school or kept to your strict schedule.

If sticking to your boundaries has been challenging in this season, here are three ways to safeguard yourself and your partner.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you stay focused on what YOU want to do: 1. Have a plan for your life Wow, this sounds big! So all you need to do is just figure out your life for the next 70-80 years, and you'll be fine? Ha! Well, yes and no. You d need to have a plan. And you need to not freak out when your life will not turn out exactly as you panned it. However, your life has more chances of coming together if you do have a plan rather than if you don't, right? So sit down one afternoon when you are alone (not with your boyfriend or girlfriend!) ad ask yourself - what is it that you actually want for your life? School? Career? Family? What do these things look for you? Make a plan.

2. Where You Hang Out Matters

Instead of hanging out behind closed doors in a bedroom or basement, if a parent or sibling is home, choose to spend time in a communal living space like a kitchen, family room, or front yard. Being completely home alone can be difficult no matter where you choose to hang out. But if you want to avoid having sex right now, a good rule of thumb is to stay vertical. 😉

Avoiding secluded environments can also protect you from making physical decisions in the heat of the moment.

3. When You Hang Out Matters

“Nothing good happens after 2am.” It’s a funny quote from How I Met Your Mother but the thought behind it is true. Hanging out late at night sets a different tone to your time together.

Be intentional about when you see your boyfriend or girlfriend, especially if you are alone. Studies reveal that individuals make their worst decisions late at night and first thing in the morning. Mental and physical fatigue can lead to choices you later regret. Set and stick to a time frame for hangouts. A good example would be afternoons from 1 pm-4 pm, or evenings from 5 pm-7pm when family members are present.

4. Keep Busy – Distractions Can’t Hurt

There’s a reason “Netflix and chill” is code for sex. Rather than binging a show on the couch, opt to play cards or Exploding Kittens, go for a walk, cook a meal – literally anything that is healthy for your relationship and keeps your hands busy too.

This is a perfect opportunity to get to know one another on a deeper level. Take this time to engage in one another’s hobbies - this could be playing the guitar, painting, hitting the trails on a mountain bike (if you can get out), or working on your three-pointers.

As the quarantine unfolds - being intentional about your setting, time frame, and chosen activities is a great way to honor yourself and your partner.

Remember, setting boundaries is not about deprivation, it’s about protecting what you truly value.

For more tips on healthy relationships, sexual health and more, follow Think Twice on Facebook and Instagram.

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THINK TWICE Sexual Risk Avoidance Education Initiative is supported by the United States Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children, Youth and Families, Grant #: 90TS00230100.
Opinions and findings of the program do not reflect those of the U.S. DHHS.

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