Safety, Pleasure, Respect and COVID-19

If safety, pleasure and respect are keys to sexual wellbeing then that doesn’t change amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst we all have different ways in which we have sex or nurture relationships, this pandemic gives us the chance to think even more about the importance of our sexual and relationship wellbeing.

Current health recommendations mean that for some people, safety in their sex life will involve physical separation from sex partner/s that they don’t live with. Having sex with people outside of those you live with will mean breaking current recommendations around social distancing. This can be tough but ultimately it comes down to safety and respect for you, your sex partner/s and the wider community.


Communication is key

To have safety, pleasure and respect in a relationship you need good communication. Communicating your needs around not having sex during the pandemic might look like establishing boundaries, talking about your concerns or exploring sex that doesn’t involve casual physical contact with others such as phone or online sex.

For people who live with their sexual partner/s communication might be all the more essential during this time. Many of us are currently dealing with the daily stresses of isolation, new ways of working, an ongoing news cycle and caring responsibilities. Talking about consent, sexual needs and wants, expectations around the use of condoms and contraception are all necessary parts of any kind of ‘quarantango’ that might happen.

Ultimately the message for us stays the same: safety, pleasure and respect are key for our sexual and relationship wellbeing.

To help you out with this we’ve put together a list of resources and advice:



As our daily schedule gets interrupted it’s essential that we make our emotional, physical and sexual safety a priority. This might include ensuring you have access to contraception and emergency contraception if you have unprotected sex. For your mental health this could include staying connected with friends and family, maintaining physical activity and reminding yourself that this pandemic is temporary.

The following links look over safer sex, emotional and physical wellbeing.

Coronavirus and sex: Dos and don’ts during social distancing – The Conversation

Safer Sex – SHINE SA

Choices in Contraception – SHINE SA

Mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak – Lifeline



Getting creative by introducing consensual phone or online sex to your sex life could be the ticket to maintaining intimacy. Self-pleasure or masturbation is also a safer option.
The following articles contain some tips to increasing pleasure during this time.

Sex, Intimacy and Coronavirus – Thorne Harbour Health

32 Tips From Phone-Sex Operators To Up Your Dirty Talk – Refinery29



There’s been a lot of public discussion around the strain of lockdown measures on relationships.
The following links discuss relationships and what we can do to maintain respect.

Healthy relationships – 1800 RESPECT

How to stay married through coronavirus – ABC

Dealing with coronavirus social distancing when you have housemates – ABC



Got sexual health questions you need answered?

If you have sexual health questions SHINE SA has a free Sexual Healthline where you can speak confidentially to one of our sexual health nurses.

Call: 1300 883 793; Toll free: 1800 188 171 (country callers only). The line is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 12:30pm.