‘Prioritise online sex’: Swedish campaign launched to promote coronavirus-safe dating

'Prioritise online sex': Swedish campaign launched to promote coronavirus-safe dating
The sexual charity RSFU has encouraged safe sex during the coroanvirus pandemic: Photo: Isabell Höjman / TT
People in Sweden have been encouraged to practice safe sex, including telephone sex and masturbation, during the coronavirus pandemic in a new campaign.

The campaign by the sexual education organisation RSFU, together with the Stockholm region, includes advice on sex and dating while social distancing.

“All physical contact with others, including sex, poses a risk of infection from Covid-19,” the website states. “Dating and temporary sexual relationships with new partners in particular pose a risk of becoming infected or infecting others.”

For people intending to have sex or date outside their immediate circle, RFSU advises “prioritising having sex and dating online”, including using dating apps, phone calls and messages. 

“We know that many who have been physically distanced for a long time may feel a greater need to feel closeness and intimacy. We want to open up to several ways to have sex…tips on how to think differently,” said Pelle Ullholm from RFSU. 

“Most people are already starting to date digitally today. The idea is that you can extend and deepen that period in new ways,” says Pelle Ullholm.

RFSU also advises using a condom and to limit kissing, including avoiding kissing people outside your immediate circle. 

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In late May, Sweden's Public Health Agency for the first time published official advice on whether sexual relationships are considered safe in these times of social distancing.

“According to our general advice, you should keep a distance from other people to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19. This is especially true outside your immediate social circle,” the advice states.

“Closeness, intimacy and sex are good for well-being and public health. In relationships, where people are still meeting and are close to each other, sex is no obstacle if you and your partner, or partners, show no symptoms of illness.”

However, when it comes to casual dating, it adds: “Dating and temporary sexual relationships with new partners, on the other hand, pose a risk of getting infected or infecting others.” 

Under Sweden's current coronavirus guidelines, everyone is expected to limit their social contacts (in other words, only socialise with a small number of close friends and family) and keep a distance from others in public places. People over 70, belonging to a risk group, or exhibiting cold or flu symptoms should avoid social contacts altogether.

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