NYC Health Department Approves Sex Parties, Rimming in Latest COVID-19 Guidelines

As long as you're vaccinated, of course

The NYC Health Department says vaccinated individuals can return to sex parties. Image shows a man and woman embracing at a party.
Sex parties! With no masks!
Getty Images

It seems like only yesterday the New York City Health Department was encouraging us to get “kinky” with COVID-19 prevention measures in the bedroom by wearing masks, getting “creative” with sexual positions to minimize face-to-face contact, and, of course, rather infamously telling New Yorkers to use glory holes, if not in so many words. (New Yorkers, for their part, ultimately heeded that advice.)

But that was a year ago, and now that many New Yorkers are fully vaccinated, the Health Department’s latest set of COVID-19 sex guidelines encourages everyone to get back out there and resume their regularly scheduled sexual activity — as long as they’re fully vaxed, that is. Getting vaccinated is the key to safe late-stage pandemic sex, according to the guidelines, which state that “People who are fully vaccinated (meaning at least two weeks since they got a single-dose vaccine or the second dose of a two-dose vaccine) can go on dates, make out and have sex without face coverings and other COVID-19 precautions.”

Something else they can do? Go to sex parties.

While the NYC Health Department reminds New Yorkers that getting the jab is “especially important” if you’re a person who enjoys sex parties, sex with strangers, has multiple sex partners or engages in sex work, this tip also comes as a reminder that these things are still off-limits to the unvaccinated among us. For those who have yet to get the jab — or, at this point, simply don’t intend to — the guidelines still advise against attending sex parties. If you’re unvaccinated but still feel you simply must attend a sex party, the guidelines are the same as they were for everyone last year in our pre-vaccine era: go with a consistent partner; stick to large, well-ventilated spaces; and remember, no kissing.

It’s also worth noting that the Health Department has finally backed down slightly on its aggressive anti-rimming stance. In the early days of the pandemic, guidelines cautioned against mouth-to-anus activity, as COVID-19 was thought to spread through feces. Last June, an updated set of guidelines doubled down on the anti-ass-eating advisory, reminding New Yorkers that “making it a little kinky” did not include rim jobs. These days, however, the powers that be over at the Health Department have changed their tune somewhat. According to the latest guidelines, the risk of spreading the virus through feces is now “thought to be low,” though “research is needed to know if the virus can spread through sexual activities involving oral contact with feces.”

Generally speaking, these new guidelines more or less confirm what most of us already knew: if you want to participate in the post-pandemic summer of sex, you should get vaccinated. But remember, just because you’re fully vaxed doesn’t mean you can’t still use glory holes. The pandemic may be winding down, but glory holes are forever.

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