Puerto Rico Health Officials Promote Masturbation As Measure To Prevent COVID, Sparking Backlash

The Dept. of Health in Puerto Rico this week issued a tweet recommending that people should opt for masturbation over engaging in sex with a partner to reduce the spread of Covid-19 as cases continue to increase in the U.S. territory.

The tweet was quickly deleted and replaced with a message explaining that their message was taken down because “some segments of the population“ were offended by it.

Some island residents reacted angrily to the censorship of important public information, with one Puerto Rican doctor writing: “Health should not be taboo…one step forward, two steps back.”

“Deleting valuable information is not good public health. It’s important to educate,” wrote another.

Back in June, New York City health officials issued an updated guide on how to practice safe sex during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Sex is a normal part of life and should always be with the consent of all parties,” the guide begins. “This document offers strategies to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 during sex. Decisions about sex and sexuality need to be balanced with personal and public health. During this extended public health emergency, people will and should have sex.”

“During COVID-19 wearing a face covering that covers your nose and mouth is a good way to add a layer of protection during sex,” according to the agency. “Maybe it’s your thing, maybe it’s not.”

The advisory also suggests that kinkier New Yorkers experiment with gloryhole type play: “Make it a little kinky. Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact while preventing close face to face contact.”

“Video dates, sexting, subscription-based fan platforms, sexy ‘Zoom parties’ or chat rooms may be options for you,” according to the guide.

Officials advise against having orgies during the pandemic, but “if you decide to find a crowd,” choosing large, open and “well-ventilated spaces” for group sex, and bringing along alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

“Kissing can easily pass the virus,” according to the guide. “Avoid kissing anyone who is not part of your small circle of close contacts.” Rimming might also spread the virus, the guide warns.