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Government defends 'explicit' Covid sex tips amid backlash

·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

NSW Health has defended their ‘explicit’ online sex tips for navigating the coronavirus pandemic after they were criticised for ‘encroaching in our bedrooms’.

The government’s Play Safe website, dedicated to promoting safe sex, has been keeping up with the pandemic and posting regular updates and tips for those dating and sexing in the midst of a public health crisis.

NSW Health Play Safe sex tips represented by couple kissing on bed
NSW Healths Covid-specific sex and dating tips have raised eyebrows among conservative politicians. photo: Getty Images

Those tips don’t beat around the bush, providing detailed and explicit information and advice on how to get it on in a socially distanced world its primary message currently that outside of your household, ‘solo sex’ is the only safe sex.

The advice which has been updating since April has prompted concern from conservative MP’s according to a report by The Daily Telegraph which referred to the safe sex advice as ‘erotic’ and ‘salacious’.


On Wednesday NSW Chief Medical officer Dr Kerry Chant insisted she was proud of the efforts of Play Safe in encouraging healthy discussion around sexual health.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant speaks about COVID-19 Play Safe sex advice
NSW Chief Health Officer Dr. Kerry Chant said they were proud of normalising discussions around sexual health through Play Safe. Photo: Getty Images

“NSW Health has put a lot of advice on our website and one of those sites is the Play Safe website where we’ve incorporated Covid advice in the context of our STI advice for young people and it also encompasses elements around mental health and what it means for relationships,” she said.

“Part of NSW Health’s mantra is really to normalise discussions around sexual health and STIs so that we see that as part of every general practice consultation,” she continued.

“I’m very proud of the work that we’ve done with our partner agencies and our young people network to inform some of the content on that website.”

Play Safe’s ‘explicit’ sex tips

Play safe sex alternatives
A short video gives advice for alternative sex ideas during covid. Photo: Play Safe

Since the pandemic first prompted a lockdown in March, the site has advised people on how to avoid transmitting or contracting the virus while dating.

On one page entitled ‘Can you get COVID-19 from sex?’ people are advised that the safest sex during Covid is ‘solo sex’, with sex with someone outside the household discouraged.

For those who continue to have casual sex, it’s somewhat bizarrely suggested that they ‘avoid kissing’ and ‘wear a three-layer mask’.

In a short video, the website recommends people engage in ‘hot messaging’, ‘phone sex’ and ‘video chat’.

One article goes into detail on how to practice ‘mutual masturbation’ with a partner if you just can’t stay away, including a sub-head on ‘How to enjoy masturbating with a partner safely’.

Conservatives ‘gobsmacked’ by ‘salacious’ tips

Image of woman on phone representing phone sex advised on NSW Play Safe website
The advice was slammed by some coalition MPs. Photo: Getty Images

MP’s who remained anonymous, identified only as coalition ministers, told the Daily Telegraph the advice was shocking.

“I think the public health officials providing this information [one mutual masturbation] have been following their own advice for years,” was one particularly spicy response.

Another described it as ‘encroaching’ in people’s bedrooms.

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