SSIS advice column

August 28, 2020

Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@brandeis.edu or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: There are no bad, stupid or weird questions! 

(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)

How can I date during COVID-19?

This is a great question! Dating during COVID-19 is more complicated but definitely not impossible! There are a number of things you can do to make dating less risky. One thing you can do is explore online dating! Online dating is great because there is no risk of contracting COVID-19 from texting, video calling or talking on the phone. 

Another way to date during COVID-19 is planning outdoor, socially distanced dates such as picnics, hikes, studying together outside, biking, et cetera. Make sure to remember to DEIStance and wear masks when you are not eating!

If you find yourself seeking physical intimacy or sexual intimacy, there are several ways to safely have that during COVID-19. Risk exists on a spectrum, so it is important to keep in mind how much risk you are willing to take on. One important thing to do to mitigate your risk is to have an open and honest conversation of your COVID-19 testing status. Here is a list of ways to be physically or sexually intimate, listed from least risky to most risky in terms of contracting COVID-19.

  • Sexting or having video sex (lowest risk)
  • Mutual masturbation from opposite sides of a room while wearing masks
  • Hugging while wearing a mask
  • Having manual sex (with hands, sex toys or other objects) with masks on
  • Having genital sex (genitals touching genitals) with masks on
  • Oral sex (very risky)
  • Sex without masks (very risky)
  • Kissing (highest risk) 

Regardless of how you choose to date during COVID-19, feel free to text SSIS at 586-ASK-SSIS for more information. 

Will SSIS be open this semester?

This is another great question! SSIS will have open office hours this fall. Our hours will be posted on our social media soon. 

However, our office will look different this semester due to COVID-19. We will change the physical set up of the office to be conducive to DEIStancing. Before entering the office, students will have to fill out a form for contact tracing. All of our services will be contactless, we will use a transaction table to sell products and accept payment. You will also be able to order products in advance if you don’t want to physically enter the office. In addition, our office will be open for peer support in person, over our virtual office hours, over the phone at 781-736-3695 during office hours, or over text at 586-ASK-SSIS. 

Welcome back to the SSIS column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@brandeis.edu or leave a question in the Google Form link on the Student Sexuality Information Service Facebook page. Any and all questions are welcome: There are no bad, stupid or weird questions! 

(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)

How can I date during COVID-19?

This is a great question! Dating during COVID-19 is more complicated but definitely not impossible! There are a number of things you can do to make dating less risky. One thing you can do is explore online dating! Online dating is great because there is no risk of contracting COVID-19 from texting, video calling or talking on the phone. 

Another way to date during COVID-19 is planning outdoor, socially distanced dates such as picnics, hikes, studying together outside, biking, et cetera. Make sure to remember to DEIStance and wear masks when you are not eating!

If you find yourself seeking physical intimacy or sexual intimacy, there are several ways to safely have that during COVID-19. Risk exists on a spectrum, so it is important to keep in mind how much risk you are willing to take on. One important thing to do to mitigate your risk is to have an open and honest conversation of your COVID-19 testing status. Here is a list of ways to be physically or sexually intimate, listed from least risky to most risky in terms of contracting COVID-19.

  • Sexting or having video sex (lowest risk)
  • Mutual masturbation from opposite sides of a room while wearing masks
  • Hugging while wearing a mask
  • Having manual sex (with hands, sex toys or other objects) with masks on
  • Having genital sex (genitals touching genitals) with masks on
  • Oral sex (very risky)
  • Sex without masks (very risky)
  • Kissing (highest risk) 

Regardless of how you choose to date during COVID-19, feel free to text SSIS at 586-ASK-SSIS for more information. 

Will SSIS be open this semester?

This is another great question! SSIS will have open office hours this fall. Our hours will be posted on our social media soon. 

However, our office will look different this semester due to COVID-19. We will change the physical set up of the office to be conducive to DEIStancing. Before entering the office, students will have to fill out a form for contact tracing. All of our services will be contactless, we will use a transaction table to sell products and accept payment. You will also be able to order products in advance if you don’t want to physically enter the office. In addition, our office will be open for peer support in person, over our virtual office hours, over the phone at 781-736-3695 during office hours, or over text at 586-ASK-SSIS. 

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