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Cold and flu season is just wrapping up but maybe you're still curious, is it possible to pass those bugs to someone during sex? Can you infect someone with influenza via seminal, anal, or vaginal fluid? What about from the mouth to the genitals?

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Can the common cold and the flu be passed from one person to another through sex? [WHIP CRACKING, COUGH].

Colds and the flu are so common we can usually diagnose ourselves and treat them from experience. Coughing, sore throat, sneezing, runny or stuffy noses, feeling achy, congested, and feverish is likely one of 200 viruses that cause the cold or influenza, the flu virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 5-20% of us get one of these bugs every year, so it's a very prevalent public health issue with a well-known protocol:. Rest, drink lots of fluids, and keep your germs away from others. “Cough into your shoulders,” “wash your hands frequently,” “stay home from work and school,” and “no kissing.” But what about sex? Can we please have sex????

Are the cold and flu sexually transmitted infections? For some of you, the thought of getting it on with a headache and a face of snot isn't appealing enough to care. But for those of you who like regular sex, don't want to wait the week or two until you feel better, and know that coming has healing -- pain relieving benefits: this is for you!

The cold and flu are both respiratory infections meaning their viruses attack the lungs, throat, nose, and mouth. The viruses aren't going to infect the genitals; they're not transmitted by them or the body fluids associated with them. Mostly.

Here are some scenarios where sex is risky:. Face-to-face sex where heavy breathing, sneezing, and coughing swiftly pass germs from one person to the other.

Tip: Have sex in front to back positions like doggie style and forking with the person who's sick on the bottom. This way they're able to wipe their snot discreetly and won't send their infected breath and mucus toward vulnerable eyes, nose, and mouth of the healthy. Another kind of sex to avoid is touchy sex. I know, sex without kissing and now no touching?

But if you can minimize the amount that you put your hands on each other and especially hands to faces, you'll reduce the risk of spreading the virus. The cold and flu get all over everything, and they can easily be moved to your respiratory system if you touch your face parts. So try not to.

Humping and deep throating. No! Having a cold and flu can mean some of all of your head is throbbing, so I suggest not thrusting harshly, like a jackhammer.

I also suggest that during oral sex, the sick person keeps their mouth available to breathe and away from long hard objects which might further irritate sore throats. Lick the sick, don't dick the sick. Just a suggestion.

Here's one that you might not think of if you're monogamous: V- sex. If you have sex with more than one person it's possible that one person could transmit the cold or flu to the other by way of your crotch! If someone healthy goes down on someone healthy after someone sick went down on them -- they could technically get the cold or flu from sex.

I think the biggest sick sex risk is having it with people who are immunocompromised. A cold or flu might be an inconvenience to me, but for some people like those who are pregnant or who have chronic illnesses, the cold and flu can be very dangerous. For example, if you're playing with someone who doesn't know they're HIV+, getting a cold could gravely jeopardize their health.

Consider mutually masturbating instead, taking showers or just doing it in the shower, getting the flu vaccine (and at some point the cold vaccine which is being developed), wear surgical masks and do some operation role playing, use hand sanitizer, and communicate. Please don't hide the fact that you're sick because you know you'll have a better chance of getting laid. Please don't have sex with someone who is sick just because you don't want to hurt their feelings.

Use your words. Say, “sex with you is going to be amazing after I feel better.” Or, "I know what will help clear your head and put you to sleep if you'll let me do you from behind.” Who knew the flu could be so kinky? Oh, that reminds me.

If you're thinking of the stomach flu, like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, that's something different than the flu flu. The stomach flu is more accurately called gastroenteritis, mostly caused by the norovirus, and it's highly contagious. If the fecal matter of someone who is infected comes in contact with something you come in contact with and then makes it way to your mouth -- you're probably going to get it.

Sex-wise that could be as direct as anilingus -- oral sex on the anus, or something indirect like the close contact of dry humping and holding hands. All of the viruses I've mentioned spread easily. Not through seminal or vaginal fluid, but definitely people to people.

If you want to avoid sickness it's probably best to not share spaces, sexual or otherwise, with people who are contagious. Have phone sex instead. Stay curious.

Thank you for staying curious with us at Sexplanations and Sexplanations podcast. If you would be so kind, please subscribe and support us at