Coronavirus: Equinox Gyms Urge Members to Have Sex Amid Ongoing Pandemic

Equinox gyms are locked up during the coronavirus outbreak, but the chain reportedly sent out tips to members on what to do at home during self-quarantining. This includes having sex, which the gym points out can help relieve anxiety and sleep better. There is no evidence as yet that COVID-19 can be sexually transmitted.

Equinox sent out a tip headlined "Have an Orgasm Before Bed," reports TMZ. The email includes many of the same hints from a 2019 post on their Furthermore blog that lists the three health benefits of orgasms. Those benefits include relief from anxiety, sleeping better and reducing pain.

"Thanks to orgasm's ability to increase endorphins and oxytocin, having one can lower levels of cortisol, according to a 2009 study," the blog post notes. "Even the routine surrounding sex and masturbation can create a chill mood. So, light those candles and put on your favorite playlist."

The blog post also cited a 2019 study that shows women and men fall asleep faster and have higher-quality sleep after having an orgasms before bed.

"Research has long supported the fact that self-stimulation increases a woman’s threshold for pain, but orgasms have the biggest numbing effect," the blog post reads. "And, similar to post-yoga, some women report relief from period cramps after masturbating. Pamela Peeke, MD, founder of the Peeke Performance Center for Healthy Living in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Equinox Health Advisory Board, confirms that masturbation can actually alleviate pain in both genders."

While Equinox might get points for this tip, the chain came under fire in New York City earlier this week when a member tested positive for coronavirus, reports Showbiz411. The gym initially refused to close down and said it had a "deep clean." However, since New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a new stay-at-home executive order, all gyms have been closed to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

As for sex during the pandemic, experts told The Guardian there is no evidence that coronavirus can be sexually transmitted. However, the virus can be transmitted through kissing. The experts noted it was advised not to have sex with a partner who has tested positive for COVID-19, although it should not be an issue if neither partner has tested positive and does not show symptoms.

"For people who don't have symptoms and don't have any recent likely exposure and have been staying close to home, I think that, if it's within your own household, it's a different story," Dr. Julia Marcus, an infectious disease epidemiologist and professor in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School, told The Guardian. "If you live with a regular sexual partner and you don't have any symptoms, or likely exposure, sex might actually be a really great way to have fun, stay connected and relieve anxiety during this potentially stressful time."

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New York health officials also released guidelines for sex during the pandemic. They suggest not having sex with anyone outside your household.

Photo credit: Matthew Peyton/Getty Images for Equinox