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Can safe sex keep me from becoming a zombie?

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Updated April 25, 2014

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Can safe sex keep me from becoming a zombie?
(c) 2011 Elizabeth R. Boskey licensed to About.com, Inc.
Zombie woman
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Question: Can safe sex keep me from becoming a zombie?

As humans of the 21st century, a universal concern is the danger that we face during the forthcoming zombie apocalypse. Even the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has started to implement zombie preparedness as part of its mission to protect the health of the American people. And yet, despite people's widespread fear that our society might shift to one dominated by the undead, there are still questions that need to be answered. One of those questions is how to maintain a healthy sex life when the person you love becomes a zombie. Inquiring minds want to know:

If you can somehow keep your zombie lover from eating your brain, will practicing safe sex keep you from becoming a zombie, too?

After all, just because a disease isn't the end of the world, that still doesn't mean you want to catch it ... even when the world is ending around you.

Answer: There is no consensus as to how zombism is transmitted. Looking at various cinematic records of past and future epidemics, several possible contagion mechanisms have been suggested, including zombism as a:

  • Saliva-borne Illness: If it is the saliva of a zombie that's infectious - and the potential to be reborn as a creature of the ravening undead is transmitted when a salivary parasite, virus or bacterium gets into a bite wound - then there is definitely a potential for zombism to be sexually transmitted. Although kissing may or may not lead to infection - depending on whether the zombie pathogen needs to be introduced directly into the blood stream - use of dental dams for both kissing and oral sex would definitely be the smart choice. Furthermore, you should definitely take love bites off the menu, because you don't want to risk your partner breaking the skin ... or deciding you're food.
     
  • Airborne pathogen: If the infection that leads to undead transformation is transmissible through the air, worries about sexual transmission are unnecessary. By the time you get close enough to your lover to have sex with him or her, you'll already be infected. That said, if the pathogen is unstable and requires close contact, asking your partner to wear a surgical mask may slightly reduce your risk, but it probably won't help you all that much to wear one yourself. If you want to protect yourself entirely from airborne zombism, you'd probably need a respirator - and maybe a biohazard suit.
     
  • Blood-borne illness: If zombism is transmitted only through exposure to a zombie's blood or plasma, then it's actually relatively easy to protect yourself during sex. Standard safe sex precautions will do the trick before the process of decay has become too extreme, but once body parts start decaying and fluids start leaking out of limbs, you'll want to invest in a big supply of non-microwaveable plastic wrap. The ooze may not contain blood, but it's better to be safe than zombie.
     
  • Disease passed skin-to-skin: To the best of my knowledge, there have been no suggestions that zombism can be transmitted skin-to-skin, and so simple touch is probably safe as long as your zombie lover isn't leaking and your own skin remains intact.

 

Is Zombism an STD?

In the end (times), the truth is that just about any disease can be transmitted sexually - and zombism is no exception. That's why condoms, gloves, dental dams and the like are just as important to keep in your post-apocalyptic zombie toolkit as chain saws and shotguns. Remember, no matter how stigmatized the condition may be, zombies need love, too. You don't stop being human just because you're undead. Even people who survive on the brains of others can still be suckers for romance.

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