Puerto Rico scraps safe-sex campaign urging people to masturbate during pandemic

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Puerto Rico’s health department scrapped a safe sex campaign urging people to masturbate to avoid contracting the coronavirus — after conservative critics said the message rubbed them the wrong way.

The public service announcement, which launched on social media Tuesday, featured an image of a thumb fondling a grapefruit along next to a statement proclaiming that pleasuring oneself is the only truly safe form of sexual activity in a pandemic.

It also urged horndogs to wash their sex toys, along with their hands, and avoid getting frisky with anyone not living under their roof.

But government health officials quickly erased the post after it went viral, explaining it had offended some observers.

“Although our only intention is to educate and prevent, the publication was offensive to some sectors of the population,” the Health Department said in a statement.

Officials said they didn’t want the campaign’s main message — which was validated by epidemiologists and other health officials — to get lost in the distraction of a potential controversy.

Still, one expert called the campaign solid advice, even if left some folks hot and bothered.

“In principle, it seems like a good idea,” said Mónica Feliú-Mójer, a spokeswoman for CienciaPR, a nonprofit that reps scientists in the country.  “[But] it seems they didn’t anticipate there was going to be this backlash when Puerto Rico is truly very conservative regarding these issues.”

Safe sex campaigns have been rare on the island and in largely-Catholic Latin America in general. The island nation, which is home to 3.2 million people, has reported 32,400 COVID-19 cases, and more than 800 deaths this year.

With Post wires

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