Lots of things have changed since the pandemic began and sex is no exception. Several sex therapists have spoken about how intimacy has been effected in quarantine and we’ve got loads (pun intended) to share.
Sexual desire is down for many
The sheer stress of living through a pandemic has taken a toll on our mental health and sexual desire overall.
“It’s common for people to experience low sexual desire when under stress or dealing with trauma. The state of the pandemic sent people into a spiral of emotions leading to stress, fatigue, sleep issues, appetite changes and mood swings,” says sex therapist Shannon Chavez.
Relationship issues are boiling to the surface
You bet your ass that spending every second with your partner has led to some serious tension. Divorce rates are up, live-in partners are at each other’s throats, and lots of couples are having less sex.
Sex therapist Tom Murray explains,
“When couples spend all their time together, they can find annoyance, frustration, fatigue and irritability growing between them. Space is often a necessary ingredient to fuel passion. That’s hard to acquire during a state of stay-at-home requirements.”
Some people are actually having MORE sex
With the majority of the world shut down and limited, there’s not a whole lot to do. Combine the lack of activities with a longing for social connection and you’ve got some people going at it like rabbits.
“Time at home has the advantage of less stressors such as getting home late due to traffic, extracurricular activities that take priority over sex and excuses of not enough time. The extra time together has helped some feel more relaxed and open to sexual activity.” says sex therapist Shannon Chavez.
People are watching more porn
Once again there’s not a whole lot to do in or out of the house, so of course porn site traffic has spiked. In fact, Pornhub has seen a 25% daily spike in traffic the past few months. March was also when Pornhub started offering free premium for a month. Coincidence? I think not…
“People are both bored and spending considerably more amounts of time online for work and/or to treat their boredom,” Shannon Chavez explains.
More people are masturbating
Since the early days of social distancing, guidelines have discouraged sexual activity for those not already living together. Therefore, options are more limited than ever and sex toy sales have boomed since the pandemic began.
“I have had several clients talk about their ‘sexual revolution’ happening while being quarantined at home,” Shannon Chavez said. “This has included reading sex books, watching porn, buying sex toys, talking to their partners about fantasies and having more relaxed sex.”
Sexual desire is also tanked by mental health problems
It’s no secret that our daily lives and routines have been ripped to shreds by the pandemic, which has led to negative effects on mental health. Many of those with conditions such as anxiety and depression have experienced a loss of interest in sex.
Maoli, the host of “Sexology” podcast explains:
“These psychological disorders not only impact our mood but may also lead to sexual difficulties, such as erectile dysfunction or painful intercourse. “Furthermore, those with obsessive-compulsive disorder may struggle to engage in any type of partnered sexual activity for the fear of contamination.”
Folks are getting kinky
With so much time to explore new things people are expanding their sexual horizons, both in the bedroom and on their own. Think of it as a kinky exploration.
“They’re really putting sex on the top of the priority list. From talking about sex and issues, to making time to indulge and masturbate to enjoying midday porn screenings to loosening up with wine and CBD to finally getting around to some role-playing. Many couples are trying to take their sexual selves out of exile with some real intentionality,” says sex therapist Ian Kerner.
People are having all the virtual sex
Many are finding safe ways to get each other off without the typical in-person contact of a sexual encounter.
Shannon Chavez explains,
“There are sex-positive online communities that have been outlets for sexual play, voyeurism and exploration. Some of these environments include online sex parties and Zoom chats that involve community sexual play and education on consent in the digital world.”
Welp, that’s all folks. As the pandemic continues to keep many of us locked up in quarantine, some people are having loads of sex and others are having none. Many are getting kinky, whether it be in person or online. One can only hope this is the dawn of a sexual awakening rather than a really sad dry spell.
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