People's sexual life became one of the most impacted aspects of COVID-19 pandemic.
But what exactly happened to this intimate sphere during a pandemic?
Various surveys and researches on the sideline of the pandemic have shown that the coronavirus pandemic not only disrupted the economic, social, and political lives of people but massively impacted their intimate sexual life as well. But while the world remained reasonably focused on continuing research around the vaccine for COVID-19, immunity, and vaccine science, there were plenty of fascinating developments in the world of sexuality research.
There is no study yet which says that the virus can spread through sexual intercourse. So, it wouldn’t be a far stretch to say that sexual intercourse, for the most part, remained the only constant in the COVID era. However, researchers found coronavirus in the semen of infected men along with those who have recovered from the illness. They found saliva to be a definite mode of transmission. So, obviously, indulging in sexual intercourse and even getting frisky with “strangers” is off the charts until mass inoculation of a vaccine is done. But will the vaccine end the pandemic?
Physical Sex for Couples amid the Pandemic- Global Picture
Studies across the globe have shown varied results inasmuch that couples’ sexual life is concerned during the pandemic. A study published in Leisure Sciences had a mixed bag of responses from the survey conducted on 1,559 adults. Half of these reported a decline in their sex life, while one in five said they had experimented with new acts in sex.
The International Journal of Gynecology Obstetrics has put out a research study on women in Turkey, and the results were surprising. The 58 women who participated in the survey agreed to have been more sexually active during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas in Britain, researchers found that 60% of British adults were not having sex or even masturbating.
Why the Mixed Results
One of the most common reasons behind people worldwide’s varied sex lives can be the ‘stress’ caused by the pandemic. Different people react differently to stress. They either choose to run away, fight, freeze, or please the source. Sex, in many cases, can be an effective stress- reliever. Or it can be a primary source of the same amidst a global pandemic.
Although some people might have had more sex than usual during this period, reports say that the quality and nature of these sexual activities is undoubtedly worse than pre-Covid-19. The reason? Sexual intercourse requires more than just a physical presence in the act. And while the mind is worried about covid-19 and its consequences (ranging from financial to political crisis), the mental disposition rather influxes stress accompanied by ‘bad’ sex than aiding in any form.
Experimenting with different ways has certainly helped people satiate their desires and maintain much needed mental health during the pandemic.
Quite literally, self sexual engagements are the best practices in a disease-laden world. Institutions like Harvard Medical School and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene have said masturbation is your best bet to keep yourself isolated and sexually satisfied.
A partner who one stays with regularly is also a safe sex option. Keeping a safe distance and track of those with whom they interact is a way to stay healthy and keep the virus out of the house.
A website named Camsoda is offering ‘virtual intercourse’ for those who are on the techier side of things. One can pay for a virtual robot to have sex instead of them. Virtual Reality might help to hit all those sweet spots that one is missing out on in the COVID-19 pandemic.
While physically meeting and ‘hooking-up’ might be an additional risk even after successive ‘Unlocks’, dating apps became all the rage in 2020. In the world of online dating, Tinder saw its engagements increase by 64%, followed by OkCupid and Happn in second and third places, according to a survey by Rakuten Insight in September 2020. Experts say that it might be finally the time when people are taking dating seriously.
The New Normal
Mental health repercussions due to the pandemic are far too many. Depression, anxiety, and insomnia have become common. In such a scenario, almost a year of social distancing, one might feel like dating in person. Asking for a recent COVID-19 test or symptoms might be a good hedge.
While the hunt for the vaccine continues, humans still need to stay apart. Being six feet apart does put a damper on the mood. But humans are the best adaptors and harbingers of survival instincts, if not anything else. With the stats of sites like Pornhub witnessing a sharp increase, a boost in sex toys with erotic social media posts among various other methods, people’s sexual drives made them adapt, improvise and overcome challenges in their sex life.
Maybe, armed with sanitizers, masks, and condoms, one can finally live the ‘new normal’ sex life they need.