How COVID-19 Is Changing Sex and Love

It’s fair to say that everyone has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, be it mentally, physically, and or emotionally. 

There are tons of stories, articles, blogs, individuals, and couples who have expressed their difficulties and challenges during this time when it comes to intimacy. There has also been a slew of information about how to keep that spark alive during these tough times, innovative date ideas, and quarantine sexy time tips. 

But instead of reading random articles on a questionable website, why not hear the facts when it comes to how the pandemic is actually affecting our sex lives and relationships?

Sex educator, Justin J. Lehmiller Ph.D, and his colleagues over at the Kinsey Institute, are currently in the process of conducting a long-term study on the impact COVID-19 has on sex and love. 

And while this study is, of course, in the beginning stages, here’s a quick peek into what they’ve uncovered thus far… 

COVID-19 Sex and Love: The Bad News

  • 44 percent of those in the study agreed that their sex life has declined since the start of the pandemic.
  • 30 percent agreed that their romantic life has declined since COVID-19.

And while these aren’t fantastic numbers, it’s not all bad. There are some participants whose sex and love life has actually improved since COVID-19… 

COVID-19 Sex and Love: The Good News

  • 14 percent of participants agreed that their sex life has improved since the start of the pandemic.
  • 23 percent say that their relationship is now in a better place than it was pre-coronavirus.

Has COVID-19 Affected Your Sex and Love Life Negatively?

If you find yourself experiencing more negative effects when it comes to sex and love during COVID-19, why not take a leaf out of the book of those who’ve experienced some positive results? 

The aforementioned study found that: 

  • One in five adults have tried something new to spice up their sex life (some things mentioned: filming themselves, trying new position, using a new sex toy). 

It is these adults who agreed that their sex and love lives were doing well during this crisis. And in fact, those who took to trying something new in the bedroom were three times more likely to admit positive changes in their sex and love lives.

Study aside, there are a bunch of other things you can do to work on and improve your sex life during this time. 

Research has found that what happens post-sexual activity can be just as important as the act itself. For example, those who hug, cuddle, talk, or simply spoon after they’ve been intimate tend to be more satisfied with their relationships. 

This is because when we engage in intimate touch (and when we orgasm), we release the neurotransmitter, oxytocin (the 'love’ hormone), which brings about feelings of romantic connection and bonding. 

No (Sexual) Partner During COVID-19?

While the majority of this article has been focused on those who are actually able to be intimate, we too understand the frustrations that come with self-isolating whilst being single. 

In this way, one night stands and regular trysts aren’t as safe as they used to be and aren’t encouraged during this time. In fact, the New York City Department of Health recently declared that "you are your safest sex partner".

Is that such a bad thing? We don’t believe so! Masturbating is pretty fantastic and no one knows your body as well as you do! And at the end of the day, you have the rest of your life to find someone who will drive you absolutely crazy! 

For now, enjoy the many benefits that self-love has to offer, like an elevated mood, stress reduction, and lots of orgasms. And we all know that orgasms are a "safe, natural high triggered by the release of 'feel-good’ endorphins and neurotransmitters in the brain like oxytocin, as well as dopamine, which activates 'reward centers.’"

Using this time off to engage in self-care and self-pleasure can only increase the amount of love you have for yourself, improve the way in which you feel connected to your body, and bring about feelings of peace and happiness. 

So, while every single one of us are experiencing unprecedented tests during this chaotic period, we’re also given the opportunity to reconnect… either with ourselves or with our partners. This is the time to redefine sex and love, and strengthen relationships!