Since the COVID-19 outbeak, sexual relations have suffered a serious blow. The virus has changed social relations worldwide, not only caused by national restrictions but a fear of contagion which has spread as wide as the virus itself.
Change was sudden, making it hard for us to get used to this new reality. On one hand, the fear of contagion may have reduced physical contact within couples from kissing to sexual relations or perhaps increased as we stayed confined during long periods of time. It is possible that work at home, the continued presence of children, social distancing, fear of infection or not being able to physically meet with others have changed most people’s sexual habits.
So, as the pandemic has affected our physical interaction whether it was too much contact or a lack of it… Has it led us to a new way of sexual behavior?
García-Cruz and Peraza conducted a survey in English and in Spanish to explore the sexual behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic and their preliminary results showed that sexual intercourse has not been affected, with only 9.7% of the English having sexual relationships with different people from their partner during the quarantine.
Unsurprisingly, worldwide traffic to porn sites skyrocketed compared to that before the pandemic. While only 10% of the surveyed people considered themselves to masturbate more during the lockdown. It was also found that sexual communication online is seen as a great alternative to maintain a certain level of sexual activity.
Sexual relations are highly related to a person’s quality of life and mental health (1) . Sexual health is essential for global health and well-being of individuals, couples and families, and should be given more attention especially during the current pandemic.
In our Western society, sexuality has been long related with ‘efficiency’ and ‘accomplishment’ rather than pleasure and imagination. However, now more than ever it’s time to explore new creative ways to approach sexuality.
Ibarra, FP, Mehrad, M., Mauro, MD, Godoy, MFP, Cruz, EG, Nilforoushzadeh, MA, & Russo, GI (2020). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sexual behavior of the population. The vision of the east and the west. International brazjurol , 46 , 104-112.