People are being sexually experimental during lockdown.
When stay-at-home orders were issued across the US in March, there were jokes that people would while away the time by having sex or masturbating. New research from The Kinsey Institute suggests that's not quite the case. According to a survey of an estimated 2,000 people, most are actually less intimate during lockdown. But when they do have sex, they tend to be more experimental, trying out new positions and exploring fantasies.
The preliminary findings are part of ongoing study, asking people, both single and partnered, about their sexual behavior every two weeks since mid-March, when all the lockdowns began in the US.
The study is slated to be published in the journal Leisure Sciences next month. In the meantime, here is a first look at the preliminary findings:
People are having less sex
- So far, it appears that spending more time at home hasn't pushed couples to have more sex. Despite everything we've heard in the media about people being hornier and really interested in sex right now, we're seeing that rates of sexual behavior are lower, and that includes masturbation
- Some people also reported the quality of their sex lives has taken a dive. Just 13.6% said their sex lives are better than before. Some 43.5% of the study participants said their sex lives have been of lower quality than before the pandemic, while 42.8% said their sex lives are about the same in terms of quality.
1 in 5 people have become more experimental with sex
- Although people are having less sex overall, the report found that people who are having sex are trying new things.
- 1 in 5 of the study participants tried a new sexual behavior since the pandemic started, and the most common were sexting for the first time, sharing a sexual fantasy with a partner, and or trying a new sex position.
- "Different people are coping in different ways, and for some people this is a time of sexual exploration and experimentation and some people are going to see improvements in their sex lives because of it,” says the author of the report.
If you're having less sex, it's completely normal
- If you're someone who, like most of the participants in the study, is having less frequent or lower-quality sex than before the coronavirus pandemic, it isn't cause for concern.
- It's normal over the lifespan for people to have fluctuations in their sex drive and for sex drive to go down during periods of high stress and anxiety. So the fact that this is happening now is not surprising.
- Existing data shows that when a person experiences high-stress situations like the birth of a child, a divorce, or job loss, sexual desire tends to decrease. The exception is people who use sex as a coping tool which would mean their sexual frequency may increase during times of stress.
- But these are usually temporary blips on the radar such that when the stressor is relieved, sexual desire tends to come back. So we would expect to see that once life starts to return to normal, whatever 'normal' means, we're likely to see sexual desire come back in a lot of these cases.
In the meantime… Stay sexy. Stay safe.