Welcome back! Last week, we talked about What Happens When Sex Doesn’t. If you missed that blog and would like to catch up, click HERE.
Sex in 2020. Did it happen? If so, how often? How did the pandemic affect people’s sex lives? Let’s find out in our second installment of sexual health!
We may not see a rise in births nine months from now, even though many of us joked about it. Many of us assumed that since we all had to be home with nothing to do, that sex would be the “go-to” activity for most couples. Let me help you on this one. It didn’t happen. So no, you weren’t the only ones.
How Do We Know This?
Mind Body Green reports a “study, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, surveyed 868 British adults about how much sexual activity they were having each week since they began self-isolating and social distancing“.
Shockingly enough, a full 60% of people surveyed stated they weren’t having sex at all…how shall I put this delicately…even with themselves…you know…”self-love“. For those like myself who are math-challenged, that means that if you put 10 people in a room, six of them were completely celibate. No sex at all.
Some of that 60% is a no-brainer. We were in isolation. For single people, that means they weren’t going out and finding partners, but what was interesting about this survey is that even coupled people weren’t having sex. Not knowing where the pandemic was heading created a lot of stress, which then ended up creating anxiety, and that took everyone’s attention away from sexual relations. Too much anxiety can equal low sexual desire.
In this same article, Holly Richmond, Ph.D., LMFT, CST, an AASECT-certified sex therapist, was quoted as saying, “Any kind of instability that leads to anxiety, there’s nothing sexy about that. It’s hard to ground yourself. It’s hard to be present with your partner if you’re worried about things. And it’s probably worth mentioning too: If couples have older parents or if they have friends that are sick or if they have a lot of anxiety about themselves getting sick, just the umbrella of that anxiety is going to diminish libido.“
OK, But What About The Self-Love?
Ironically, even if one partner was so stressed out they couldn’t even consider having sex, the other person couldn’t find enough alone time for self-love and felt uncomfortable loving themselves in front of their partner. Lexx Brown-James, Ph.D., LMFT who was also interviewed, said that single people may have felt uncomfortable with roommates being home, and the lack of privacy this may have created. He found this to be worrisome, as sex is a very important part of relieving stress, which we all had an abundance of during the lockdown phase of the pandemic.
So Why Is This All Important, You May Ask?
Lee Smith, Ph.D., a public health researcher at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K., reports having an active sex life is important for overall mental well-being. “A frequent and trouble-free sex life is associated with a plethora of physical and mental health benefits. It is possible that maintaining an active sex life or reintroducing frequent sexual activity into one’s life during self-isolation/social distancing may mitigate some of the potential detrimental consequences of COVID-19 self-isolation.”
What Does This Mean Moving Forward?
In our blog last week, A Cup of Coffee – What Happens When Sex Doesn’t, we covered this topic extensively. Things like memory loss, weight gain, heart health, and mental health, are all factors that can be affected by lack of sex.
As we start to go back to our lives pre-pandemic, it will be important to realize that we have all been traumatized in one way or another, and our lack of sexual relations during isolation may create a period of increased health issues. There may be more call-outs from work because people are having a mental health crisis. We may get frustrated with our loved ones, friends, and colleagues because they “aren’t with it” and are experiencing brain fog. Some may have lower self-esteem due to the weight gain they experienced over the last year, and that could potentially continue to affect their ability to enter into sexual relations, furthering the problem. Be encouraging and loving to your partners if this is the case. Getting back in the swing of things will help to iron some of this out.
In Conclusion: The Beatles Had It Right
Love is all you need, folks, and you don’t need a partner for that. Have a love filled week, and we’ll see you next time.
Editors note: This blog is not a replacement for sound medical advice, and many diseases, disorders, and syndromes have symptoms that overlap. Only a qualified medical professional can diagnose you. That said, if you think this blog may be helpful to others, please hit the Facebook Icon and share it on your personal pages. Thank you for reading us, we really do appreciate you!