For over a year now, the world as we know it has been turned upside down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While social distancing has become the norm, that doesn’t mean individuals haven’t been engaging in sex. Or...does it?
According to a current poll on the subject, one-third of those hailing from the United Kingdom stated that they were less sexually active during the pandemic last year than they were in 2019, prior to the surfacing of the virus. One quarter of the UK participants admitted they had no sexual relations during 2020. Women were notably more negatively affected than men were.
Across the pond, the situation appears to be about the same. Recent research conducted by Indiana University concluded that forty-nine percent of Americans experienced a sharp decrease in sex since the pandemic reared its ugly head.
Reasons for Sexual Decline
A multitude of factors can influence individual’s decline in sexual activity, especially apparent in a crisis such as the Covid-19 outbreak. Fear of contracting the virus, depression, and lack of opportunity are among the most common reasons for diminishing sexual contact.
Ironically, a slew of the issues contributing for sexual decline are the very problems sex has been proven to remedy. Scientific studies back up the fact that sex helps drastically decrease depression, quietens stress and anxiety, eases tension, and promotes quality sleep that cures a myriad of physical and mental conditions.
Still, there are factors accompanying a pandemic that can’t be overlooked. With bars, restaurants, and other social settings limited or unavailable, many individuals have not had the chance to mix and mingle with potential sex partners.
The fact that the virus is contagious understandably adds fuel to the fire. But, the polls included participants with partners who also indicated their sex lives were in disarray, possibly a result of the lack of social distancing. Too much time together is not always a good thing where romance is concerned as the implications of forced togetherness have become increasingly obvious in the soaring divorce filings seen as the pandemic rolls on.
On the Bright (and Safe) Side
As the old adage goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. What the studies did not include, however, was the presence of self-love, also known as masturbation. Many are undoubtedly adjusting the type of intimacy to include more creative sexual pleasure by way of sex toys which, unless shared, eliminate the risk of catching Covid-19 and sexually transmitted diseases.
Even the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) is on board with safe solo sex, announcing during the pandemic that the safest sex is solo or remote. Video chats, sexting, and sex toys of various kinds are all great alternatives to prevent the risk and spread of the virus, the organization stated in a published report earlier this year. “Be sure to wash your hands,” an ASHA representative reminded.
It is thought by some experts that sex toys can also sex toys can also help put couples back on the right track as far as intimacy is concerned. Those who are living together are already exposed to the ills of the other, at least in theory. So, sex isn’t necessarily risky between live-ins when proper protocol is followed such as frequent hand washing, virus testing, and limited exposure to individuals outside your small circle of friends and family.
The problem with co-habituating couples appears to be a matter of boredom with one another. Sex toys and intimate products (like oils and innovative condoms) may hold a creative twist to the situation. What can be thought of as too much time together can lead to inventive sex which serves to heighten any relationship while easing stress and diminishing other effects the virus has inflicted on individuals around the globe. History has proven that times of excess stress, such as the pandemic, tend to tear couples apart or bring them closer.
Sex toys bring benefits of their own, whether used alone or with a partner. Vibrators have been proven to help you sleep better, lighten stress loads, promote good heart health, increase bladder control, help diminish pain, boosts immunity, and can also enhance relationships between couples. Sex toys are notorious for taking pressure off performance, thus clearing the way for total ecstasy. It’s no wonder that the sex industry have reported a drastic increase in sales during the pandemic. Perhaps the millions of consumers are onto something, literally.
Covid-19 Safe Sex Check List
Safety during the pandemic has become such a concern, the New York City of Health and Mental Hygiene issued guidelines in the hopes of reducing risk. The check list includes:
- Masturbation is the safest method of sex. Be sure to wash your vibrator and other sex toys with approved virus-eliminating soap for at least 20 minutes under a stream of hot water.
- The second-safest type of sex is that which is performed with a consenting person within your household who you are around all the time anyway.
- If sex is indulged in with someone outside the household, the use of condoms or other PrEP is highly advised.
- Those who make a living by engaging in sex or who tend to be especially promiscuous are being asked to refrain for a time.
- Options such as video dates, sexting, and chat rooms are viable options for remote sex which is virtually riskless.
Breaking it Down
The corona virus has affected us all in one way or another. With immunizations now being made available and other hopeful progressions, the virus will hopefully be slowing down and dying off. Until then, however, safe sex that lowers or illiminates the risk of contracting and/or spreading it is vital.
The suggestions above are proof that Covid-19 doesn’t have to steal your sex life. And, who knows...being pressed to find creative solutions during such a trying time as the pandemic may end up being a blessing in disguise.