The pandemic has affected all areas of human coexistence. Also on sexuality. A new meta-study now shows that the sex life of many people has deteriorated significantly due to Corona.
Many believe the lockdown amid the pandemic has meant couples have had more time for sex. But that’s a fallacy, according to a new meta-study by Christopher Woodhouse of University College London. “Despite reports in the UK press that lockdown has increased the quality and frequency of intercourse, most evidence suggests the opposite has happened,” he writes in Trends in Urology
The emeritus professor of urology came to this conclusion after evaluating many studies that have been carried out on this topic worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic. The sex life of the couples has therefore deteriorated in the following points, among others:
The scientist writes that enjoyment and libido also suffered greatly during the lockdown phase. Although these values could differ in different countries, there is still a negative trend worldwide.
A study by the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna from February 2021 shows something similar, in which over 8000 participants in Germany and Austria were surveyed online. Accordingly, in the second lockdown, the desire for sex with the partner decreased in 30 percent of the participants.
A study by the University of Merseburg in Germany from 2020 also shows that this was different in the first lockdown: Among the 3500 respondents it was shown that women who were satisfied with their sex life had more sex in the first lockdown than before the lockdown . In partnerships that were already in crisis before Corona, the lockdown made the situation even worse.
On the other hand, one factor that has increased due to Corona, according to Woodhouse, is the use of pornography. Reportedly, the website Pornhub, one of the largest websites in the UK, reported an 11 percent global increase in February and March 2020, the researcher explains. When the service was free in many countries, the increase was reportedly as much as 24 percent.
For fear of Corona, sexual behavior in many countries had changed in such a way that people behaved less risky: In order to avoid infection, homosexual men in particular would have avoided changing partners and instead used online sex offers.
So even if overall sexual activity had suffered as a result of the pandemic, sex is an important factor in mental health. Woodhouse mentions a 2021 cohort study with 7,000 subjects, about a third of whom had sex regularly and two-thirds did not. Those who had sex regularly felt significantly happier and more balanced than those who didn’t have sex.