Less Sex, but More Sexual Diversity: Changes in Sexual Behavior during the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

Justin J. Lehmiller, Justin R. Garcia, Amanda N. Gesselman, Kristen P. Mark

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recreational sex is a popular form of leisure that has been redefined by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. “Social distancing” rules have imposed limits on sex for leisure while also creating new opportunities. We discuss results from an online survey of 1,559 adults who were asked about the pandemic’s impact on their intimate lives. While nearly half of the sample reported a decline in their sex life, one in five participants reported expanding their sexual repertoire by incorporating new activities. Common additions included sexting, trying new sexual positions, and sharing sexual fantasies. Being younger, living alone, and feeling stressed and lonely were linked to trying new things. Participants making new additions were three times more likely to report improvements in their sex life. Even in the face of drastic changes to daily life, many adults are adapting their sexual lives in creative ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-304
Number of pages10
JournalLeisure Sciences
Volume43
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • coronavirus
  • sexual behavior
  • sexual novelty
  • social distancing

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