Though pandemic sex jokes are getting old, (“if you can’t find any vibrators left online it’s because I probably bought them all ha ha ha single life in the Q!!!”), that does not make their sentiment any less true. While we’ve all likely adjusted to the idea of socially distanced dating, sex is an entirely different hurdle we’ve been left to figure out in these unprecede—well, you already know what I’m about to say.
So, how TF are we getting pleasure these days? Adult wellness brand and retailer, Lovers, conducted a pandemic-themed sex and dating survey as part of their new Connexion Series with SVAKOM (5 new sex toys featuring long-distance app control, connection to 2D interactive videos and webcam interactivity) to get a sense of how us lonely, sex-crazed and apparently unoriginal selves are taking to sex during the global pandemic; covering everything from nudes, to glory holes (we’ll explain later) to wearing face masks during sex. (Tbh, a glory hole is the only concept that might make wearing face masks during sex seem normal).
The survey was conducted in mid-July via an Instagram Stories poll on the @loversstores’ account, in which about 400 people took part. Unsurprisingly, safety was a large focus of the survey. We know how the f*ckboys and Floridians are dealing with COVID-safety, but as for the participants of this survey, it appears most people are being cautious and realize that yes, we are still in a pandemic. 85% of people said they are less willing to hook up with someone they met on a dating app, and 65% of people said they would not kiss someone they met on a dating app since the pandemic started in March.
Additionally, 57% of people reported that they are less sexually active now – which means that 43% are more sexually active than before the pandemic. And, 74% have not been more vigilant about wearing a condom. Hmmm, this is less reassuring – though despite what every Nicholas Sparks divorce novel has ever taught me – I guess people in relationships have sex, too (which is, of course, far more safe than Mr. Finance Bro running about town as he had pre-pandemic). More encouraging for both our physical and mental health is that 64% have been masturbating more since the pandemic started. Orgasms can boost your immune system, lower anxiety and much more. So even if we can’t cure COVID and are stuck inside our homes for 2+ more years, rest assured that with masturbation we can at least feel better mentally and maybe even physically (unless you actually have COVID, then in that case a Lovers vibrator can’t exactly help).
Now, onto the freaky sh*t: a glory hole, or “a hole made in a thin wall or other type of partition where a man can insert their penis for sexual stimulation by an anonymous person on the other side,” has officially been recommended by the Cancadian CDC as a way to practice safe sex during the pandemic. Sorry, Canada, but according to the Lovers’ study, 69% would not consider using a glory hole as a safe sex barrier to COVID-19. Yet apparently even more outrageous than a glory hole is wearing a face mask during sex, as 90% have not considered using one. Frankly, I’m not too surprised by this stat. Recommending that you and your partner use a glory hole at least gives you some edge. Recommending a face mask, on the other hand, makes you appear woke and safe – but when have those two words been a turn-on? Unless there’s some kind of niche face-mask-wearing section of PornHub that I haven’t stumbled upon yet, I don’t see Face Mask Sex becoming the norm.
Moreover, 55% of people are more likely to send nudes now vs. before the pandemic. No one has asked me for a nude, so it’s hard to type that and not feel left out. But this stat makes me feel better: 73% of people have not had Zoom/virtual sex, which no I have not been partaking in either. Additionally, 93% of people have not used household items such as pens, kitchen tools, etc. to masturbate with since the pandemic started – so perhaps we aren’t all as bored as we’re complaining about on social media? However, 50% of people have become more adventurous in the bedroom since the pandemic, so perhaps we’re curing our boredom in other ways, sans the kitchen and office supplies.
To end on a positive (or at least lukewarm) note, 63% of people who are planning to have sex with someone they met since the pandemic started have asked for their partners’ active COVID-19 and/or antibodies test results first. Kudos to the 63%! And to the other 37%: stay away from your grandparents…and small children, and adults, and anyone else your age.
I guess the moral of these mixed statistics is that – much like everything else going on in the world right now – we’re being cautious, but still have no clue how to approach this new normal in any kind of consistent way (besides maybe nudes). Either way, don’t let your sex life completely go to sh*t like your fitness routine probably has. Check out some sex toy options, keep putting yourself out there on dating apps, go on socially distanced dates, and use a glory hole but just don’t tell anyone because much like the word “fetch,” it’s never fully going to happen.