COVID = Less sex and more porn

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In a recent paper published to the Archives of Sexual Behavior, [professor of media psychology and design Nicola] Döring explored a few of the many ways COVID-19 is changing our sex lives, perhaps for the long-term.

First off, it should come as little surprise that there has been far less casual sex between short-term partners. Lockdowns and calls for social distancing effectively put a damper on in-person dating and hookups. This may have a silver-lining, Döring noted.

“The expected reduction in casual sex should reduce the transmission of HIV and STIs, and first evidence of a corresponding reduction in new infections is already available in the literature.”

Another side effect of the coronavirus pandemic: pornography use has skyrocketed. Pornhub, the most popular pornographic website in the world, has been openly sharing its traffic data since March. Compared to pre-COVID averages, traffic is up roughly 17% per day and has showed no signs of slowing down even after lockdowns ended and restrictions eased in many parts of the world.

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We can also guess that people living with their sexual partners are having sex more often. Less certain, however, is whether there will be a “coronavirus baby boom”.

Early 2021 is also when we may optimistically have coronavirus vaccines widely available. Then we’ll find out if our sex lives revert to how they were before or are irrevocably altered.

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