Sex in the time of corona – How we’ve been managing our sex needs during lockdown

A new study of 2000 adults conducted by LELO has revealed how we, as a nation, have been meeting our sexual needs over the last few months of lockdown. The good news is that many of us are having more sex than ever.

LELO sales of sex toys have increased by over 70% in 2020, for example, while a quarter of couples (23%) are having more sex than before the lockdown. 49% say they are having sex at least 50% more and 15% saying at least 100% more.

One in five couples (19%) are apparently using the time to make their sex lives more interesting. The top ways they’re doing this is by trying new positions (65%), toys (42%), and role play and dressing up (33%). 31% are engaging in dirty talk, 30% of couples are watching porn together, 24% are using sense play and 18% are trying BDSM. Others (15%) are trying to experiment with the locations where they live.

Self-love is also popular, with 56% of respondents saying they are masturbating at least once a day, 27% masturbating twice a day and 18% masturbating three or more times a day. Overall, 28% are masturbating more than before lockdown. Nearly a third (32%) are using sex toys when masturbating and a quarter of these say it was for the for the first time.

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32% of socially distanced partners are having phone, while over a quarter (28%) have been enjoying video sex with their partner and half of those (50%) used a sex toy at the same time. Half (50%) of 25 to 34-year olds are connecting the most with their partners through video sex.

Half of 25- to 34-year olds say they are having more sex than usual. They beat out 18- to 24-year olds, where only two fifths (43%) are having more nookie. Under 35s are also the most likely to break lockdown to see a partner – a whopping 31% admitted they had risked infection to do so.

Over 40% say they will have sex within 24hrs of lock down being lifted with one five separated couples (19%) intend to get jiggy with it within hours of the lockdown being lifted. 31% say the desire for morning sex has increased over the period – perhaps due to longer lie-ins and no need to rush off to work.

45% of respondents separated from their partners said the lockdown has made them realise how right their partner is for them. Although, 8% said it has made them want to be single again.

Kate Moyle LELO UK Sex Expert said, ‘What we are seeing in research like this is that people are adapting their sex lives to fit the new set of circumstances that we find ourselves in. Whether this is managing our desires ourselves with solo pleasure, changing our routines, trying new things or moving our sex lives from in-person to being virtual.

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‘We understand that desire, the want to be sexual is responsive, and context dependent, and that rather than being a fixed entity that it is fluid and so it is impacted by what is going on around us, but also by how we are feeling. It’s great to see that couples are using the time to nurture their sex lives and relationships, focusing their attention on what they want to do differently; as our sex lives, like everything else in life do need care and attention, and it’s not really a surprise then that the times that people are having sex are changing due to spending more time at home.

‘As a psycho-sexologist I am hopeful that this prioritising of our sexual relationships and physical intimacy, will carry on after the pandemic; as more recent research (pre-pandemic) has suggested that due to our increased involvement with technology that our relationships and sex lives get de-prioritised the more that our screens absorb our attention. The more we enjoy the sex we are having, the more we desire sex as it becomes a motivating factor; and people noticing and seeing the impact of investing in their sex lives feels really positive.’

Marcella Zanchi Marketing & Communications manager at LELO said, ‘We undertook the research to really understand how everyone is coping with their sexual wellbeing in lock-down. What’s great to see is how many people are experimenting to have a better connection with themselves or their partner whether together or not.’