Sexual Desire Takes Hit During Pandemic, Says Study

sad couple intimacy

Trending News: Intimacy takes a hit during COVID-19

Recently, a friend of mine named Steve told me his desire to get it on with his girlfriend had dipped. When I asked him if he knew why, he wasn’t sure. When I asked him how long this issue had been going on, he said, “Around three months.”

Another friend of mine named Kyle told me that he hadn’t been intimate with anyone, in the biblical way, since late February. While he couldn’t put his finger on the reason, he believed it had something to do with being cooked up in his home, thanks to COVID-19.

In thinking about Steve and Kyle’s situations, I began to reflect on my own libido. It didn’t take long for me to recognize that I hadn’t been with anyone sexually since the start of the year.

“Has it been that long?” I thought to myself. “Is something wrong with me, or am I just getting old?”

Well, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the reduced sexual desire of Steve, Kyle, and I have been experiencing may not be isolated events.

Study's Findings

Back in March, researchers conducted an online survey of 459 men and women between 18-45 from China. Investigators wanted to know how the pandemic was impacting their sex lives. Here’s what they learned:

  • 25 percent reported a reduced desire
  • 44 percent reported having fewer sexual partners
  • 37 percent said they were having less intimacy overall
  • 35 percent said they satisfaction in the bedroom was down

Only five percent of those surveyed indicated having increased engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic.

empty sheets
How's your libido?

In many ways, the findings from this study make sense. All of us went through the initial shock of coronavirus, coming to the realization that the bug was going to drastically change our way of life.

Then came worry, according to Dr. Ann Cruz, a D.C. based therapist Men’s Variety spoke to for this blog entry. “Anxiety has a funny way of causing problems in several life areas, including intimacy. My clients are telling me they are consumed with worries about being laid off and concerned about having money to pay the rent. When you have these kinds of things happening, getting it on becomes less of a priority,” Cruz said.

Dr. David Gorton, a couple’s therapist in Los Angeles said, “A few of my clients are using intimacy as a way of reducing stress, but the vast majority of them are reporting decreased desire. I don’t think this is about depression. Instead, it is a sign of high anxiety,” he said.

Going back to my buds Steve and Kyle, I encouraged to talk to their doctors to rule out a medical cause for their sexual malaise. I’m doing the same thing.

That said, if the study’s findings are accurate, it sounds like current events surrounding COVID-19 may be a significant factor in what is happening (or not happening) behind closed doors.

Has the pandemic impacted your libido? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

Related: Is dating OK during COVID-19?

About Andy Seaborn 24 Articles
Andy Seaborn is a Seattle based freelance writer who blogs about relationships, parenting and men's issues. When he's not writing, he's usually spending time with his family outdoors. Look for pieces that focus on a variety of topics.