At Least You Can Blame the Pandemic for Your Dry Spell


The COVID-19 pandemic came for your travel plans, extracurricular hobbies, and your social life, and now it’s clear the events on 2020 have had a notable impact on our sex life too, new research has revealed.

The study, Sex and Relationships in the Time of COVID-19, from the Kinsey Institute in Indiana, set out to better understand the romantic and sexual lives of adults since March 2020.

Around 2,000 respondents, aged between 18 and 81 in varying relationships and with varying gender identities and sexual preferences, allowed researchers insights into the quality of their current romantic and sexual relationships.

Now, early findings from the study have been able to conclude that 44% of people were, and perhaps still are, experiencing a decline in their quality and frequency of sex. In addition, 30% reported a drop-off in their “romantic lives”.

But it wasn’t all bad news — 14% of people said their sex lives had seen positive changes since March, while 23% said their relationship was in a better place than it was before the pandemic.

“Some people reported their sex lives and romantic lives had improved and were reporting their relationships were better and stronger than ever,” said Justin Lehmiller, a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute. “But a larger number (of respondents) reported challenges in their sex lives and relationships.”

These “challenges” faced by couples are yet to be made clear, but if we were to hazard a guess, we could assume the drop off in sexytime may have related to couples living in such close proximity, with fewer opportunities for social engagements.

Daily stresses involved with working from home (maybe even at the same table), could have had an impact, as may the fear that a family member could fall ill. Financial strains as a result of unemployment or reduced income may well have had an influence, or perhaps it was simply the fact that one person simply couldn’t stop snoring and the intense fatigue suddenly stopped being cute. Not exactly pillow talk, right?

According to Lehmiller, stress is likely to blame, considering that the study’s results showed correlations between a drop-off in one’s sex life, with new stresses.

“We know that stress comes from a lot of different sources, it’s complex and multi-factorial,” he said. “The more stressed people reported feeling, the less desire for sex.”

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