Pre-self-isolation we all cracked jokes about the amount of sex we would or wouldn't be having during iso. If you were a couple it was all about how much WFH sex you'd be having between Zoom meetings, and if you were single it was how many times you'd masturbate out of boredom, or how long it would be before you text your ex. Yep, the corona-baby boom we all laughed about seemed like a very real possibility back then, before we all knew just how much this novel virus would impact our lives.
At the start of April, Pedestrian Group ran a survey to ask its readers how they were coping with COVID-19 and what this 'new normal' meant for them, and it turns out we're not as iso-horny as you'd expect.
Surprisingly, only half of the 24 percent of readers who used dating apps pre-pandemic are actually still using them in iso. While it comes to actually boning, 53 percent of readers said their sex drive is basically non-existent, which stacks up when you read that 26 percent of women and 22 percent of men are having less sex right now. Sorry Corona-babies.
As you can imagine, I found all these stats super interesting so I decided to ask a bunch of people how they felt about sex, dating and masturbating during a global pandemic and SO many of their responses are relatable AF.
Self-Isolating As a Couple Isn't the Sex-Fest You Thought It'd Be
"My boyfriend and I are having way less sex. I think it's because I'm feeling very unsexy right now. And WFH during a global pandemic isn't exactly an aphrodisiac, at least not for me anyway. He even asked me if I could buy some sexier PJs because that's all he sees me in these days and I don't blame him tbh." — Natalie*
"I have an autoimmune issue, so being in the city felt really threatening and scary, especially in those early weeks when the information was so hazy and everyone had their own points of view. We felt it was easier to self-isolate in an isolated area, so that threat felt taken care of and we have our own 'work zones' that keeps us separate (not like in our Syd home) We're both really lucky to still have full time work so things have been super busy and the midday sex sessions that everyone seems to chat about online, has definitely not happened. Then in the evenings, we're either too physically or emotionally exhausted from our days . . . and sharing a wall with my parents is a pretty quick buzz kill." — Jane*
"When I first found out I'd be WFH with my fiancé, I was so excited about all the daytime sex sessions to be had. Turns out, nothing turns you off like a global pandemic — with every alarming COVID-19 update, my desire for mid-morning sex faded further away. When the news cycle started to settle though and self-isolating became somewhat normal, I've been keen for the quaran-peen. Like, very keen." — Lily*
"My boyfriend and I had to move in with my parents because we both lost our jobs as a result of COVID-19 and nothing kills your sex life quicker than sharing a two bedroom, thinly-walled apartment with your parents. We can't even Squeeze in a quicky while they're at work because they're working from home. — Chloe*
Dating Right Now is Basically Impossible (Even Virtually)
"I was dating a guy for a little while before COVID happened and we were in that stage where basically anything you do leads to sex — the best stage of dating! And once the lock down got serious we decided that we should probably do the right thing and wait it out. It's been almost a month since we hung out and we still talk and everything but I'm definitely missing and craving that physical touch. Whatever kind of relationship we had pre-pandemic has meant that we can get by without sex (which is a good sign) but f*ck I miss having sex with him. Even just holding his god damn hand has sexual appeal right now, and I'm not a hand holder. — Lola*
"I was trying to start dating again before isolation, but once I had an excuse not to, I felt relieved. Now I'd shave my head to get to flirt with a stranger in a bar again. I wish my last first date hadn't been so rubbish." — Jessie*
"For the first week or two of self-isolation, I was still sleeping with someone. He'd come over in an Uber and immediately apply hand sanitiser. But now it feels like a reckless thing to do, even if I really want to." — Laura*
"I was on Bumble but I feel like I've lost the drive for dating because I like to meet them before we get into the deep convos and obviously we can't do that right now so I haven't been on any dating apps at all for weeks! Like I don't mind a few days of chatting but then it's good to go get coffee and see them in person before talking more and COVID has ruined that!" — Ally*
"I have been like, virtually seeing a guy but I'm not putting much effort in, and it's nice having that freedom to clock off dating for a bit and just have NO prospects and NO boys in your brain. I do feel that sense of loneliness because it's never been this long of a stint where I haven't got someone Im dating/a crush/whatever, so its a strange sensation." — Georgia*
"I'm in a poly relationship, where my partner lives with his long-term primary. Between navigating Google Calenders and remembering which jokes you've told to which partners, the poly lifestyle can be tricky enough. Toss in isolation and a pandemic, and things get difficult really fast. I know a lot of my poly friends are struggling mentally, as they haven't been able to see their partners in weeks. I've also moved 6 hours south of Sydney to isolate with my dad on his farm indefinitely, so I haven't seen my partner or casual partners in 8 weeks, and am unlikely to see them for another few months at least. It can really bring up feelings of loneliness, and stir up irrational jealousies and rejection anxieties to pile on top of the trauma everyone is already experiencing during this tumultuous time. Fortunately, I'm very experienced with long-distance relationships (hello 4 years LON>SYD), and the poly lifestyle is built on communication. Having others in the same experience to talk to and get support from is invaluable. I think the relationships that come through iso will be stronger, and those that develop afterwards will be just a bit sweeter. In the meantime, we'll make do with shitty memes, NSFW texts and a bulk order of batteries. — Erin*
"Being single in iso has been hard, but only really in terms that I finally decided to live my best single life and start dating again but rona has had different ideas. I have found dating apps to fill a void but also has felt pointless due to the fact you are not allowed to necessarily catch up, and I don't like the idea of talking for soooo long and then feeling like you owe them something or feeling disappointed when you do get to meet. Or breaking the rules for someone but regretting it (I have not done this) Lovehoney has some really good sales so that fills the other kind of void, and if we are going to spend so much time getting to know ourselves mentally and emotionally, we may as well get to know our selves physically too!"— Chloe*
Some Of Our Sex Lives Are THRIVING
"I actually have the time and energy to have sex. And been actually getting into it. Rather than coming home from a 12-hour day and training and turning over, passing out and not speaking to my boyfriend. He's never been happier." — Lucy*
"A friend set me up on a blind date . . . the Friday before all of the restrictions were put in place . . . this was obviously after my iso as I flew in from OS. We went on this blind date, it was really fun and we got pretty blind. Humans have sexual needs that need to be met so we made our way back to mine and he happens to live next door. Because it's my mum's house and I haven't been here for years, I had NO idea. We f*cked for 2 weeks straight, every night. It's now been weeks later and we are still f*cking on the reg." — Rachel*
"Nothing forces the commitment conversation like a global pandemic. I'd been dating this dude for like four months when they ordered everyone to start self-isolating and WFH, he lived in a one bedroom apartment so we decided that there was no time like the present to live together and give this whole relationship thing a red hot crack. Which is f*cking crazy to say the least but we're on day 40-something and we haven't killed each other yet so maybe this is the push we actually needed to reach the next step in our relationship?! Ask me again in a month and I might have changed my mind though." — Gabby*
"Sex has been better than ever! BF and I have been able to explore more of each other's bodies and discover sexual acts that we never knew we liked being done to one another. Our intimacy is blossoming." — Nat*
Masturbating Hits Different
"Sex comes in waves, mainly due to fluctuating moods whilst in iso. More inclined to self pleasure as a result of having more time to dedicate purely to self care, spending time in comfier, looser clothing, less need to wear underwear (lol) and more time spent in bed." — Billie*
"At the start I was masturbating out of boredom, like most people. But now I've started masturbating to actually explore my body more, figuring out what works for me, a good vibe or handy (old school), and figuring out how to enjoy it again after going a little too hard at the start of iso." — Ellie*
"I really thought I'd spend more time in self-iso masturbating because I'm not having any casual sex, but I haven't really felt like it. I've been too anxious about everything and I feel very unsexy right now. I blame the iso-baking!" — Blaire*
Editors note: Names have been changed and stories edited for clarity.