Thursday, July 29

The COVID-19 pandemic also altered sexual practices


Little by little the COVID-19 pandemic is being left behind. And in this transition towards the recovery of normality, some questions arise related to the possible lasting effects that this unprecedented fact will leave in our ways of life. For example, what changes has the pandemic produced in our sex lives?

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It must be remembered that, during confinement and the first reopening times, the advice of many specialists consisted of not having casual sex and – if they do – that these encounters respect certain preventive measures, such as avoid kisses on the mouth and even keep the mask on.

Due to this, the most recommended sexual practices for people who did not have a partner were masturbation and virtual sex, that is, the exchange of messages, photos or videos of sexual or erotic content over the internet.

Greater prominence for masturbation

As a result, “masturbation has won much prominence“, according to the psychologist and sexologist Nayara Malnero. The specialist emphasizes that there has been noticed” an increase in the consultations about the own pleasure and the desire to learn to masturbate and enjoy alone “.

These statements by the sexologist Malnero accompanied the dissemination of the report ‘Barometer of Self-pleasure 2021’, prepared by the brand of sexual products TENGA. Although it is based on the responses of a small sample (a thousand men and women from five countries, including Spain), it offers some representative results.

Two out of every three Spaniards stated that masturbation helped them feel better during isolation. In addition, 40% of those surveyed indicated that during the quarantine they increased the frequency of this sexual practice. More than half of this population reported masturbating two or more times a week.

Masturbation is known to offer numerous benefits in addition to the pleasure of orgasm. Indeed, 84% of the people consulted stated that self-pleasure helps them improve their mood, and 82% that it contributes to lower your stress levels.

Also more sex toys

During the confinement, the Internet – and specifically social networks – have been very useful to “open the conversation” about self-pleasure, says Malnero. And also towards another topic that has gained a lot of space in these times: the use of sex toys.

According to the report, up to 73% of respondents say during times of pandemic they have bought at least one sex toy. The use of these devices seems well distributed: one half of the people explained that in general they use it with their sexual partner, while the other uses it for self-pleasure.

The main role of masturbation became evident from very early on. Already at the end of last year, according to a survey of the company Control – which manufactures condoms and other products related to sexual activity -, 61% of people revealed that during the pandemic they had masturbated more than before.

A similar number (almost 60%) admitted that they had had fewer sex since the onset of the pandemic. In addition, seven out of ten people became more cautious and reduced their risk behaviors since the arrival of COVID-19, while three out of four confessed to having been afraid of having casual sex.

Advantages of virtual sex

Until before the pandemic, most of the studies Scientists related to virtual sex focused on issues such as pornography or problems such as sex addiction, but there was little or nothing about the sexual satisfaction and other positive possibilities of this practice.

This is how Francisca Molero, president of the Spanish Federation of Sexology Societies (FESS) and director of Ibero-American Institute of Sexology. This expert highlights that virtual sex – another practice that for many people began with the pandemic and will probably remain – has some obvious disadvantages compared to “face” sex, but it also offers beneficial aspects.

One of them is that they “include tools that activate fantasy or eroticism and that they are often not part of the sexual relationship in person – Molero points out -. For example, the word. In ‘face-to-face’ sex, the word is often in the background. In the virtual, however, it is very important “.

In fact, the expert adds, “virtual sex can be without an image, only on the phone.” In this sense, it stands out, both the words chosen and the tone and intention with which they are pronounced and the exchange that occurs with the other person acquires a fundamental importance.

On the other hand, those who practice virtual sex in general allow themselves to make and be given directions “much more easily than when they are together in person,” Molero details. This makes it easier for “a innovation plus more often than when it comes to live relationships. ”

In short, as long as it is as a choice and not as an obligation, the sexologist specifies, and as something temporary and not exclusive –that is, as long as it expands the range of possibilities–, virtual sex can represent a “new world” that improve sex life of many couples. A world, in many cases, discovered from the pandemic.

Explore new forms of self-pleasure

Regarding masturbation, Molero encourages explore new ways, and this may be another of the legacies of the pandemic. Solo sexual practice “can be very rewarding, very pleasant and also very variable,” the sexologist emphasizes.

In this sense, Molero points out that in general “we condition responses: we learn in a certain way and we tend to repeat ourselves, it is difficult for us to get out of that comfort zone”. That is why he advises exploration and new searches.

“There are many different stimuli that can provoke pleasant reactions in the body: smells, textures in terms of genital exploration, fantasies, different stimuli. It is a way to enjoy, and to work and learn new sexual and erotic skills“, concludes the specialist.

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