There’s no denying that the pandemic has had a wide-reaching impact on relationships.
For some, love blossomed sooner than usual with lockdown – seeing a rise in turbo relationships – while the tensions and strains of the past 18 months have made others question their partner.
However, a new study has found that the fear around Covid-19 may have benefited some couples, in terms of their sex life.
The research, published in The Journal of Sex, looked at 303 couples and found that lifestyle changes caused by the pandemic were associated with having positive sexual desire – but only for participants with high (vs. low) fear of Covid-19 infection.
For these participants, the desire for sex was associated with positive changes in one’s sex life and wanting to spend time with their partner – but not with overall relationship quality.
These findings tie in with the idea that stress-provoking situations can sometimes make people face their own mortality and heighten sexual desire.
The authors said: ‘This study advances literature focused on the importance of romantic relationships in stress-provoking situations, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, by shedding light on the association between sexual desire and personal and relational wellbeing.’
It’s also particularly interesting as it seems to go against previous research that suggested the pandemic prompted a decline in sex.
A study published in the Leisure Sciences journal last year found that nearly half of 1,559 adults surveyed believed coronavirus had a negative impact on their sex lives. However, those who were having sex said they had become more adventurous.
So, while some people witnessed the stress of lockdown, relentless bad news cycles and health anxiety kill their sex drive, others found the intensity and fear surrounding the pandemic a turn on.