NEW YORK — Although many couples probably had plenty of time to get a little frisky in quarantine, a new study finds most people simply couldn’t get in the mood. Fifty-six percent of Americans agree that their anxiety about the state of the world had a negative impact on their sex life last year.
Roughly the same number (55%) add that stress resulting from work or job-seeking has dampened their sex drive during the coronavirus pandemic. The survey of 2,000 Americans who are sexually active, either alone or with a partner, reveals the negative impacts that 2020 had on sexual satisfaction. Of those who reported a negative impact due to anxiety, nearly six in 10 had sex less frequently last year.
Is good sex another casualty of COVID-19?
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Foria, the survey also examined respondents’ performance anxiety when it comes to sex. In the past year, six in 10 Americans have felt too “in their head” during sex — and not in a good way.
Fifty-sex percent reported experiencing sexual performance anxiety or concerns that their sexual performance might not meet their partners wants, needs, or expectations. Nearly three in four (73%) who experience this say they’ve felt it more often since the pandemic began.
For three quarters of all respondents, this issue is a pressing one. They add that it’s “extremely” or “very” important to them that they overcome their sexual anxiety.
“Heightened stress impacts your nervous system, and your body will enter fight, flight, or freeze mode. Your nervous system communicates to your body that survival is the priority, and sex & libido are deprioritized on a biological level. Stress levels can also impact your level of arousal, as well as lubrication, desire, and more, so addressing stress levels first is key,” says Kiana Reeves, somatic sex educator and Foria’s Chief Brand Officer, in a statement.
“When it comes to desire and arousal, slowing down and taking your time is essential. Incorporating all-natural sexual wellness formulas, like topical or ingested CBD, can also assist with relaxation, pleasure, and arousal.”
Are Americans psyching themselves out in the bedroom?
The survey also probed Americans’ comfort levels with sexual spontaneity. Seventy-three percent of all respondents wish they had more spontaneous sex. However, 56 percent say they are also too “in their head” about sex to enjoy new things the first time they try them.
That might have something to do with the fact that nearly six in 10 respondents report rushing through foreplay. While one might expect that the extra time many couples may have had to experiment during the pandemic could have led to some progress in closing the so-called “orgasm gap,” that doesn’t appear to be the case either.
Forty-two percent of men in the poll reported climaxing as often as their partner did. Unfortunately, only 21 percent of women said the same.
“Everybody is unique when it comes to desire and arousal, but one thing is universal – pleasure helps reduce stress and promotes wellbeing,” Reeves adds. “Experimenting with what feels pleasurable and good to you is key to having a satisfying sex life, and tools like CBD can be a great addition to the bedroom – especially as a way to reduce anxiety associated with sex by easing stress, supporting the nervous system, and assisting the body in experiencing more pleasure.”