Stunner: People Who Normally Enjoy Having Sex Even Enjoy Having It During a Pandemic

Stunner: People Who Normally Enjoy Having Sex Even Enjoy Having It During a Pandemic

– Calico Rudasill,

pandemic sex

As a person who grew up around a bunch of doctors, clinical researchers and other laboratory-inclined folks, I’ve long understood that some studies are better than others, some research is of higher quality than other research – and some conclusions are so damn obvious that it boggles the mind that anyone thought they needed to be supported by research in the first place.

Granted, I’m also not the most charitable soul on these matters, so I’m probably being more than a bit unfair when I say that I didn’t need a study to tell me that “people who viewed sex as a leisure activity enjoyed more, better sex during the pandemic.”

Another way of putting it: People who enjoy having sex under normal conditions still like having sex, even when the world around them is a thousand kinds of fucked up.

Survey Says: Sorry, Too Busy Fucking

Researcher Liza Berdychevsky from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (which, my husband points out, sounds like one of those schools that larger universities like to schedule early season football and basketball games against to give their own team more confidence before facing any serious competition) conducted a survey of 675 adults to examine their “views of sex as leisure before and during the pandemic and the effects those outlooks had on the respondents’ quantity and quality of sex,” as the University puts it in the press release about the study.

The sex-as-leisure perspective was defined in the study as “engaging in sexual activity for purposes such as recreation, relaxation, self-gratification or personal development.” This sounds like a pretty sensible definition of sex-as-leisure to me – although I might have added to the list “sex for the purpose of again putting off doing the laundry, which continues to pile up in almost comical fashion.”

What the study found was that “those who strongly viewed sex as a leisure activity had more resilient sex lives” and such respondents “reported increased sexual desire, as well as greater variety, frequency and quality of sex compared with people who were less inclined to view sex the same way.”

“Viewing sex as leisure minimized the negative effects of the pandemic on people’s sex lives and was linked with greater ability to reach orgasm, heightened sexual intimacy and more touching and caressing,” Berdychevsky noted.

That’s great, but I do have one quick observation: DUH.

Was There a “None of the Above” Option?

To be fair, I’m not sure what other perspectives on sex were represented among the survey’s respondents. If you don’t view sex as a leisure activity, I suppose you must view it as either a form of work, a solemn duty of yours that is inextricably tied to procreation (although it’s puzzling where even the devoutly religious would get this idea), or perhaps something you are commanded to engage in from time to time (but certainly NOT for pleasure’s sake) by some third-party that isn’t a deity, but you feel compelled to obey anyway. Have the Ancient Aliens guys addressed this question yet?

I’m sure there must be other perspectives, too – like those of sex cult members who believe having sex with their cult leader will enable them to live forever, or at the very least, avoid paying federal income tax. Maybe this is where my laundry pile avoidance fits in: Sex-as-escapism. Not so much a “leisure activity” as it is a determined effort to avoid the opposite of leisure.

A New Rule of Physics? A Body That Tends to Like to Have Sex…

In any event, what I would find noteworthy is if a pandemic had the opposite effect – making people who normally enjoy sex as a leisure activity view it as something dreadful, dull or just plain too dangerous, while suddenly turning the “sex is for making babies only” crowd into insatiable sex hounds.

To me, this research is a little like conducting a survey in which you asked a group comprised in part of total gym rats and in part by people like me whether they found solace in exercising during the pandemic. My hunch is the people who have been exercising religiously every day for years would tell you they continued to do so during the pandemic, while people like me would snort-laugh and pour themselves another glass of wine. 

I also think in this context, the responses tell us more about the respondents than it does the impact of a pandemic on the things those respondents enjoy (or don’t) – but maybe that’s just me.


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