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Can you have sex during the coronavirus pandemic? It depends on your relationship status and living situation. 

Does anyone actually want to have sex during the coronavirus pandemic? At present, that largely depends on each individual’s stress response. 

Coronavirus is spread through respiratory droplets. As most sex scenes involve kissing, heavy breathing and other steamy behaviours, having sex is a pretty easy way of contracting the virus. 

Can you have sex during the coronavirus pandemic?


People who are single and dating

Sadly, for people who are single and dating, it’s pretty hard to have sex if you’re not allowed to physically date people. If this is not something you have been taking into consideration, this is a reminder that you should not be physically meeting up with strangers from Tinder and the likes. 

The mainstream recommendation for those who do not live with a sexual partner is to find creative ways to get intimate. This can involve technology, certain objects and a bit of imagination. I’ll let you take it from here. 

People who are in a relationship, but do not live with their partner

This appears to be a bit of a grey area, due to the recommendation that you should only leave the home for essential activities, but in most states across Australia, you are allowed to go visit your partner.

Most recommendations, however, state that when you are visiting someone, be it a partner or otherwise, you need to maintain 1.5 meters of distance between you and them. Therefore, you should not be having sex with a partner you do not live with. 

The above recommendation for those who are single or dating can also be applied for getting intimate with a partner who you do not live with. 

People who are in a relationship and do live with their partner

Those who share a household with their sexual partner are allowed to have sex, provided both parties are not showcasing symptoms of COVID-19, have not been diagnosed with the virus, and are being responsible when they do leave the household.


Does anyone actually want to have sex during the coronavirus pandemic? 


There have been mixed views around whether the sex drives of Australians are peaking or dipping during the coronavirus pandemic. 

A recent survey released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows the emotional and mental wellbeing of Australians over the age of 18 has been significantly affected since lockdowns began. 

A household survey asked 1,028 Australians how frequently they felt nervous; hopeless; worthless; restless or fidgety; that everything was an effort; or so depressed that nothing could cheer them up.

The survey results were contrasted against similar recordings from the National Health Survey (NHS) between 2017-2018, and it was found that: 

  • Two in five Australians (42%) felt restless or fidgety at least some of the time, compared with 24% in the 2017-18 NHS
  • One in three Australians (35%) felt nervous at least some of the time, compared with 20% in the 2017-18 NHS
  • One in four Australians (26%) felt everything was an effort at least some of the time, compared with 22% in the 2017-18 NHS
  • One in nine Australians (11%) felt hopeless at least some of the time, compared with 9% in the 2017-18 NHS
  • One in fourteen (7%) felt so depressed that nothing could cheer them up at least some of the time, compared with 8% in the 2017-18 NHS
  • One in fourteen (7%) felt worthless at least some of the time, compared with 6% in the 2017-18 NHS.
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Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics 

There are a few factors that might obviously cause a decline in your sex drive: 

  • Psychological: Anxiety about an uncertain future might be making it impossible to even consider sex at the moment. 
  • Chemical: The production of stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine may lead to slower production of hormones such as testosterone in men and estrogen and progesterone in women, all of which play a role in your sex drive and mood. 
  • Physical: High stress can make it emotionally difficult to get intimate but it can also affect you physically; men are more likely to find it difficult to get an erection and women may experience vaginal dryness. 
  • Circumstantial: If you find that the entire family is now back in the home, you and your partner could be finding it difficult to have a moment’s peace, no mind a moment for sex. 

On the other hand, there are a few factors that might be causing your sex drive to spike: 

  • Psychological: Anxiety about an uncertain future may make you live in the moment more than you previously would have, or perhaps the idea that you shouldn’t really be risking sex is making you want it more. 
  • Chemical: It is possible that more sleep and less stress associated with commutes to work, and physically being at work, have had a positive effect on your melatonin (sleep hormones) and serotonin (happiness hormones). As a result, your sex drive may have in fact benefited from the change to your routine.
  • Physical: High stress can make people feel fragile, and so perhaps the thought of scary things happening outside your home is helping you to forge more intimacy with your partner. Perhaps you are craving more physical comfort from your plus one than you usually would during this time. 
  • Circumstantial: Depending on your set up at home, as well as what you are spending your time doing, you may find you have a lot more time on your hands, and to pass that time, you, ahem, turn to the bedroom! 

Read: When will offices reopen? The end of WFH

Peter Fray

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