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Article

Perceived Changes in Sexuality during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Adults in the United States

1
Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
2
Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: David L. Rowland and Joana Carvalho
Received: 2 March 2021 / Revised: 30 June 2021 / Accepted: 7 July 2021 / Published: 11 July 2021
In the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic has decreased partnered sexual behavior and increased the use of enhancement (e.g., toys). This has been partly attributed to reduced social interactions and stress. However, individuals’ perceptions of changes are missing in research. This study aims to examine how adults perceive changes in their sexuality during the pandemic. We conducted a nationwide survey of US adults from April–June 2020 (N = 326). This qualitative study examines the open-ended responses using thematic analyses. The following themes emerged from the data: (1) changes in the purpose of sex; (2) changes in sexual identity; (3) decreases in sex drive and desire; (4) increases in sex drive and desire; (5) fluctuations in sex drive and desire; (6) increased sexual experimentation and reflection. The stress, changes in home responsibilities and living situations, and time spent with partners (more or less) has affected individuals by increasing or decreasing their sex drive and desire. Participants responded to changes with self-reflection and awareness, and incorporating new practices (e.g., technology, kink). The purpose of sex has shifted in order to gain intimacy or connect, or to pass time. These changes were perceived as both positive and negative, and more research is needed to determine the durability of these changes. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; pandemic; sex drive; purpose of sex; sexual identity COVID-19; pandemic; sex drive; purpose of sex; sexual identity
MDPI and ACS Style

Bowling, J.; Montanaro, E.; Guerrero-Ordonez, S.; Joshi, S.; Gioia, D. Perceived Changes in Sexuality during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Adults in the United States. Sexes 2021, 2, 331-344. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030026

AMA Style

Bowling J, Montanaro E, Guerrero-Ordonez S, Joshi S, Gioia D. Perceived Changes in Sexuality during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Adults in the United States. Sexes. 2021; 2(3):331-344. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030026

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bowling, Jessamyn, Erika Montanaro, Sarai Guerrero-Ordonez, Stuti Joshi, and Diana Gioia. 2021. "Perceived Changes in Sexuality during the COVID-19 Pandemic among Adults in the United States" Sexes 2, no. 3: 331-344. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sexes2030026

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