Sourdough starters. Fitness challenges. Puzzles. Just some of the things you may see people hunkering down with while scrolling through your social media feeds amid the coronavirus pandemic. What you probably don’t see is people taking a tally of how this is impacting their sex lives. But don’t worry, CivicScience has the deets.

CivicScience asked more than 6,000 American adults about how the global pandemic is impacting their sex life. Rebased by those who have a sexual partner, the majority of adults say it’s business as usual in the bedroom (‘the same amount’ of sex at 62%) but 17% say they’re having it more. If you’re home more with a live-in partner, this makes sense. However, 21% of U.S. adults in the rebased survey say they are having sex less amid the coronavirus, which could be due to social-distancing, among other things. 

Back tracking a little, looking at the overall pulse of sex frequency among U.S. adults since early March – when more people were being told to stay home – it looks like people are indeed having sex more frequently as of this week. Both ’a few times a week or more’ and ‘a few times a month’ rose by three and four percentage points respectively.  Rarely / never dropped significantly (34% to 26%).

People who report they’re having more sex right now also over-index for reporting having sex daily.

Overall, married people are more likely to report having sex the same amount, while unmarried folks are more likely to be having more sex. However, as you’d assume, unmarried people are the most likely to report they’re having less sex right now. Without being able to go on dates or see  / meet people, this is no surprise.

If you don’t live with / aren’t quarantining with your romantic partner, you’d likely report lower rates of having sex right now. Truth be told, spikes in sex frequency amid the quarantine could be because people are ‘shacking up’ when they didn’t already live together, and as you see below they’re most likely to be having way more sex. Less sex is most likely among those who aren’t seeing their romantic partner at all right now due to COVID-19.

Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

What about the use of vibrators and other sex toys right now? Well, among identified users of sex toys, more than one-fourth say they’re using them more right now. It’s worth noting that the below poll is rebased among just users of sex toys. But just a note that the raw numbers tell us that 29% of the general population report having some experience with sex toys.

Married people are using sex toys at similar rates as unmarried or separated and divorced folks.

Interestingly, sex toy usage amid staying home correlates with sex frequency. It could be that using sex toys could count as ‘sex; for some, while others could be using them with a partner.

Maybe intuitively, maybe not; men are using them more often amid staying at home than women are. 

Lastly, increased sex toy usage amid the pandemic goes down as age increases. Thirty-nine percent of Gen Z adults report they’re using them more right now.

Marital Harmony / Discord

Staying home nearly non-stop could cause marital disharmony to rear its ugly head. It appears that of people in a relationship right now, 21% say they are more annoyed with their spouse or partner. Like all things we’re seeing amid the pandemic, habits or feelings are nearly the same percentage in the ‘more’ and ‘less’ categories, from grocery delivery to ordering takeout. Same goes for this survey, too You’re either hot or cold.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that those who are more annoyed with their spouse or partner right now are more likely to report they are having sex less than usual.

The somewhat good news? The majority of those polled – who are married – say they believe their marriage is ‘very likely’ to withstand the pandemic. Still, though, that other 11% has doubts. It just makes you think about the other unintended effects that staying home much more than usual could have on a relationship.


Perhaps that’s because, of those who say their marriage is not very or not likely at all to last right now, they’re most likely to say they rarely or never have sex compared to their hopeful counterparts. Just a thought 🙂