Intimacy in the time of coronavirus: Home bound couples find love as sale of condoms go up
Some have speculated that couples confined to their homes, away from the office, bars and other such distractions, in these anxious times, may lead to a “coronavirus boom” in December 2020. There is evidence that this is no longer mere speculation.
Social distancing has magnified close cohabitation, couples are rediscovering each other as cities and towns across the country go into lockdown.
With this proliferation of intimacy, pharmacies as well as e-commerce sites are reporting rising sales of condoms and contraceptive pills.
The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has triggered large-scale anxiety but also an increased intimacy among couples who, relieved from their busy lives, are finding more time to be with each other.
“Neither one of us have been exposed to the virus as far as we know, so we don’t have an issue being intimate with each other because the fear of transmitting it to one another seems almost nonexistent,” Megan, 20, who lives in Minneapolis and is engaged to be married, said. “Since we’re both working and going to school, we don’t get to spend too much time during the day together. Now that we’re practicing social distancing, we have more time together, which sometimes means more time to engage in our sex life.”
So, while the demand for food supplies, masks and medicines has risen, so it has for condoms and pills.
People are anxious and living at home. Couples, married or otherwise, who were too busy with their professional lives are now getting proximity and time. Occasions for intimate explorations are inevitable and many.
On the otherhand, too much proximity might lead to conflict as home bound couples are getting to learn more about each other during this period.
However, a recent Monmouth University poll found that most people in relationships are satisfied with them, despite the expected stresses that might come from, say, working from home together, losing a job, managing kids at home or preventing your family from getting the virus.
Couples believe the situation is actually good for their relationship. It is not just about having more intimacy, they are finding a new level of commitment. The confinement induces conversation. Where banter sufficed in the past, the discussions are now more meaningful, deeper. They talk about the future, share secrets. The couples rediscover each other, gaining insights that allow them to reconnect at a more profound level.
Even when one partner is less able to deal with the stress of the outbreak, if they feel that they have an ally whom they can turn to for support and reassurance, then perhaps the shuttering is indeed an opportunity to better the relationship.
Sex can be a stress reliever. It can be a welcome release amid a near-constant news cycle saturated by the virus and the government’s response to it.
“I think being more sexually intimate has created this sense of security,” a teacher and mother of one living in Kansas City, Missouri, said. “We’re at home, not leaving, and trying to follow guidelines from the CDC and the government and just stay inside and not see anyone, and having that emotional release and the endorphins that come from it makes you feel more secure and grateful for that relationship.”
As the constraints of quarantined living takes their toll, and the allure of watching movies and surfing social media have decreased, we can be encouraged by the certain trend that home bound couples are turning to each other. How do we know this for a fact? Condom sales are up.
“In times of uncertainty and isolation, it’s natural to seek physical and emotional intimacy,” says sex product retailer Promescent CEO Jeff Abram. “In fact, we’ve seen a 54 percent increase in our online sales since the beginning of the pandemic. With the tremendous effort put forth by so many government and local organizations, we want to do our part to ensure people are continuing to practice safe sex and have adequate access to birth control in a time of social distancing and self-isolation.”