Study finds ‘quarantine-related plague of anxiety’ can be mitigated with sex

A team of prestigious researchers from Rome published a fascinating study earlier this year confirming what we’ve been saying at Love is a Fetish for years: some people enjoy having sex.

This might not be breaking news to anybody, but the research is intriguing.

The haves and the have nots

The team conducted a survey with 4,821 participants split into two groups: those who’d been having sex during lockdown and those who hadn’t.

Early findings were interesting, if expected. People who weren’t having sex prior to the quarantine weren’t bothered much by not having sex during it.

And those who quarantined with their partner(s), remaining sexually active, reported less anxiety and depression.

But folks who were sexually active until the pandemic and ended up celibate during lockdown weren’t so fortunate.

Per the team’s paper:

“When addressing the effects of sexual activity on both anxiety and depression, no significant effect was found comparing people who were sexually active during lockdown to those who never had any prior sexual activity; on the other hand, when comparing sexually active subjects to those who did not have sexual activity during lockdown, a significantly higher risk of developing anxiety and depression was found.”

So, exactly how big a mental health boost did sexual activity give people while quarantining? That surely varies from person to person, but the research seems to indicate that a healthy sex life is enough to keep the COVID blues away for some people.

As the experts in Rome concluded:

“We demonstrated by well-validated tools that the COVID-19 lockdown dramatically impacted on the sexual health of the population. We also found sexual activity as protective, in both genders, to the quarantine-related plague of anxiety, depression and relational issues. Addressing sexual health of the population is proposed, finally, as a pivotal strategy to improve the adhesion to the difficult social norms characterizing the breakdown.”

Final thoughts

It sounds to me like the researchers are suggesting we engage in frank, sex-positive conversations with the public so that we can maintain sexual health, protect against anxiety and depression, and help people keep their relationships strong under extraordinary circumstances.

You don’t have to be a world-renowned scientist to know that’s a good idea.

Read the whole paper here.

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