Have lockdowns led to a virtual sex revolution?

Have lockdowns led to a virtual sex revolution?

New research reveals 50% of 25 to 34-year-olds connected with their partners the most through virtual intimacy over the last 12 months during the pandemic.

Lockdown restrictions meant cutting back contact to your household or bubble. But just because Netflix and chill is off the table for lovers living apart, it doesn’t mean you have to put everything on hold. In fact, the UK’s first lockdown saw many couples resorting to Zoom, whether it was to make the same meals, share a glass of wine, watch a film together, and for some it meant trying their hand at virtual intimacy.

A recent survey conducted of 4,000 UK respondents which revealed the UK’s new found love for virtual intimacy. Their findings show that during the first lockdown 50% of 25 to 34-year-olds connected with their partners through video sex.

The younger generations are most sexually intimate online with 36% of those aged 18-24 admitting they have spent more time being sexually active online than in person. Although it may not come as naturally for those older, 1 in 10 of those aged between 55 and 64 say they are more sexually active virtually, than in real life.

The study also showed that those who identify as transexual are in fact having more virtual sex than in person sex. This is followed by those who are pansexual or bicurious (37%), bisexual (36%), asexual (35%), homosexual (30%) and hetrosexual (18%). “The way that we navigate our experience of lockdown is going to be dependent on who we are as individuals and in our relationships. Some couples may find it easy to adapt to a new way of being sexual, and moving their sex life to virtual rather than in-person experiences.'” Psychosexual Therapist Kate Moyle explains, “For many it’s the only option available to them. So it’s not a surprise that we have seen a rise in phone and video sex figures.”

It doesn’t feel like a huge jump for us to have taken our sex lives online in the way that we have every other aspect of our lives. We can do almost anything via technology now and most of us spend the majority of our day relating to others and connecting through some kind of screen.

If you’re thinking about migrating your sex-life online then Moyle says there are definitely a few things to consider…

Psychosexual Therapist Kate Moyle’s ground rules for Virtual Intimacy

1. Talk about it in advance. It doesn’t have to be a formal sit down discussion, but talk it over with each other so that you know you are on the same, or at least similar pages.

2. Set some ground rules. You have to be able to trust your partner with your content. Although if they use it against you it is an illegal act (revenge porn), the last thing you want to be is distracted in the moment by worrying about what they may do with your nudes. If you are trying sexting and sending sexy photos then think about keeping your face out of photos so that they aren’t identifiable, and you and your partner can agree about deleting them after a certain amount of time, or making sure that they don’t upload onto any clouds or computer back ups.

3. Seek some inspiration. A lot of people find that it’s tricky to know where to get started so listen to some erotica (Ferly App has sensual stories) or audio pornography to spark your imagination and get some tips / pointers for the language that they use.

4. Know where your no is. There are many ways of having sex virtually sexting, phone sex, sending photos, and video calling. Consider what you are happy with, and what you aren’t and know your no. It’s about personal preference, when we are having in-person sexual experiences we don’t all like exactly the same thing, it’s no different here.

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