lifestyle

How the pandemic has impacted the nation’s libido


60% of Brits wish they had a greater sex drive (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It’s normal for libidos to fluctuate when life and circumstances change, so of course the pandemic has affected how much sex people want.

A new report by Superdrug Online Doctor, shared exclusively with Metro.co.uk, looks at the impact on both UK and US citizens.

It shows that people’s libidos are going in both directions, with near equal numbers reporting an increased and a decreased libido.

Their findings are so split down the middle, there isn’t a clear trend for how Covid-19 is impacting sexual desire.

28% of respondents say their libido has decreased, with half of those people being men and the other half women.

Meanwhile, 26% of people say their libidos have increased, with there being slightly more men than women identifying with this change.

Generation Z was most likely to say their libido was higher with over a third of the age group finding this to be true, whereas 29% of millennials say it’s lower.

Over a third of married people are also noticing their libido is higher.

Despite these changes, 46% of those surveyed overall say their sex drive has stayed the same.

The thing that most respondents in the UK agreed on was a desire for their libido to be higher – even if it had already increased in lockdown. This was especially true for those aged 41 to 55.

14% of Brits says they ‘always’ turn down sex due to a lack of libido, and 21% say they ‘often’ reject it. Only around a quarter would ‘rarely’ say no. So it matches up that 60% of Brits wish they had a greater sex drive if this is a cause of discontentment, with slightly more women than men hoping for this.

Superdrug think this noticeable desire in that age group for women could be linked to the menopause, which sees a change in hormones and sex drive as a result.

However, stress was the main culprit for killing libido among 59% of those surveyed.

Superdrug say that stress causes the arteries to tighten and it disrupts hormone levels. Both of these things prevent arousal. Living through a pandemic is stressful, so given what stress does to the body, know that it’s normal to feel a decline in sex drive.



Take time to focus on destressing if you feel it’s impacting upon your sex life.

  • Find time to exercise in order to detox from stress-related chemicals. It could be as simple as going out for a walk.
  • Try a body scan. This involves lying down and focusing on each part of the body from the toes up to bring attention to how you’re feeling and provide a sense of grounding.
  • Breathe deep. Taken 10 deep breaths and repeat the process 10 times over, or until you feel calmer.
  • Create a dedicated ‘worry time’. If you find it hard to control worries, a technique often used by therapists is to dedicate a block of time in your schedule specifically for stress and worry. Then you park the stress aside outside of these times. It can take practice.
  • Set a pre-bed routine. Avoid looking at blue-light right before heading to bed. Regardless of sex, it’ll help your sleep cycle which might have a knock-on impact on your ability to relax and feel aroused.


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