New research reveals just how drastically the pandemic is affecting Americans' sex lives

·3-min read

Fifty-six percent of Americans agree that their anxiety about the state of the world had a negative impact on their sex life last year, according to new research. Roughly the same percentage (55%) say that stress resulting from work, or job-seeking, has dampened their sex drive in the past year, according to new research. A new study of 2,000 Americans who are sexually active, either alone or with a partner, revealed the negative impacts that the stressful year had on sexual satisfaction. 

Of those who reported a negative impact due to anxiety, nearly six in 10 had sex less frequently. 

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Foria, the survey also probed respondents' performance anxiety when it comes to sex. 

In the past year, six in 10 respondents have felt too "in their head" during sex, and not in a good way. 

Fifty-sex percent reported experiencing sexual performance anxiety or concerns that their sexual performance might not meet their partners' wants, needs or expectations. 

And seventy-three percent of respondents who experience this say they've felt it more often since the pandemic began. 

For three-quarters of respondents, this issue is a pressing one, with 75% conveying that it's "extremely" or "very" important to them that they overcome their sexual anxiety. 

"Heightened stress impacts your nervous system, and your body will enter fight, flight, or freeze mode. Your nervous system communicates to your body that survival is the priority, and sex & libido are deprioritized on a biological level. Stress levels can also impact your level of arousal, as well as lubrication, desire, and more, so addressing stress levels first is key," said Kiana Reeves, somatic sex educator and Foria's Chief Brand Officer."When it comes to desire and arousal, slowing down and taking your time is essential. Incorporating all-natural sexual wellness formulas, like topical or ingested CBD, can also assist with relaxation, pleasure, and arousal." 

The survey also probed Americans' comfort levels with sexual spontaneity. 

Seventy-three percent of all respondents wish they had more spontaneous sex. 

But 56% say they are also too "in their head" about sex to enjoy new things the first time they try them. 

That might have something to do with the fact that nearly six in 10 respondents report rushing through foreplay. 

And while one might expect that the extra time many couples may have had to experiment during the pandemic could have led to some progress in closing the so-called "orgasm gap," that doesn't appear to be the case. 

Forty-two percent of men surveyed reported climaxing as often as their partner did, while only 21% of women said the same. "Everybody is unique when it comes to desire and arousal, but one thing is universal - pleasure helps reduce stress and promotes wellbeing," added Reeves. "Experimenting with what feels pleasurable and good to you is key to having a satisfying sex life, and tools like CBD can be a great addition to the bedroom - especially as a way to reduce anxiety associated with sex by easing stress, supporting the nervous system, and assisting the body in experiencing more pleasure." 

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