The Psychological Reasons You're Horny as Hell During the Coronavirus Quarantine | Men's Health Magazine Australia

The Psychological Reasons You’re Horny as Hell During the Coronavirus Quarantine

Judging by the internet, a lot of people are craving sex as they self-quarantine. People are tweeting nonstop about how horny they are; there are even more thirst traps than usual on Instagram; coronavirus porn is somehow a thing; people are texting their exes like there’s no tomorrow; and horny Reddit communities have sprung up, like r/QuarantineGoneWild. AREEZZY on Twitter All this sexy […]

Judging by the internet, a lot of people are craving sex as they self-quarantine. People are tweeting nonstop about how horny they are; there are even more thirst traps than usual on Instagramcoronavirus porn is somehow a thing; people are texting their exes like there’s no tomorrow; and horny Reddit communities have sprung up, like r/QuarantineGoneWild.

All this sexy chatter made us wonder: Are people just bored, or does the apparent spike in horniness have something to do with apocalyptic dread? Are fear and arousal more closely connected than many of us realize? In order get to the bottom of it, we spoke to Dr. Justin Lehmiller, research fellow at the Kinsey Institute and author Tell Me What You Want. He helped shed some light on why we’re feeling horny as hell, despite the chaos of the outside world.

Men’s Health: I’ve seen a lot of talk online about how people are insatiably horny right now amid coronavirus. Are people just bored from staying inside all day, so they’re hornier than usual, or is something else going on?

Justin Lehmiller: There are several things going on here. But yes, you have a lot of people at home who have more time on their hands than usual and are lacking their normal social outlets. For example, many schools are out of session, a lot of people have reduced work hours and/or no longer have long commutes, many social events have been cancelled, and lots of bars and other popular gathering places are closed. With this combination of more leisure time but fewer outlets for socialising, it makes perfect sense that you’re going to see a lot of bored and horny people sitting around—they’re not stressed from a long day at the office and they don’t have anywhere to go.

What are some of the other factors?

Well, many of us are starting to fear death, and even if we aren’t worried about coronavirus killing us, death, in general, is currently on our minds. That’s because media attention on the coronavirus is making death and mortality more salient. Psychologists have actually found that the fear of death can prompt more sexual desire and behaviour as a coping mechanism. For example, some studies have found that when people are forced to think about the prospect of their own mortality, they express more interest in casual sex. We also know that sex is an activity that makes a lot of us feel more “alive,” so it shouldn’t be surprising that a pandemic that confines people to their homes would promote more interest in activities that give them this powerful feeling.

I feel like there’s also a fascination, even slight fetishisation with coronavirus being “the end.” The “apocalyptic hornies,” if you will. What’s going on there?

There is certainly some coronavirus fetishisation going on. I mean, just look at Pornhub—there are literally hundreds of things that pop up when you search for “coronavirus porn.” In case you’re curious, this porn features a lot of gloves, masks, and hazmat suits. As a social psychologist, I’m not surprised that this is out there because we see that people’s porn searches often reference the current cultural zeitgeist, whether it’s a holiday, popular video game, or celebrity. Humans are endlessly inventive when it comes to sex and have the ability to fetishise virtually anything.

Is there any research that shows how fear can make us horny?

Fear and other strong emotions definitely have the potential to make us horny. When we’re in a heightened state of physiological arousal—when heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure rise—researchers have found that this has the potential to amplify sexual arousal. It’s called “excitation transfer,” and this is the same reason why people often say that “make-up sex” is the best sex. Those strong emotions they’re feeling from, say, a big fight or argument with their partner are carrying over into the bedroom and amplifying the sexual response.

People are also coming out of the woodwork asking for sex. We’ve seen an increase in people texting their exes or even casual partners from the past. Is this just a YOLO mentality?

Certainly there are some folks who feel invincible and aren’t worried about this disease—and they don’t understand why it should prevent them from living their best life. I get that because some people are definitely more at risk than others. However, what they need to recognise is that, even if they get the disease and don’t suffer any long-term negative consequences, they might very well pass it on to others who could suffer, even die. That’s why the social distancing recommendations are so important. We also need to recognise that they won’t last forever. This is temporary. We don’t know how long it’s going to last, but life will return to normal at some point—and hopefully sooner rather than later. But forgoing some of our wants and desires right now has the potential to save a lot of lives down the line.

What’s the best way to satiate the apocalyptic hornies during self-isolation?

As always, there’s not one “best way” to do anything when it comes to sex! It all depends on you. For some, it might just be masturbating more frequently. However, for others, it might be incorporating more technology into their sex lives—doing more sexting, cybersex, and phone sex, or perhaps trying some new sex toys. There are all kinds of ways we can interact with other people sexually while also “social distancing” at the same time. Technology is your friend here.

What about if you live with your partner?

For people with a live-in partner, the sexual issues they face may be different. While being stuck with your partner 24/7 certainly creates more opportunities for sex, it also creates more opportunities for you to get on each other’s nerves and have fights. So it’s important for couples to find ways to avoid letting the stress of the current situation interfere with their sex life.

This means making sure to strike the right balance between time together and time apart. Make an effort to give each other some space. And also make sure that all of the time you spend together isn’t just spent talking about the pandemic. Set aside time to focus on each other and make it a point to avoid talking about disease and death.

For example, schedule a “date night” at home. Do nice things for your partner, such as drawing them a bath and pouring them a glass of wine. And make an effort to help each other relax by turning off your phones and engaging in immersive activities together, whether that’s watching a movie, playing a game, or giving each other massages.

This article originally appeared on Men’s Health

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