“Tomorrow isn’t promised, send nudes today.”
This fake Bible verse — Coronavirus 3:17, naturally — has been making the rounds on Twitter for several weeks, and the reason isn’t surprising. The coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread stay-at-home orders, which means that many people are alone for an extended period of time.
Ergo, they’re horny.
Terms like “nudes” and “dick pics” tweeted alongside “coronavirus” jumped up 384 percent on Twitter from the beginning of March to April, according to data from Khoros, a digital customer engagement platform. Furthermore, the peach emoji saw a 46 percent spike, and they predicted the use of the peach and eggplant emojis will continue to rise through April.
There’s also scientific research that suggests people are getting out of their sexual comfort zone while stuck at home. One in five people (from a sample of around 1,200) reported a new addition to their sex life since the pandemic began, according to Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute and author of Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire.
“New addition,” in this case, means something they’ve never tried before. The most common are sexting and sending a nude photo. For those with partners, common new additions are trying a new position or exchanging fantasies.
While some people are branching out, that’s actually not the entire story. Lehmiller and his colleagues at Kinsey are currently working on a study about how people’s sex lives are changing due to the coronavirus. It indicates that the overall trend is that people are less sexually active now. While some people reported an increase in sexual activity, more people said they have not engaged in activities like masturbation since the pandemic began.
What it comes down to is how people cope. “There are different things happening for different people,” said Lehmiller, “with some people just being too stressed and anxious to even feel sexual desire, but others who may be coping with stress and anxiety by increasing their sexual behavior.”
The Kinsey Institute’s research on how the coronavirus and its ripple effects — namely social distancing — are impacting our sexual lives is ongoing. The magnitude of the impact is still unclear, especially because the pandemic itself is ongoing, but what’s certain is that people are handling their stress and anxiety in different ways… including sending nudes.
So don’t worry, it’s normal if you don’t want to show off your body right now, but also completely normal if you want to — just ask first.