Home Health Britons should be encouraged to have sex or masturbate in lockdown to be happy, researchers say

Britons should be encouraged to have sex or masturbate in lockdown to be happy, researchers say

by admin

Brits should be encouraged to have sex or masturbate to counteract the damaging effects of lockdown on mental health, experts say.  

Researchers quizzed almost 900 adults in the UK during the height of the Covid-19 crisis about their sexual activity. 

Almost 40 per cent admitted having sex, masturbating, petting or fondling at least once per week.

People who spent longer in isolation were more likely to be sexually active, which is likely because they were more bored, the academics said.

And women were more than three times less likely than men to engage in intimate acts — either alone or with others.

Experts claimed maintaining an active sex life could mitigate some of the ‘potential detrimental consequences’ of isolating during the pandemic.

And they say those whose sex life has flopped should be targeted but did not offer any explanation as to how. 

Scientists said sex has a ‘plethora of physical and mental health benefits’ and can even help curb the risk of serious disease.

Sex and masturbation can help relieve anxiety, which research suggests has doubled among young people during the pandemic. 

Britons should be encouraged to have sex or masturbate to counteract the damaging effects of lockdown on mental health, researchers say (stock)

Britons should be encouraged to have sex or masturbate to counteract the damaging effects of lockdown on mental health, researchers say (stock)

Britons should be encouraged to have sex or masturbate to counteract the damaging effects of lockdown on mental health, researchers say (stock)

The team of researchers, from France, Britain and Austria, said lockdown had given some people more opportunity to engage in sexual activity.

They theorised that because people are less busy — for example, they are less likely to commute — they have more time to be intimate with their partner.

But for other people — those who are single or do not live with a partner — there may be a lack of motivation to keep sexually active.

The researchers said dating apps such as Tinder — which people often use to meet others who want casual sex — would be used less during the pandemic. 

Inviting people into your home was banned from March 23 under lockdown rules to contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

The rules have been relaxed slightly since, with Brits now able to have other people in their home who can stay the night. 

WHY IS SEX GOOD FOR YOU? 

A study of 1,046 men and 1,158 women (aged between 57 and 85 years) living in the US, conducted by Michigan State University and published in 2016, indicated that the frequency and quality of sex protected against heart attacks in later life.

In another US study, by University of South Florida Tampa and published in 2015, 22 self-reported health conditions were assessed in relation to sexual inactivity in 22,654 participants aged 55 years and older.

It found that sexual inactivity was significantly related to cancer, bladder/bowl problems, major surgery, poor vision, mental health conditions, and cardiovascular disease and its risk factors including diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.

Additional links were found with sexual inactivity – including hearing loss and dementia for men, and skin conditions, problems with the joints, bone or back, stomach problems, and gum disease in women.

As a whole, these results indicate that sexual activity can be an important activity for maintaining physical health.

But more sex has also been shown to tie into mental health. Frequent sexual activity has been linked with greater enjoyment of life, quality of life, well-being, and cognitive function in a range of studies.

Advertisement

There is no firm evidence to date that suggests sex or masturbation would help to curb negative feelings during Covid-19, but there is for the benefits to health generally.

‘A frequent and trouble-free sex life is associated with a plethora of physical and mental health benefits,’ lead researcher Dr Louis Jacob of the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, wrote in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. 

‘Interventions to promote health and well-being during the Covid-19 pandemic should consider positive sexual health messages in mitigating the detrimental health consequences in relation to self-isolation/social distancing.’

Research in the US has shown people who have more sex may be at less risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol and mental health conditions. The reasons why have been attributed to less stress hormones, a stronger immune system and emotional bonds with a partner. 

‘Interventions to promote sexual activity… should target those with the lowest levels of sexual activity,’ Dr Jacob and colleagues at Anglia Ruskin University wrote.

This would include females, older and single people, according to the survey of adults of all ages. 

Factors linked with more sexual activity were being male, a younger age, being married or in a relationship, consuming alcohol, and the number of days spent self-isolating indoors.

Men masturbated or had sex 3.2 times per week, on average, compared with 0.88 in women. The overall average was 1.7 times per week.

Sexual activity significantly increased from 33.5 per cent in people who were self-isolated for up to five days to 47 per cent in those who were self-isolated for 11 days. 

The authors said potential strategies to get a wider range of Britons to have more sex was ‘beyond the scope of this paper’. 

But they suggested promoting the NHS sexual health website page as a familiar source of information, especially for older people.

It explains the benefits of sex, including that ‘masturbation is a normal, healthy part of human sexuality’.  

Lockdown has driven millions of people into their homes without anyone else to interact with, which could be damaging to some people’s mental health. 

The World Health Organization has recognized that social distancing and isolation may result in people becoming more anxious, angry, stressed, agitated,and withdrawn. 

The mental impacts of lockdown have been researched and highlighted some worrying changes in some groups of the population. 

The Office for National Statistics has found a group of ‘lockdown lonely’ in the British population who tend to be young, single or divorced, and renting. 

Its survey of more than 5,500 people suggested 14.3 per cent of the population — or 7.4million people — have suffered loneliness in the past seven days. 

Half of adults under 25 reported lockdown loneliness. In contrast, the rate was only 24 per cent among adults aged 55 to 69, according to the results published on June 8.

Half of those who were single, widowed, divorced or separated from a partner felt lonely during lockdown compare with only 16.5 per cent of people living with their partner. 

Anxiety rates have doubled among young people during the coronavirus pandemic, according to researchers at University of Bristol.

They analysed data from more than 3,000 Britons and found a quarter of people under the age of 28 had suspected anxiety disorder during the crisis, compared to 13 per cent pre-pandemic.

But the researchers found that depression had actually fallen from 24 per cent to 18 per cent.

Living alone during the pandemic was associated with higher depression, but not with higher anxiety.

The uncertainty and sudden change to everyday life, as well as concerns over health, may explain why anxiety, rather than depression, has initially risen. 

It followed a warning from University of Cambridge that depriving young people of social interaction could spark mental health problems later in life.      

Related Videos

Leave a Comment