Brits have been masturbating more than ever during lockdown

For cohabiting couples, lockdown provided a chance for them to get closer – both in and out of the bedroom.

But for single people, it meant that not only did they have to do without seeing pals, sex was off the table.

Given we’ve been in some form of lockdown for almost five months, that’s a big deal for most. So it’s understandable that masturbation habits have increased a lot, and stayed high until now.

According to Badoo, 37% of single people said they had masturbated more than usual during lockdown – an average of once a day, every week, from 23 March until now.

The dating app surveyed 1,001 people from the ages of 18 to 50, finding that 70% are worried about a second wave of Covid-19 and are therefore trying to stay at home as much as possible, and three-quarters of singles haven’t had sex at all during lockdown.

The dating app has launched an advertising campaign thanking the nation’s ‘wankers’, with Natasha Briefel, UK Marketing Director, Badoo saying: ‘We’ve seen lots of great connections being made during this period of digital courtship in lockdown, so want to encourage our users to be kind to one another, chat, meet and date honestly and safely when they’re comfortable doing so.’

Sex education charity Sexpression has launched their own campaign on the topic, encouraging people to sexually distance and focus on hygiene and safety.

Eleanor Cochrane from Sexpression told Metro.co.uk: ‘During lockdown we and our branches have been creating home RSHE resources and encouraging, in line with government distancing guidelines, #sexualdistancing.

‘Sexual distancing involves hand hygiene and sex toy hygiene during all types of sex. Masturbation alone is the safest option right now but if you ARE having sex with other people, keeping your number of partners to a minimum and avoiding group sex will reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19.’

Alix Fox’s top tips for spicing up masturbation

‘This practice encourages you to get into the habit of noting and savouring even the most delicate everyday pleasurable feelings, and helps you become more aware of your whole body’s capacity to thrill you…because joy doesn’t only stem from the genitals!

‘For instance, in the shower, pay attention to how the droplets of water feel everywhere from your scalp to your toes; give yourself a mini massage as you dry off with your towel; and take a moment to really enjoy the scent of your daily cup of coffee. Noticing more gives you more to play with and lean into.’

‘Lean your back against a door as you stroke yourself, and imagine someone on the other side, doing the same.

‘If you’re at a stage in dating where you feel confident sexting someone, then this is a great scenario to enact and describe together on the phone.’

‘Masturbating in front of a mirror can be great for building positive self-image, as if you look at your bod when it’s making you feel good, you’re more likely to feel good about what you see.

‘Use lockdown to become a better buddy to your body.’

‘Lots of people save their do-it-yourself delight time for night-time, but there’s something about treating yourself to a personal passion session when you wake that really sets you up for a great day!

‘I like to add a mild exhibitionist edge by opening my bedroom window but keeping the blinds drawn, so I can feel the breeze and hear the world coming to life as I come… GOOD MORNING.’

‘Try thrusting and grinding onto your hand (or a toy), moving your pelvis rather than your palm. A simple change, but an impactful one.

‘I like to move in time to music and have been building a brand new ‘Playtime Playlist’ after I realised that a lot of my go-to sexy time tracks had associations with old relationships and experiences.’

Safety appears to be at the forefront of people’s minds, but this appears to be less the case as restrictions ease.

Boredom and relaxation are also big factors in why people are putting their hands and toys to good use

Grainne, 27, who normally masturbates around two to three time a week says: ‘I was staying at my parents house with little privacy so didn’t really feel like bothering.

‘But now I’m home in my own flat in London, it’s more of an every day or every second day kinda thing.

‘I guess it’s become a kind of self care thing, and it helps me relax/stress less.’

Alan, 23, also normally masturbates around every two or three days, but says: ‘Sometimes I go through phases of forgetting what it is/to do it and when I rediscover wanking it can easily take over my life.

‘I would say that the beginning of lockdown was definitely a period where wanking took over my life so more or less every day to begin with but I’m back to regularly scheduled programming now.’

When asked why he ramped up the self-love, Alan said: ‘Definitely boredom to begin with.

‘I think spending most of the earlier lockdown nights wine drunk doing Zoom quizzes awoke a horny demon within me, but now it has been satisfied.’

As for the future of sex and masturbation, at the moment it looks a little murky.

Despite people being worried about going out for meet-ups, Badoo’s stats show that over half (54%) of singles are not 100% sure of the official rules around inviting someone over for sex, and 33% would be tempted to have sex with someone from outside their household.

Basically, the nights alone with a candle burning and the Fifty Shade of Grey audiobook on high might be a thing of the past now people feel more sexually frustrated or less scared of the virus.

Alan continues: ‘Now I think most people have become more complacent with lockdown rules.

‘Meeting up with people every now and then has definitely taken away the need for as much solo action – so I’ll probs resume my place as a bi/tri weekly wanker.’

Government guidelines around having sex

If you’re not in an area subject to a local lockdown, you’re able to meet with people outside (or in an open business premises) while socially distanced.

If you live alone or in a one-adult household, you’re allowed to nominate one person (or household) as a support bubble.

You can meet this support bubble in either of your homes and not have to socially distance. This technically would mean that you’re allowed to have sex.

This won’t be the case for anyone who doesn’t live alone. They still have to observe social distancing with people from outside their household at all times.

You should not change who is in your bubble or have close contact with anyone else you do not live with.

Basically, you have to be pretty committed to having sex with someone, as they need to become your bubble which cannot be changed.

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