Covid-19 changed sex habits in the Netherlands, especially for singles

The coronavirus and the measures taken to curb its spread affected the sex lives of young people in the Netherlands, especially that of single people. Many single people haven't had sex since the pandemic hit the Netherlands, and those who did more often did so with someone they've had sex with before rather than a one-night stand. Netherlands residents also found it more difficult to get tested for an STD, according ot a study by Rutgers and  SOA AIDS Nederland.

Part of the government's advice to curb the spread of the coronavirus, was to only have sex with a steady partner who lives with you. For single people, this meant a significant drop in their sexual activity. Among young people aged 16 to 20 who were sexually active before the pandemic, half haven't had sex since the coronavirus arrived in the Netherlands. Among single adults up to age 24, half of women and a third of men haven't had sex since the crisis started.

As can be expected, this resulted in single people being less satisfied with their sex life than before the coronavirus crisis. Young couples who live together, on the other had, reported having more sex since the crisis started and are slightly more satisfied with their sex life.

About a fifth of single people did have sex during the coronavirus crisis. Compared to before the crisis, their last partner was more often a casual partner they had sex with before, rather than a one-night stand. Especially single teenagers reported watching more pornography and masturbating more since the start of the crisis, 29 percent and 30 percent respectively. Among single adults, 13 percent of men and 18 percent of women said they now watch more porn. Among adult men living with their partner, 15 percent said they now masturbate and watch porn less. 

Eight percent of young people wanted to be tested for an STD during the coronavirus crisis, but did not go in for a test. For 47 percent this was because of the crisis - 31 percent thought doctors would be too busy, 11 percent were worried about getting the virus, and 15 percent said the clinic was closed or could not fit them in.