Table 2

Type and frequency of sexual activity reported since lockdown stratified by experience of partnered sex and relationship status

Reported partnered sex since lockdownNoYesAll % (CI)P value
Sexual activity since lockdownAmong those reporting never having partnered sex % (CI)Among those reporting partnered sex ever but not since lockdown % (CI)Among those not in a steady relationship % (CI)Among those in a steady, non-cohabiting relationship % (CI)Among those in a steady, cohabiting relationship % (CI)
% reporting any sexual activity53.8 (49.5 to 57.9)65.4 (62.8 to 68.0)100.0100.0100.086.7 (85.7 to 87.6)<0.0001
Denominators*639, 6481487, 1518620, 576359, 3253094, 31116199, 6178
Physical sexual activity since lockdown
% reporting any physical sexual activity†42.0 (38.0 to 46.2)58.3 (55.6 to 61.0)100.0100.0100.083.7 (82.7 to 84.7)<0.0001
Denominators*642, 6551458, 1489620, 576359, 3253094, 31116173, 6156
% reporting any partnered sex‡00100.0100.0100.063.2 (61.9 to 64.4)<0001
Denominators*762, 7431579, 1545576, 620325, 3593111, 30946354, 6361
% reporting any vaginal, oral, and/or anal sex0091.7 (88.8 to 93.9)97.4 (94.5 to 98.8)97.7 (97.0 to 98.2)61.7 (60.36 to 63.0)<0.0001
Denominators*687, 7031545, 1579618, 573358, 3253088, 31076296, 6287
Of those who did, frequency since lockdown
Less than weekly53.2 (48.6 to 57.7)47.1 (41.5 to 52.8)40.7 (38.9 to 42.6)42.9 (41.3 to 44.6)<0.0001
At least once a week46.8 (42.3 to 51.4)52.9 (47.3 to 58.5)59.3 (57.4 to 61.1)57.1 (55.4 to 58.7)
Denominators§572, 526349, 3163017, 30353938, 3877
% reporting other contact with someone’s genital area0086.8 (83.4 to 89.5)86.0 (81.4 to 89.5)85.6 (84.2 to 86.9)54.3 (52.9 to 55.6)0.80
Denominators*690, 7081545 1579603, 558357, 3243041, 30556236, 6224
Of those who did, frequency since lockdown
Less than weekly55.4 (50.6 to 60.1)43.1 (37.3 to 49.1)36.5 (34.6 to 38.5)39.8 (38.0 to 41.5)<0.0001
At least once a week44.6 (39.9 to 49.4)56.9 (50.9 to 62.7)63.5 (61.5 to 65.4)60.2 (58.5 to 62.0)
Denominators§528, 484312, 2782630, 26163470, 3378
% reporting masturbation39 (35.1 to 43.1)56.9 (54.2 to 59.6)77.5 (73.4 to 81.1)69.0 (63.5 to 74.0)57.1 (55.2 to 58.9)57.4 (56.1 to 58.8)<0.0001
Denominators*673, 6921460, 1491595, 548343, 3103009, 30276080, 6068
Of those who did, frequency since lockdown
Less than weekly29.4 (23.7 to 35.8)29.1 (25.9 to 32.4)28.0 (23.7 to 32.7)39.9 (33.2 to 46.9)36.7 (34.3 to 39.1)33.4 (31.8 to 35.1)<0.0001
At least once a week70.6 (64.2 to 76.3)70.9 (67.6 to 74.1)72.0 (67.3 to 76.3)60.2 (53.1 to 66.8)63.3 (60.9 to 65.7)66.6 (64.9 to 68.2)
Denominators§277, 270883, 849479, 425239, 2141790, 17273668, 3484
% reporting using sex toys (by yourself or with someone else)4.6 (3.3 to 6.4)11.9 (10.3 to 13.7)46.9 (42.6 to 51.4)37.8 (32.5 to 43.5)28.5 (26.8 to 30.2)23.7 (22.6 to 24.8)<0.0001
Denominators*704, 7241518, 1553601, 554349, 3153050, 30726222, 6218
Of those who did, frequency since lockdown
Less than weekly46.0 (29.9 to 62.9)53.9 (46.6 to 61.2)41.4 (35.3 to 47.8)60.4 (51.1 to 69.0)53.6 (50.2 to 57.1)51.9 (49.2 to 54.6)0.0030
At least once a week54.0 (37.1 to 70.1)46.1 (38.9 to 53.5)58.6 (52.2 to 64.7)39.6 (31.0 to 49.0)46.4 (42.9 to 49.9)48.1 (45.5 to 50.8)
Denominators§40, 33‡‡215, 185300, 260139, 119943, 8761637, 1473
Virtual sexual activities since lockdown
% reporting any virtual sexual activity¶40.9 (37.0 to 45.0)51.0 (48.3 to 53.7)84.3 (80.8 to 87.2)68.4 (63.0 to 73.4)48.4 (46.5 to 50.3)52.6 (51.2 to 53.9)<0.0001
Denominators*674, 6901507, 1539610, 565356, 3223045, 30636192, 6180
% reporting any virtual sexual activity excluding looking at pornography**19.4 (16.4 to 22.7)25.6 (23.4 to 28.0)73.7 (69.6 to 77.4)54.5 (48.8 to 60.0)21.0 (19.5 to 22.6)28.5 (27.3 to 29.7)<0.0001
Denominators*687, 7051527, 1561613, 569356, 3223068, 30866251, 6243
% reporting messaging via dating apps/online16.1 (13.4 to 19.2)21.6 (19.5 to 23.9)59.7 (55.3 to 64.0)38.4 (33.0 to 44.0)13.7 (12.5 to 15.1)21.4 (20.3 to 22.5)<0.0001
Denominators*702, 7191537, 1571608, 564357, 3233066, 30856270, 6262
Of those who did, frequency since lockdown
Less than weekly53.8 (44.1 to 63.2)41.1 (35.7 to 46.8)28.4 (23.5 to 33.9)19.6 (12.9 to 28.7)27.9 (23.5 to 32.8)32.9 (30.2 to 35.6)<0.0001
At least once a week46.2 (36.8 to 55.9)58.9 (53.2 to 64.3)71.6 (66.2 to 76.5)80.4 (71.3 to 87.1)72.1 (67.2 to 76.5)67.2 (64.4 to 69.8)
Denominators§127, 115367, 340374, 337140, 124442, 4241450, 1339
% reporting sexting (images or recorded videos)4.8 (3.4 to 6.8)9.6 (8.2 to 11.2)49.6 (45.2 to 53.9)36.0 (30.8 to 41.5)15.2 (13.9 to 16.6)16.8 (15.8 to 17.8)<0.0001
Denominators*707, 7261532, 1567611, 568357, 3243080, 30996287, 6284
Of those who did, frequency since lockdown
Less than weekly64.7 (47.5 to 78.8)51.2 (42.9 to 59.5)44.8 (38.7 to 51.1)55.3 (45.9 to 64.3)45.8 (41.1 to 50.6)48.0 (44.8 to 51.2)0.080
At least once a week35.3 (21.2 to 52.5)48.8 (40.5 to 57.1)55.2 (48.9 to 61.3)44.7 (35.7 to 54.1)54.2 (49.4 to 58.9)52.0 (48.8 to 55.2)
Denominators§41, 35‡‡169, 150314, 281131, 117502, 4721157, 1055
% reporting using video or voice calls to interact with someone sexually3.2 (2.0 to 5.1)5.8 (4.7 to 7.2)43.9 (39.6 to 48.3)31.2 (26.2 to 36.7)11.5 (10.3 to 12.7)13.0 (12.2 to 14.0)<0.0001
Denominators*709, 7281532, 1567611, 565356, 3233076, 30946284, 6276
Of those who did, frequency since lockdown
Less than weekly54.6 (43.7 to 65.0)45.3 (38.6 to 52.2)47.8 (37.9 to 58.0)44.1 (38.7 to 49.7)46.8 (43.1 to 50.5)0.19
At least once a week45.5 (35.0 to 56.4)54.7 (47.8 to 61.4)52.2 (42.0 to 62.2)55.9 (50.3 to 61.3)53.3 (49.5 to 56.9)
Denominators§21, 23††92, 92254, 248108, 101361, 355836, 818
% reporting looking at pornography29.6 (26.0 to 33.4)41.1 (38.5 to 43.7)67.6 (63.3 to 71.6)49.5 (43.9 to 55.1)42.4 (40.5 to 44.3)43.2 (41.9 to 44.6)<0.0001
Denominators*689, 7071497, 1529599, 553352, 3203048, 30676185, 6176
Of those who did, frequency since lockdown
Less than weekly33.6 (26.8 to 41.1)29.0 (25.4 to 32.9)38.5 (33.4 to 44.0)38.2 (30.6 to 46.4)41.5 (38.7 to 44.4)37.3 (35.4 to 39.3)<0.0001
At least once a week66.4 (58.9 to 73.3)71.0 (67.1 to 74.6)61.5 (56.0 to 66.6)61.8 (53.7 to 69.4)58.5 (55.6 to 61.3)62.7 (60.7 to 64.6)
Denominators§207, 209659, 628411, 374178, 1591337, 13002792, 2669
% reporting paying for online sexual services (eg, live streaming)0.9 (0.4 to 1.9)0.7 (0.4 to 1.3)23.8 (20.2 to 27.9)10.2 (7.2 to 14.3)6.9 (6.0 to 8.0)6.4 (5.7 to 7.0)<0.0001
Denominators*716, 7361542, 1576608, 563357, 3233079, 30976302, 6294
Of those who did, frequency since lockdown
Less than weekly45.5 (36.3 to 55.0)34.3 (19.8 to 52.3)40.2 (33.4 to 47.5)42.7 (37.5 to 48.0)0.18
At least once a week54.5 (45.0 to 63.7)65.8 (47.7 to 80.2)59.8 (52.5 to 66.7)57.4 (52.0 to 62.6)
Denominators§7, 6††12, 11††131, 13435, 33‡‡216, 215401, 400
  • Table created by the authors.

  • *Denominators (unweighted, weighted): all respondents.

  • †Reported at least one of the following activities since lockdown: vaginal, anal or oral sex, other contact with someone’s genital area, masturbating, using sex toys (by yourself or with someone else).

  • ‡Reported at least one of the following partnered activities since lockdown: vaginal, anal or oral sex, other contact with someone’s genital area.

  • §Denominators (unweighted, weighted): all respondents (who reported the activity in lockdown).

  • ¶Reported at least one of the following since lockdown: messaging via dating apps/online, sexting (images or recorded videos), using video or voice calls to interact with someone sexually, looking at pornography, paying for online sexual services (eg, live streaming).

  • **Reported at least one of the following since lockdown: Messaging via dating apps/online, sexting (images or recorded videos), using video or voice calls to interact with someone sexually, paying for online sexual services (eg, live streaming).

  • ††Unweighted denominator <30 so estimates not shown due to small denominator.

  • ‡‡Unweighted denominator. Results should be interpreted with caution due to small denominator.