Filiz Gazi  / DUVAR

Sex, like many other aspects of our daily lives, has changed in the time of COVID-19, said psychiatrist Dr Ceyda Güvenç. 

“People have been refraining from having multiple partners. So they’ve turned to masturbation or digital sex,” Güvenç said. 

While she said that many people have been having monogamous sex, some have even been trying to have sex without kissing.

“If you live with a partner, yes, you could theoretically pass the virus, but it doesn’t matter if you have sex when you already are having meals at the same table.”

Meanwhile, many people who have regular sexual partners have been physically separated from them, which has created a surge in what Güvenç calls “digital sex.”

Güvenç isn’t referring to sex with partners with whom one meets online, but rather to sex that involves digital elements.

The simplest example she gives is college students who are staying with their families and who resort to having sex on video calls instead of in person. 

“There are sex toys with remotes now. There are these kissing toys. Your partner abroad has one pair of lips, and you’ll have the other. Not that anyone’s worried about this now, but we’ll see a surge in demand for these.”

Güvenç said that digital sex was created during the AIDS epidemic of the 80s, but has become increasingly popular in recent years. 

“The age of digital sex may have begun. We potentially will no longer have sex to reproduce. We will only have sex for pleasure, in a virtual manner. After all there’s no courting involved, no time spent on getting stuck in traffic.”

Lastly, Güvenç noted that no matter how different it may look, sex is an instinctive action. 

“We do know that during disasters like earthquakes or wars, people have more sex. From an evolutionary perspective, it’s about reproduction, survival and the continuity of your genes.”