Singles looking for romance in the era of Covid-19 are more likely to turn to ex-partners than choose new ones, according to a survey by IFOP, the French Institute for Public Opinion.
“The sexual activity of singles is like economic activity. Since the end of the lockdown, it has gradually revived, but not at the same level,” said IFOP’s François Kraus.
62 per cent of respondents said they would refuse sex with anyone who has had Covid-19 or been in close contact with an infected person. The survey also showed that 64 per cent are unwilling to have sex with people whose jobs expose them to the virus, including health and public transport workers, and sales personnel.
“This is symptomatic of a new sort of sexual stigma that is likely to last a long time,” Mr Kraus said.
Returning to ex-partners or known occasional partners is now the dominant trend among singles, the survey reveals. Some 57 per cent of the more than 3,000 respondents said it is now more difficult to meet new people.
The aim of the survey was to find out if the coronavirus was still restraining the sexual activity of French singles after an unprecedented period of frustration during the lockdown.
Among the 29 per cent of respondents who said they had had sex since ‘le confinement’ was lifted in May, the majority said it was with someone they had previously had intercourse with.
“It’s a form of safe sex,” Mr Kraus said. “Singles feel that they can gauge the risk with someone they’ve had sex with before. They’re seeking sexual satisfaction with safety.”
New encounters with unknown partners have become rare, the survey suggests.
Female respondents were more cautious than their male counterparts, he added.