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A review study of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on individual sexual behavior, purchasing sex toys, and related consequences - 15/07/22

Doi : 10.1016/j.sexol.2022.06.002 
S.A. Qalati a, , M.L.S. Limón b , S.H. Bhayo c
a School of Finance and Economics, Jiangsu University, Jiangsu, Zhenjiang, P.R. China 
b Faculty of Commerce and Administration, Autonomous University of Tamaulipas-Mexico, Tamaulipas, Mexico 
c Department of Business Administration, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Pakistan 

*Corresponding author.

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Sous presse. Épreuves corrigées par l'auteur. Disponible en ligne depuis le Friday 15 July 2022

Summary

Globally, COVID-19, both during and after the pandemic, has not only slowed countries’ economic development but has also affected social and daily life. Due to COVID-19, physical contact among couples has been reduced, and physical sexual activities have been affected and decreased. In order to satisfy their sexual needs and avoid mental health issues, individuals have shown an increasing inclination to purchase sex toys. Therefore, we conducted this review study to investigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on sexual activities, purchasing sex toys, and related consequences. Specifically, the present paper examines 45 studies and focuses on four themes: (1) COVID-19 and sex toys; (2) COVID-19 and sex (i.e. sexual life, sexuality, sexual health, sexual behavior); (3) factors affecting purchasing sex toys; and (4) COVID-19 consequences. The study findings reflect that, during to the pandemic, sex toy sales doubled in Australia, Colombia, Denmark, and the UK, and tripled in New Zealand. Sex toys have entailed positive (i.e. increased satisfaction, confidence, pleasure) and negative (addiction, allergic reaction, risk of sexually transmitted infection, embarrassment, and guilt) implications. In addition, participants all over the world engaged more in using sex toys and watching pornography to satisfy their sexual needs. Further, the use of online dating applications also increased, in order to have sex with close or casual partners. Regarding purchasing sex toys, we postulate that people buy these products due to lack of opportunity, relationship avoidance, loneliness, cost-effectiveness, time-saving, and emotionless behavior. Moreover, the pandemic has worsened family and sexual relationships. It has also increased anxiety, stress, and violence in society. In this context, we assert that there is still a need to explore the factors influencing individuals’ intentions toward purchasing sex toys, and studies need to be conducted to understand in more detail COVID-19's effects, both during and after the pandemic.

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Keywords : Sex, Intimacy, Sexual health, COVID-19, Sex toys, Panic buying


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