People may be risking a lot to have sex during the coronavirus pandemic.
A new survey by IllicitEncounters.com, the UK’s largest dating website for married people looking to start affairs, polled 2,000 people on whether they were violating lockdown orders to have sex.
One in five respondents said they had broken quarantine to have sex.
The results appear to be anecdotal, with the British newspaper Metro, which reported on the findings, saying they were not representative of the general population.
That said, of the 2,000 people surveyed, 400 said they were violating social-distancing orders to get it on during the pandemic.
A small majority of those who broke the rules, 52%, said they did not feel guilty about it, and 64% said they would do it again.
Half of those who broke the rules said they did it with a partner they had already been seeing before lockdown.
Of those who reported having sex with a partner they didn’t live with, 61% said they had to sneak off to secret locations to have sex with them at a partner’s house, in a car, and even on a park bench.
Mixed messages on how to date during the pandemic
While many people are alarmed by those sneaking around to have sex and date during the pandemic, public officials have given mixed messages about what proper social-distancing hook-up protocol is.
The New York City Department of Health made headlines when it released guidelines on safe sex that said masturbation was the safest sex option during the pandemic.
But not all public officials are adhering to the guidelines. Neil Ferguson, a top epidemiologist in the UK who helped introduce the country’s lockdown rules, resigned after it emerged he’d had his married girlfriend over twice during the lockdown.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the US National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gave an interview to Vanity Fair in which he did not explicitly discourage hooking up with an asymptomatic Tinder date for those willing to take the risk.
Most recently, Dutch health officials reportedly shifted their social-distancing guidelines to include how to have a safe “sex buddy” for the pandemic.
As government officials and experts race to figure out the safest ways for the public to have sex during lockdown, people are continuing to find their own ways to find intimacy in a new world.