COVID-19 has caused a decline in casual sex, Houston sex therapist says

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's no secret that the pandemic has affected dating.

During quarantine and even after, people are doing less in-person dating, and according to a Houston relationship and sex therapist, the pandemic has led to a decline in casual sex.

"People are not having casual sex the same way they did before the pandemic," said Dr. Viviana Coles.

Dr. Coles, who's also featured on lifetime's Married at First Sight, told ABC13 that COVID-19 is changing the conversation on casual sex, making singles think twice about whether or not it's worth the risk.

"Kissing, hugging, touching, that sort of intimacy is really under the radar right now," said Dr. Coles. "The coronavirus is making people have to really consider is it worth the pleasure of spontaneity, or should we plan things out and really think about things before it happens."

According to Dr. Coles, the pandemic is playing a part in helping people understand more about sexually transmitted diseases.

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As for couples who are dating during the pandemic, Dr. Cole said that COVID-19 is leading to longer courtships and in some cases, stronger relationships.

"You're getting to know each other," said Dr. Coles. "You can't just meet up, hook up and move on without at least some guilt and risk of exposure."

Dr. Coles wants singles, who are ready to mingle, to consider the COVID-19 silver linings.

"I think that having the pandemic slow us down when it comes to sex and dating is going to give us all a better sense of who we are and what we want out of relationships, both sexual and nonsexual," Dr. Coles said.

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