More sex, less affairs: How COVID changed bedroom behaviour
Spending the better part of a year in lockdown appears to have had at least one positive impact on relationships, with almost half of Australians confessing that working from home stopped them from cheating on their partner.
According to a YouGov survey commissioned by Body+Soul and Baci Perugina chocolates, and published today, 39 per cent of Australians married or in defacto relationships who would normally consider cheating said not being in close proximity to colleagues every day, and being denied opportunities to travel for work due to COVID, prevented them from being unfaithful.
"The easiest place to cheat is at work, because we spend so much time there and often have a lot in common with co-workers," clinical psychologist Jo Lamble said of the findings.
"So it's good that there are silver linings to this pandemic - perhaps some relationships were saved by people being unable to cheat during lockdown."
It wasn't all positive news however, with the equivalent of 883,000 people, or 8 per cent of participants in the survey still managing to facilitate an affair in spite of lockdown.
This number was much higher amongst Millennials (19 per cent) than Gen X-ers (7 per cent) and Baby Boomers, who claimed they hadn't cheated at all.
"Not even a global pandemic protected some of us from infidelity - those who are continually unfaithful will find any way to cheat," Lamble said. "And maybe the extra stress caused by lockdown triggered some first-time infidelity too."
The survey also found that 9 per cent or the equivalent of 1 million Australians already in relationships also reconnected with an ex-partner in the hope of rekindling a romance.
On the flip side, 40 per cent of already married or defacto couples who were surveyed believed lockdown had the opposite effect, and had strengthened their relationship.
All those hours stuck at home proved especially fruitful for some couples, with 21 per cent reporting that they'd had more sex than usual.
"Lockdown takes you one of two ways - you either love spending all this time together, or you realise that you don't actually want to be confined to a room with this person," social commentator Bernard Salt told Body+Soul.
Irrespective of a global crisis, the survey revealed 79 per cent of Australians still believe in love and romance one year after the global pandemic disrupted their lives.
Originally published as More sex, less affairs: How COVID changed bedroom behaviour