Survey reveals bored Britons masturbated 25% more during lockdown


Britons masturbated more often during the country’s first Covid lockdown, scientists have found. 

A quarter of young adults confessed to pleasuring themselves more frequently at the height of the first wave in spring 2020.

At that time, Britons were living under the most draconian rules seen throughout the pandemic, including being banned from meeting partners they did not live with.

A fifth of respondents admitted to watching more porn during that time, with men more likely to report the increase. 

Researchers said people were most likely to attribute the increases to boredom and more free time. 


Results were based on a survey of 565 adults aged between 18 and 32, by academics at the universities of Bournemouth and Roehampton.

Men in the UK normally masturbate an average of two to three times per week, while women do so once a week. 

Experts had predicted a baby boom following the first lockdown, but it was not seen nine months down the line. 

The survey was conducted on adults across the UK during the country’s first lockdown in May 2020.


Published in Sexual Medicine, it found 25.7 per cent of people reported masturbating on their own more often since the start of the nationwide shutdown.

Watching porn alone increased by 19.5 per cent and using a sex toy increased among 8.5 per cent of respondents.  

The identities of the volunteers were anonymised in the online survey. 

It showed a third of respondents had more sexual fantasies during lockdown than they did prior to the restrictions. 

Women (55 per cent) were more likely than men (44 per cent) to report this increase. Men were, however, still more likely to watching pornography in general. 

Around 60 per cent of all respondents said they watched explicit adult content during the lockdown. They did not say how many watched it regularly before March 2020. 

A third said they hid their porn habits from their other half.  

Two thirds of the increase in porn watching was from men, while a third was in women. 

And a third of the reported increase in all porn watchers came from women, with the rest accounted for men. 

Some 38 per cent of those who said they had increased watching porn said they did so to cope with boredom, while 24 per cent said they were trying to fill their free time. 

Just under 14 per cent said they were watching porn to replace sex.  

The authors said: ‘Increased sexual fantasies were associated with increases in solitary masturbation as well as solitary pornography consumption. 

‘While pornography was consumed for several reasons, a strong effect was observed in the association between solitary pornography and solitary masturbation specifically.’ 

The figures come after Government data showed no increase in births followed by the first lockdown despite experts predicting a baby boom.  

Fertility rates in December 2020 and January 2021 saw ‘relatively steep decreases’ on the year before, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

They were down 8.1 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively during the months — in which births would have been conceived during the restriction nine months before.

Divorce rates spiked during 2020, however, with British law firm Stewarts seeing a 122 per cent increase in enquiries between July and October. 

Meanwhile, the number of people with new sexually transmitted infections — including HIV and hepatitis — dropped rapidly between March and May during the year, while restrictions were in force. Mailonline.

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