Culture / Newsy

No Vaccine, No Sex — Singles Take a Hard Line in the Age of COVID With Casual Romance All But Dead

A New Scientific Survey Sheds Plenty of Life on the State of Singles and Relationships

BY // 10.16.21

Has COVID-19 killed the one-night stand among singles? Findings in the 11th annual Singles in America Study indicate a shutdown in the free-wheeling sex life of singles. Only 8 percent of those surveyed say they have participated in a strangers-in-the-night indulgence in the last year. Sponsored by Match, the Dallas-based dating app for single adults, the survey also found that two out of every three singles say that they want their dating partners to be vaccinated.

The annual scientific survey of single Americans bases its findings on attitudes and behaviors taken from a demographically representative sample of 5,000 United States singles between the ages of 18 and 98. The just-released study focuses on two areas: Vaccinations and sexual relationships.

Results of the latter might come as a surprise as 85 percent of singles say that sex is less important to them now than it was pre-pandemic.

“These data suggest that singles still value sex, but there has been a reprioritization of intimacy, a reordering of how important sex is early on in a budding relationship relative to other ways of connecting,” Dr. Justin Garcia, evolutionary biologist and sex researcher at The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University tells PaperCity. “Sex hasn’t necessarily been replaced, but singles are, overall, reporting a greater desire to get to really know potential and future partners.

“Sexual activity in a relationship is still important, but singles are taking their time getting there, according to our data.”

The widely predicted “Hot Vaxx Summer” of 2021 did not materialize as the report found that all singles — men and women, young and old, straight, gay and lesbian — report low rates of intimacy or having sex. Participants averaged only one makeout partner in the last 12 months.

As for the vaccine, it has become an issue in singles dating life and Dr. Helen Fisher, renowned anthropologist and chief scientific advisor at Match, has strong words on the subject.

“Over 50 percent of singles won’t even go out on a first date with an unvaxxed person — for both social and evolutionary reasons,” Fisher tells PaperCity. “Foremost, 48 percent of singles regard unvaxxed people as selfish, an ugly trait likely to derail any partnership. Moreover, vaxxed people are not only protecting themselves, but also protecting others, a selflesstrait likely to contribute to a happy relationship.

“And from the biological perspective, vaxxed men and women signal health. A vital trait for bearing and rearing young. We naturally seek healthy partners to send our DNA into tomorrow. So get vaxxed. It’s the ticket to romance, and ultimately, genetic survival.”

COVID vaccine Moderna
COVID vaccines are available to everyone over 12.

The study also found that 78 percent of singles say they are picky when considering a partner for casual sex. Two in three want to wait until after the third date to have sex, and one in three don’t want any close physical intimacy within the first three dates.

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