7 Apr 2020

Covid-19: How a pandemic is changing love habits

10:50 am on 7 April 2020

Around the world, social and physical distancing is changing how we love, date and show intimacy.

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Quantum love coach Adrianne Hartigan-von Strauch believes isolation will cause many people to re-evaluate their relationships, break up or a re-kindle their spark leading to a strengthening of partnerships.

"It's certainly a time of exploration and finding a sense of deeper friendship and companionship. But also couples finding that what is important to them is not matching anymore."

She said this crisis would cause things to bubble up to the surface, forcing people to make honest and authentic decisions around love and relationships.

"I want to call out for integrity between partners. Lets not hurt each other. Maybe a counselling session or a coaching session. This a wonderful time to discover new ways of being together," she said.

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The national co-ordinator for the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective Dame Catherine Healy said the lockdown had been tough on sex workers.

"You'd be hard pushed to find a sex worker who doesn't support the national health response.

"Overnight sex workers had to stop seeing their clients and it was quite challenging for many."

Alternative methods like using phones, webcams or sending videos to clients were being used instead.

"Making that transition in a virtual world for most sex workers is not going to sustain them.

"They are not going to make that much because you sort of have to build your reputation."

Hundreds of sex workers across the country were now relying on Work and Income, Dame Catherine said.

Meanwhile, for couples who are separated from one another, some have also changed their habits.

Adult Toy Mega Store spokesperson Emily Writes said since MBIE had given them clearance to operate as an essential service, there had been a huge increase in sales for adult toys.

"It was basically immediate, we had a surge of people buying adult toys and that continued."

The store had also been delivering supplies of lubricants and condoms to places like doctors surgeries and midwives.

"Which is really important to keep up at this time," Writes said.

"We need to make sure everyone is having safe sex even if they are at home in their bubble."

Hartigan-von Strauch said physical distancing for those in relationships or entering the dating scene could lead to honesty, authenticity and a change in the hook up culture.

"It gives us the time to think what is really important for us.

"Maybe make connections online, on Tinder or other dating sites that really force us to communicate differently than just going on a date and then hooking up quickly."

Hartigan-von Strauch said there were endless possibilities for people's love and relationship needs in isolation.

She encouraged people to use this time to become better versions of themselves.

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