Episode 30: The Future of Sex and Relationships

April 15, 2021 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex and Psychology Podcast
Sex and Psychology Podcast
Episode 30: The Future of Sex and Relationships

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our sexual and romantic lives in a lot of different ways over the last year, and while some of the changes that occurred are temporary, others may stick around for years to come. So what’s in store for sex and relationships in the future, post-COVID world?

For this episode of the Sex and Psychology Podcast, I sat down with Jessica Pels and Dr. Amanda Gesselman. Jessica is the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, the largest young women’s media brand in the world. She oversees the content and editorial operations for Cosmopolitan’s magazine, website, and social media. Amanda is the Associate Director for Research at The Kinsey Institute and she researches new trends in the romantic and sexual lives of adults around the world, as well as how technology can be used to facilitate meaningful connections.

Cosmopolitan recently partnered with the Kinsey Institute to survey more than 2,000 Americans about the future of sex and relationships after COVID. The results are fascinating and were published in the April issue of Cosmo. In this episode, we explore the story behind this unique research collaboration and key findings from the survey.

Some of the topics we cover include:

  • Why are so many people suddenly prioritizing committed relationships over casual sex? Will this trend persist?
  • How has the nature of online dating changed during the pandemic, and what will online dating look like in the future?
  • How has this pandemic changed communication around sexual risk, and will this situation ultimately lead us to have safer sex in the future?
  • How did people in relationships fare during the pandemic?
  • How has COVID-19 shifted people’s attitudes toward both infidelity and consensual non-monogamy?
  • Why were so many people experimenting with their sexuality during the pandemic? What’s the psychology behind this, and what does it mean for our sex lives going forward?

To learn more about the findings from this survey, visit Cosmo’s website or check out the latest issue. You can also follow @Jessica_Pels and @angesselman on Twitter to learn more about their work.


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Credits: LEGIT Audio (Podcast editing) and Shutterstock/Florian (Music). Image created with Canva; photos used with permission of guest.


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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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