Quarantined Online Daters More Worried About STIs than COVID-19

We, at Datingxp.co, reached out to popular hookup sites brands to ask them how COVID-19 has affected their business and most importantly how people are behaving. The answers we got from officials were quite interesting, to say the least.

According to a recent study by AdultFriendFinder.com, 50% of women and 34% of men say they wouldn’t be tempted to break COVID-19 quarantine rules for a steamy hook-up or a dreamy date. It’s the fear of legal repercussions though, not the deadly pandemic, keeping them indoors. In response, dating apps have come to the rescue with innovative ways of keeping hearts beating and pulses racing.

AdultFriendFinder.com, Down (which gives the option of getting a date or getting down) and Hud (which serves up commitment-free dating) are just some of the international apps that have proven it’s still possible to get loved up during lockdown.

Users of AdultFriendFinder.com became more active during the mass shut-downs and were staying online for longer periods of time, according to data released by the app. While previously there were defined peak hours of activity, members are now online throughout the day, matching and flirting with potential lovers.

AdultFriendFinder quizzed thousands of its members to discover that although they wouldn’t break quarantine regulations, the majority (44% female, 43% male) were more worried about contracting an STI than COVID-19. Members of the site would rather wait for the real deal than using a sex doll as well, with an overwhelming number saying nothing can replace the feel of a real person. 

In a move to keep the fire alive between potential hook-ups until restrictions lifted, Hud introduced a new feature. The casual dating app reported an increase in voice and video messaging, but it’s latest innovation has been a real hit. A blurring option on the app’s video chat function allows users to tease and talk, and when they feel comfortable enough, mutually consent to un-blur the chat.

Hud’s spokeswoman said the app sees itself as bridging the gap between isolation and hot hook-ups. To help users through the tough times, Hud unlocked a premium feature giving all its users the ability to connect with people across the globe. Members can now have a dalliance with Danish lover, hook-up with someone from Hawaii, or have an affair with an Australian, all via their smartphone.

Down, the app that gives its users the option of getting a date or getting down, has seen a 39% increase in downloads since 1 March. Colin Hodge, the CEO & Founder of Down app said members of the app are making more matches (a whopping 32% increase) more often giving users a much-needed confidence boost during isolation. Data shows that the flirty folk using Down are spending more time online than usual and getting to know each other via chat and video functions before they get down to it.

Overwhelmingly, it seems like there’ll be a rush on making virtual hook-ups a reality as lock-downs ease, but this time the meetings will be a little different. When online daters do meet in person, it’s likely they will have forged a more meaningful connection or built sizzling anticipation through the forced social distancing.

About Mary J. Gibson

Mary J. Gibson, director of DatingXP.co, is a renowned love and relationship coach whose expertise is widely acknowledged across the industry. Her insightful guidance and profound understanding of romantic relationships have earned her features in prestigious publications including Bustle, AskMen, Cosmopolitan, and Elite Daily. Committed to staying ahead of trends, she continually broadens her knowledge by conducting incisive interviews and forging dynamic relationships with emerging dating services, ensuring her advice remains relevant and impactful.