PHILCARE

FILIPINOS turned to intimacy and enjoyed a better sex life during the pandemic, according to a recent survey.

A 2021 wellness index by health maintenance organization PhilhealthCare, Inc. (PhilCare) found that 69.5% of 1,500 respondents, or 7 out of 10 adult Filipinos, said they had more sex during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic than before.

They also shared being satisfied with their sexual partner, with 84.4% of married respondents and 94.3% of cohabitating respondents admitting to enjoying more sex.

“This interesting finding proves that something positive can really come out of lockdowns. With their protracted time together under one roof, couples can enjoy more opportunities to improve their relationship in terms of physical and emotional intimacy,” said PhilCare president and chief executive officer Joseph Agustin “Jaeger” L. Tanco.

He noted that these findings only prove the importance of promoting sexual health in the workplace, since the quality of conversations surrounding sex can “shape a person’s general view of what sex is and its effects on their physical and mental health.”

A January 2021 study at the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that reduced levels of anxiety and depression were found in sexually active people during lockdown. The study also used logistic models to determine that lack of sexual activity was associated with a significantly higher risk of developing anxiety and depression.

PhilCare added that the workplace can do its part in creating an inclusive culture where Filipino employees can be comfortable to discuss sex-related health concerns.

“Employers have the power to remove the stigma of discussing sex and help prevent societal problems such as sexual assault and harassment, unplanned pregnancies, and the spread of sexually transmitted infections,” said Mr. Tanco.

The organization suggested counseling support for employees who need advice on sexual health concerns and seminars and gender-sensitivity training which could correct misconceptions about sexual health and conduct.

The PhilCare Wellness Index was conducted via a nationwide telephone survey in September 2021, covering Metro Manila and 65 provinces. Most respondents are employees, with 64.5% working for private firms. — Brontë H. Lacsamana