These findings come on the heels of a widely predicted “Hot Vax Summer” that failed to materialize. All singles– men and women, young and old, straight, gay and lesbian, report low rates of intimacy or having sex and averaged only one makeout partner in the last 12 months. In fact, only 8% of singles had a one-night-stand during the pandemic, and 85% of singles report that sex is less important to them now than it was pre-pandemic.
In stark contrast to the idea that singles would spend the summer bed-hopping, findings from the Singles in America study show that nearly 8 in 10 singles (78%) say they are picky when considering a partner for casual sex, 2 in 3 want to wait until after the third date to have sex, and 1 in 3 don’t want close physical intimacy at all within the first three dates.
“Want love? Get vaxxed,” says Dr. Helen Fisher, Biological Anthropologist and Chief Scientific Advisor at Match. “Today’s singles have dramatically changed their dating priorities: 52% of singles won’t even meet up with an unvaccinated person; 48% regard anti-vaxxers as selfish; and almost 60% won’t have sex with an unvaccinated person– ever. Cupid’s got a new arrow in his quiver: your vaccination card. It’s today’s passport to romance.”
Vaccinations: A Shot at Love
Vaxx stats: Singles are leading the charge in vaccination rates, with 73% of singles being vaccinated, compared to 64% of the U.S. population.
- 65% of singles want their dating partners to be vaccinated, including 72% of Boomers, while 41% of vaccinated singles don’t want to spend any time with someone who isn’t vaccinated.
In comparison: How important is this issue to singles when it comes to dating a potential partner?
- 58% say the vaccine is important
- 53% say political affiliation is important
- 52% say support of BLM is important
- 48% say support of LGBTQ+ rights is important
- 43% say being the same religion is important
- 43% say being the same ethnicity is important
The majority of singles want a vaccinated partner for sex, romance and commitment:
- 58% of singles are unlikely to have sex with an unvaccinated partner (33% of young singles; 57% Gen X, 85% of Boomers).
- 54% of singles are unlikely to consider an unvaccinated person for a romantic relationship (24% of young singles, 52% Gen X, 84% Boomers).
- 52% of singles will not go on a first date with someone who is unvaccinated (24% young singles; 49% Gen X, 82% Boomers) and 53% of singles will not go on a second date with someone who is unvaccinated (25% young singles, 50% Gen X, 82% Boomers).
- Nearly half of singles (48%) think those who are unvaccinated are selfish, with 44% of Gen X and 60% of Boomers believing this.
Vaxxed vs. Unvaxxed Singles:
- 80% of vaccinated singles want their partner to be vaccinated too; 51% of unvaccinated singles don’t care either way.
- 58% of vaxxed singles will not have sex with someone who isn’t vaccinated (39% Men; 68% Women). And, more than 50% of vaxxed singles will not go on a second date or get into a relationship with someone who isn’t vaccinated (including 61% of women).
- 51% of vaxxed singles will ask about a date’s physical health before a date (vs. 16% of unvaccinated singles).
The Not-So-Slutty Summer
Meaningful sex: Nearly half of all singles reported that their ideal sexual relationship right now would be a committed, exclusive relationship (45%); this includes young singles (37%).
- In comparison, 27% of singles want a friends-with-benefits or casual sexual relationship (27% young singles).
Sex has new importance: For many singles, the importance of sex has changed:
- 85% of singles say it’s less important (15% of singles said it’s more important)
- 81% of men say it’s less important (19% think it’s more important)
- 87% of women say it’s less important (13% think it’s more important)
- 80% of Gen Z say it’s less important
- 76% of Millennials say it’s less important
- 87% Gen X say it’s less important
- 93% Boomers say it’s less important
Sex recession here to stay: Only 21% of singles are looking to have sex more often in post-pandemic life.
- Only 8% of singles had a one-night-stand during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; 13% of Gen Z vs. 3% of Boomers.
Kiss and Tell: On average, singles have had one makeout partner in the past 12 months.
All is not lost: Despite overall declines and low frequencies, almost half of singles (47%) have had sex at least once this past year.
Faking it: Nearly half (47%) of both genders faked an orgasm this past year (47% Men, 46% Women).
Less dick pics: 34% of singles sent less nudes than prior to the pandemic (36% Men, 31% Women) and 40% of Millennials sent less nudes.
Howdy, neighbor: 27% of Gen Z and 33% of Millennials had sex with a non-romantic roommate for the first time this year.
Slow Love: 2 in 3 singles want to wait until after the third date to have sex; and 1 in 3 don’t want to get super physical within the first three dates.
- Singles are waiting to get physical with someone new– the new “3-date rule”. Only 45% of singles are comfortable making out within the first three dates; 71% are more comfortable waiting more than three dates for sex; less than 3 in 10 are comfortable with oral sex within the first three dates.
- More than half of women (51%) say they feel nervous about having sex with a new partner since the pandemic began.
- Casual sex means more rules: 78% of singles say they are picky when considering a partner for casual sex. 22% say they are less picky.
- Vaxxed: 84% of those vaccinated say they are equally or more picky, vs. 74% of those unvaxxed.
Less sex, but more adventure:
- 1 in 3 young singles report that during the pandemic, they learned how to better please themselves sexually.
- Half of singles say they learned something sexually during the pandemic (e.g., how to please myself, how to please my partner, what not to do with partners sexually or when masturbating). This was greatest among young singles and men.
Match will release full findings from its 11th annual Singles In America study later this Fall.
About Singles in America
Singles in America (SIA) was funded by Match and conducted by Dynata in association with renowned anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher and evolutionary biologist Dr. Justin Garcia of The Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. The 2021 study is based on the attitudes and behaviors taken from a demographically representative sample of 5,000 U.S. singles between the ages of 18 and 98. Generations are defined as: Gen Z (18-24), Millennials (25-40), Gen X (41-56), and Boomers (57-75). Singles in America remains the most comprehensive annual scientific survey of single Americans.
Match, the dating app, is available for download on iTunes and Google Play. Members can experience Match in eight languages and available in 25 countries across five continents. Founded in 1995, Match is the #1 destination for single adults looking for love. Match is an operating business of Match Group (Nasdaq: MTCH) and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.