Having never lived through a global pandemic before, there's really no activity we haven't tried to pass the time in quarantine. From learning how to bake sourdough bread to constantly doomscrolling to rocking back and forth in the fetal position while in the shower, I, personally, was fairly open-minded when considering any number of ways to cope with the trauma of the last year. But what turned out to be the most helpful coping mechanism was the subtle art of fake home shopping: the truly satisfying act of imaginary online shopping for your imaginary home, that actually exists, but most certainly will not be owned by you.
Turns out, I'm far from the only person who spent the last year shopping for homes they'll never purchase in distant towns they'll never visit. Surety First surveyed over 1,000 Americans and found that not only do 55% of respondents spend at least 1 to 4 hours a day browsing Zillow, a popular real estate marketplace company, but over 49% said they'd rather browse Zillow than have sex. Who needs foreplay when you can put a downpayment on a gorgeous three-bedroom in a state you've never been to, amiright?
The survey also found that, of those who participated, 58% said they've missed an important deadline at least once as a result of their Zillow browsing habits, and 41% said their habit has caused problems in either their work or personal life. And 56% even said they have canceled plans with a friend to browse Zillow instead. Canceling plans? In this economy? Nature is truly healing.
After spending over a year sheltering-in-place, working from home (if you're lucky enough to still have a job), and wearing a mask and social distancing when you're in public, it is hardly surprising to find out that many people have spent their time daydreaming about a probably outrageously overpriced home. A few days inside the same four walls and you're bound to hope for a house that's bigger, better, and filled with more stuff (or at least a working washer, dryer, and dishwasher). And when you graduated during a recession and owe the majority of the nation's $1.5 trillion student debt price tag (hi, millennials!), taking a virtual tour of a five-bedroom townhouse in Allentown, Pennsylvania may be the closest you get to ever becoming a homeowner (hi, me!).
And sure, orgasms are great, but is there truly anything more satisfying than finding a good deal on a house in Laramie, Wyoming, a place you definitely (read: never) have heard of before? After all, an aversion to sex was a common reaction to a public health crisis as life-changing as COVID-19: one 2020 online survey of over 950 people found that 22% of participants reported a decrease in sexual desire and 41% experienced a decrease in the frequency of having sex.
So I say, whether it's baking the perfect loaf or finding new and exciting ways to scream into the void or spending hours upon hours searching ranch-style homes for sale in Marble Falls, Texas, lean all the way into whatever odd-yet-strangely-comforting coping mechanism you've acquired over the past year. Thigh guy and hot girl summer are just on the horizon — there will be plenty of time to stretch our slutty legs and get weird post-vaccination. For now, leave us with our perfectly priced-per-square-foot homes in peace.