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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Data on the most Googled questions about sex last year provide an ... interesting window into what some of us have been doing during the pandemic.

Why it matters: For better or for worse — and based on some of the results, it's looking like the latter — search engines like Google remain our go-to source for questions we're too nervous to ask elsewhere.

By the numbers: Data from the online health clinic From Mars released this week indicates the most Googled sex question in 2020, with more than 2 million searches, was: "What are the symptoms of chlamydia?"

  • It's a rather timely question — new data from the CDC indicates that rates of STDs hit an all-time high in 2019, with nearly 2.5 million Americans contracting chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis.
  • It's the sixth-straight year STD rates hit a record high, with cases of the three diseases rising almost 30% between 2015 and 2019.
  • Data for 2020 isn't in yet, but Google queries for "STD testing near me" nearly quadrupled between April 2020 and the end of the year, so draw your own conclusions (and definitely be safe out there).

What's next: Early data on search queries in 2021 indicate that some pandemic-based relationships may be crumbling.

  • Searches for "What is ghosting?" — the process of suddenly cutting off all contact with a partner — more than doubled between November 2020 and this February.

The bottom line: Search queries are an X-ray into the public psyche, and when it comes to sex and relationships, we may have some issues.

Go deeper

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, which has been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin.

2 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.