Porn in the pandemic: searches for corona-themed adult videos spike

Adult entertainment website Pornhub has seen an uptick in traffic as people around the world have started self-isolating and working from home

20 March 2020 - 10:54
The coronavirus pandemic has birthed a new genre of porn.
The coronavirus pandemic has birthed a new genre of porn.
Image: 123RF/andersonrise

Picture the scene: a sickly young man lies prone on his bed. The mask on his face is doing little to stop the coronavirus from running amok with his immune system. His prospects look grim.

While he groans, a nurse walks in. She doesn’t look like stereotypical nurses look and her nursing uniform seems a lot shorter than regulation length. Apparently she has the cure for his disease.

What follows next are visuals that require a porn banjo for the soundtrack.

This is a real scene from a real clip on the popular adult entertainment website Pornhub, which in some countries has seen a massive spike in coronavirus-related searches since Covid-19 decided to take Aladdin up on his offer of being shown the world.

According to a report by Pornhub’s statisticians (yes, they have some of those), average daily traffic to the site has increased as people around the world have started self-isolating and working from home. The steepest jump — an 11.6% uptick in global traffic — came in the past few days as more countries began going on various forms of lockdown.

Traffic from Italy was up by 57% on March 12 — although it probably helped that the site offered all quarantined Italian users free access to Pornhub Premium,

The same freebie was offered to users in locked-down France and Spain on March 17, with similar results. The average daily traffic from those countries surged by 38% and 61% respectively.

THE DAWN OF CORONA-THEMED PORN

So what are people spending all this extra time on Pornhub doing? Apparently scouring the site for coronavirus-themed naughtiness.

It turns out that searches featuring some version of “coronavirus” first started appearing on January 25. In the past 30 days, they're been more than nine million searches containing the words “corona” or “covid”.

Slovakians are the thirstiest for Covid-19 themed nudie flicks: they're 119% more likely to hunt for such content than users in other locales.

South Africans put in a good shift in this regard: the volume of our 'Rona searches measures 42% higher than the global average. This ranks 11th out of the 25 countries featured in Pornhub's stats report — higher than the US, the UK, Italy and Australia.

PORN INDUSTRY REACTS TO THE PANDEMIC

Contrary to popular belief however, the fountain of porn may not spring eternal. According to the New York Post, the Free Speech Coalition (think Cosatu but for adult films) asked porn producers to down tools in solidarity with the US government’s call to shut down all non-essential businesses.

Pornographers are nothing if not ingenious, though. So while many professional shoots have been halted, amateur producers are having the time of their lives.

Instagram models with Only Fans* pages are having a field day as people who would usually be in the office find that they have extra time on their hands to scour the internet for content that tickles their pickle.

Producers who film at home are equally unfazed about being quarantined, perhaps only lamenting the fact that they can’t go out and buy new outfits for their shoots.

* Only Fans is a website that allows individuals to set up exclusive accounts that users can pay to access.