The Internet has blessed us all in a number of different ways. We have easy access to all kinds of information, we can connect with family and friends, date long distance, meet new people, and… watch porn (for free). The latter, an absolute treat, especially for those who relied on porno magazines pre-Internet. Never has it been easier to get off than today.

But the porn industry has seen quite a transformation since COVID-19. Sure, you can still watch your favorite porn star, see the regular categories, and enjoy what you enjoy. But during this pandemic, we’re seeing two big trends when it comes to porn:


  • There’s a massive surge in the amount of porn being watched
  • There’s a change in the type of porn that’s been watched

When we say there’s been a massive surge in the amount of porn being watched, PornHub alone saw an increase of near 12 percent from February to March. 

It was also found that countries that are more sex-positive, and that have thriving sex work industries, such as Germany, Netherlands, and Switzerland, were some of the sharpest increases in views. (Side note: sex work is now permitted in Switzerland once again, with caution and regulation, yay!).

What’s also interesting, is that European countries that were harder hit by COVID-19, such as Spain, Italy, and France, too saw a big increase in porn consumption (partly because PornHub offered them free porn subscriptions).

Why is There an Increase in Porn Use During COVID-19?

Besides the fact that free subscriptions were being given to some, why else are people viewing more porn during COVID-19? Well, it’s fairly obvious that more individuals are at home during the pandemic, which may give them more free time. But there’s also the factor of using sex as a coping mechanism in the face of illness and possible mortality. 

“When we are reminded of our own mortality, we subconsciously alter our attitudes and behaviors to help us cope with the ‘terrifying prospect of our eventual death’”, says Justin J. Lehmiller, Ph.D. 

It’s also been found that when faced with the idea of mortality, some experience an increase in sexual desire in order to cope. So, that explains that.

But what do we mean when we say the content being watched has changed? Within 30 days, from February to March, PornHub saw more than nine million searches with the keyword ‘coronavirus’. And with demand, comes a supply. Every day, new videos are being uploaded catering to the need for coronavirus-themed porn. 

What is Coronavirus Porn?

What does coronavirus porn look like? Well, it’s pretty much as you’d imagine it to be. People engaging in sexual activity whilst wearing surgical gloves, masks, and hazmat suits. 

What’s the appeal? As humans, we have the ability to fetishize nearly anything. You’ll notice this by things such as holiday-themed porn during holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Valentine’s Day, or Halloween.

So while this may be the reason for the influx in corona porn, it could also be that people are eroticizing fear. This is because strong emotions are often mistaken for sexual attraction. 

For example, if you were to go on a scary roller coaster and then see an attractive stranger immediately after, the attraction has the power to be higher because fear has the potential to amplify sexual arousal and attraction.

It was also noted by Joshua B. Grubbs, an assistant professor of psychology, that individuals view porn more often when they’re under psychological stress, feel lonely or depressed, are experiencing anxiety, or when they’re bored.

Today, we’re seeing many individuals in a heightened state of generalized physiological arousal due to COVID-19. This could encourage the sexualization of coronavirus imagery, such as seeing an attractive person wearing a mask.

Erika Lust, Sex and Love in the Time of Quarantine

On the other hand, it’s fairly obvious that new pornography isn’t been created and shared during this pandemic, which could too result in an influx of solo and coronavirus-themed videos. 

For example, the most current work of Erika Lust, a Swedish erotic film director who focuses on creating an alternative to mainstream porn by showing passion, intimacy, love, and lust in sex from the feminine viewpoint. 

Erika released an adult film that was shot and produced entirely in quarantine called, Sex and Love in the Time of Quarantine. The video shows performers in their own homes, and is a coronavirus-themed sex documentary that allows viewers to see how these individuals have been keeping themselves busy during quarantine with a slew of sex games. 

Some couples have been engaging in sexy games of Heads or Tails and erotic Twister, and one solo player is shown enjoying a game of spin the bottle as a means to choose which sex toy to try next. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

An Influx of Porn: Good or Bad?

And while many may argue that this surge in porn viewing is an issue that could lead to bigger problems, others say that it’s merely a low-risk sexual outlet that inhibits people from risking their safety or the safety of others. What are your thoughts?