Porn sites have turned coronavirus into a viral marketing scheme — and it’s working

Porn sites have turned coronavirus into a viral marketing scheme — and it’s working

While the coronavirus pandemic is forcing governments across the world to put entire nations under lockdown, adult entertainment companies have found a way to spin this health crisis into yet another opportunity to make you watch more porn — and according to data, the strategy is working.

In the past 30 days alone, there was a total of 6,877,922 coronavirus searches on Pornhub. The hunt for COVID-19-themed porn peaked on March 5, with over 1.5 searches in a day. Viewers in Slovakia, Bulgaria, Ireland, Malaysia, and Serbia seem to be particularly fascinated by viral porn.

The upward trend in coronavirus porn searches isn’t unique to Pornhub.

Rival adult content platform xHamster saw a similar spike in COVID-19-related searches in the period around March 7, according to data shared with TNW. Unfortunately, the company couldn’t share the exact number of searches.

True to the notorious Rule 34, there is plenty of coronavirus content for your spank bank on the internet — over 320 videos on Pornhub and another 13 on xHamster.

“A CURE FOR THE CORONA VIRUS IS GETTING FUCKED BY A PAWG,” reads the title of one of these clips, in all caps. You can see a couple of people in hazmat suits rubbing against each other in a another video titled “CoronaVirus Porn.” Hot.

I think people are attracted to COVID-19 themed porn the same way people who are scared of their shadow are attached to horror movies: We are all searching for things that make us come alive,” an adult performer told Vice last week. I wonder what Freud would’ve had to say about that.

While we’re seeking anything to make us feel alive, adult businesses are gently courting us into new registrations.

Japanese adult content distributor Soft on Demand made 200 smut flicks available for free during the pandemic, Livedoor News reports. All users had to do was register an account. The move proved so popular, Kotaku notes the distributor’s website has been down for at least several hours (it’s still down at the time of writing).

Pornhub, which recently drew the ire of the public for its super sketchy content removal practices, has also been cashing in on the coronavirus outbreak. Yesterday, the company made waves after giving Italians free premium subscriptions for the entire month of March to keep them from breaking quarantine. The catch? You’ll need to open a new account.

Pornhub wasn’t even the first one to hop on the coronavirus marketing bandwagon. xHamster ran a similar campaign at the end of February (insert premature pun choice). The surge in registrations eventually outpaced the company’s ability to approve new users.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt there’s been research floating around which suggests masturbation can boost your immune system. While that’s not entirely wrong, Health.com notes there’s many other more pressing factors when it comes to the stability of your immune system, including diet and lifestyle.

Still, the masturbation research makes for an entertaining dinner tidbit for locked-down readers, and an effective tool to justify signing up for a free porn subscription. And from the looks of it, all parties are getting what they want.

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