An Unexpected Coronavirus Impact: Stonks May Be Down, But Sex Toy Sales Are Up

Hi. If you are looking for actual news and resources about the coronavirus pandemic, you should probably be reading this guide to COVID-19 we wrote earlier. But you’re not doing that. 

You’re here because, like me, you’re fascinated by the smaller social effects that coronavirus is having, and one of those lil micro-effect bubbles is the world of sex toys and adult entertainment. As one article about how adult performers are preparing and protecting themselves doing the outbreak notes: “the sex must go on.”

Social distancing and isolation are being treated by a lot of people as a chance to be productive at home: reading books, learning to bake, decluttering, untangling yourself from constant productivity culture that’s perhaps the underlying epidemic in the age of late-stage capitalism.

That’s all well and good, but I far more enjoy the ‘fuck it, let’s masturbate’ approach of people stockpiling not soup, but sex toys

Sales data for sex toy brand Womanizer are indicating a 50% surge above their original sales forecasts. Not only that, but country by country, the data also follows a pattern according to where the majority of outbreaks are currently, or the stockpiling that precedes it. Canada is coming in extremely horny, trending 135% above their forecast based on the years’ numbers so far, and Australia has seen a 31% increase since January.

Not only that, but some people on Twitter are also bemoaning a shortage of lube. PSA. No matter have dry you are, do not use hand sanitizer as lube. Please love your genitals more than that. Coconut oil and other oil-based lubricants are also a no-go if you’re using condoms because it can break down the latex. The more you know, you know.

In other COVID-19 sex news around the world: 50 Cent has plugged rapper Young M.A.’s branded sex toy (a strap on dildo) after joking on his IG that constant sex kills coronavirus and Pornhub is offering Italians free premium subscriptions. 2020 man, the simulation is getting wild n wavy. 

If you too, also love data, please have a squiz at the varying amount of coronavirus related searches on Pornhub. With many people now working from home or going out less, it’s expected that internet traffic will be higher than usual, but the search data and traffic changes really are incredible. 

On March 11th, when the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced a tightening of the country’s lockdown, traffic grew to 10% above normal levels by 10am, and was 12% higher than average at 9pm. COVID-19’s impact. (Like, beyond a recession and increased racism and xenophobia towards Asian people.)

Look, there are absolutely worse ways to pass the time in isolation. Some studies suggest that masturbation can have benefits to your immune system. If you’re planning on putting in a few hours of power or looking to upgrade your quarantine supplies, check out our comprehensive sex-toy guide

While you are at your computer (doing whatever only Rihanna can judge u for), maybe chuck a signature on this petition for paid leave for all workers. The world of porn might be enjoying the increased traffic, but it’s a rough time out there for the casually employed or people that do gig-work.

Across the arts, hospitality and events scene shutdowns, cancellations are affecting people’s livelihoods. Jerking off is much lower on your priority list if you’re anxious about not being able to afford rent in two weeks: if you’re a creative freelancer or working in the cultural sector, Rebekah Robertson written has an excellent resource with advice and initiatives that can help.

Monisha is a writer with a background in publishing and digital media. A chronic Pisces, she’s into trying to be a better person and sparkling water.

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