Yes, Coronavirus Porn Is A Thing

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Concerns about coronavirus seem to have permeated every nook and cranny of our lives. That includes our bedrooms and our incognito web browsers. Yes, people are making and searching for “coronavirus porn.”
If you look it up on the PornHub website (which I did, casually, at my desk, in an open office) you’ll see at least 247 results. Some films include shots of people hooking up in yellow hazmat suits. In one, a person wearing both a backwards ball-cap and a face mask attempts to go down on his partner through the medical-grade cloth of the protective gear. 
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As you click through these videos, you’ll probably be too focused on the quality of the movies and, um, other things, to think too hard about the actual COVID-19 outbreak — which has killed at least 4,575 and infected more than 124,000 people as of March 11.
On some level, this is just porn doing what porn does best: providing an escape from our worries, explains Nan Wise, PhD, a sex therapist, relationship specialist, and cognitive neuroscientist. “I think we rely on device-based things like porn and distraction to deal with stress,” Wise says. “So I’m not surprised that people are channeling their energy into creating coronavirus porn.” 
The genre includes clips titled “Very risky public sex in the street during quarantine... fuck coronavirus!!” And, more vaguely, “Bodycam footage (CDC Agent) investigates deserted Wuhan,” created by the duo Spicy x Rice, who are both based in Japan and tell Refinery29 they’re now self-quarantining due to the coronavirus. 
Their specific work imagines a Centers For Disease Control and Prevention healthcare employee, who’s walking around in an I Am Legend-style abandoned medical facility. He’s wandering in the dark, breathing loudly through the mask of his hazmat suit, when suddenly a woman cloaked in a hospital gown appears out of nowhere. She gives him a blow job, then wordlessly begins to bang him through a hole in his suit. 
“I think people are drawn to this because it’s one of those fears that you can’t come to terms with,” Spicy, the filmmaker, tells me, of this genre of porn. Spicy, like many, has been experiencing some anxiety about coronavirus — which brings on symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, per the actual CDC.
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“With coronavirus, it’s out of my control, and I think that’s where art really shines,” Spicy says. “The future is out of our hands, but art is a way to control it. By making a story — making a porn — about it, in some way I feel I’m in control of my own fears. I can dictate the story, even if it’s just imaginary.” 
Any porn is controversial. And the contention is amplified when you make movies about a virus that’s killing people. Spicy says he's taken heat for what some believe is making light of a serious pandemic. But Spicy says that he and his partner didn’t mean to offend anyone. “I’m happy for the people who did appreciate the content, but my finger’s been on the delete button for a while because I’m worried it will bring me too much negative attention,” he says. 
Additionally, some coronavirus porn videos that feature Asian actors have been attracting comments that are downright racist. 
Little Squirtles, who starred in a coronavirus-inspired porn video, tells Refinery29 that she generally tries to brush off rude comments. “I haven’t gotten any racist comments from the corona videos we’ve done — I think as much as people want to be hurtful, there is a line that a lot of those won’t cross, as there’s been a lot of uproar (and rightfully so) against people discriminating against Asians and minorities since the outbreaks started,” she says. 
In the end, Wise says that the COVID-19 porn cropping up isn’t surprising — but it also may not be the best way to deal with coronavirus anxieties. 
“Porn itself is neither good nor bad, but I would say: What we need to look at is that we’re in a sex recession right now as a society,” Wise says. “When we’re stressed out, we’re more anxious, and we are less prone to use the real stress relievers, which is first and foremost contact with people…. And even if we have to do some isolation right now because of the virus, we can certainly still connect with the people in the room with us.”
In other words, rather than watching porn solo, have some IRL sex — but only if you're 100% certain that you're not sick. Yes, even if you happen to have a crotchless hazmat suit on hand.

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