The Pandemic Is Normalizing Porn In Ways We Never Saw Coming

Bella Gerard
The Pandemic Is Normalizing Porn In Ways We Never Saw Coming
Photo: Cierra Miller/STYLECASTER.

Maybe you’re quarantining alone and missing your partner, the occasional dive bar stranger makeout sesh or even those spontaneous late-night booty calls. Or, maybe you’re quarantined with your partner and after months of being together 24/7, you’re feeling the need to spice things up. Maybe you’re bored as can be and find yourself thisclose to subscribing to Tana Mongeau’s OnlyFans, if only to see what all the damn hype is about. Either way, there’s a pretty strong chance you’ve got Private Browsing Mode enabled on your phone or laptop at the moment—and you’re not alone. The coronavirus pandemic is normalizing porn and changing the pornography landscape in ways we might never have predicted.

Kayden Kross might be a name that rings a bell, as the adult film actress is also an award-winning writer and director for Vixen Media Group, a luxury adult entertainment company founded back in 2014. VMG has multiple studio websites you’ve perhaps frequented, including Vixen, Blacked, Tushy and Deeper, all of which are membership-based, granting users access to movie-quality scenes and hi-res photos as well as special bonus content, wink wink. If you weren’t already a VMG member, it’s possible you might’ve joined sometime between March and now, as Kross notes a huge increase in viewers since stay-at-home orders began.

“While the world has been in quarantine, content consumption in general has seen a substantial increase, and as a result of this, VMG’s studio websites have been fortunate to experience the positive impact of this as well,” Kross tells STYLECASTER. “People are turning to adult entertainment because it’s the safest option right now as an outlet for sexual ‘needs.'” I’ll spare you the details about the current increase in searches for COVID-19-related porn clips, because yes, it’s a thing, and yes, it’s a lot to process.

Kross believes a mixture of boredom and curiosity, in addition to pent-up sexual tension, is what’s drawing new users to pornography at the moment. “There’s a lot of boredom, maybe even new curiosity after a lot of people have gone through their usual routines over and over again at home and are looking for novelty,” she explains. Plus—and I doubt she needs to explain this—masturbation can really help a person de-stress. “I’m sure it’s helping with stress release at a time when people are feeling more on edge than usual and are seeing their routines upended,” says Kross.

 

STYLECASTER | Pandemic Porn

Charles Deluvio/Unsplash.

 

Given that people are encouraged to stay six feet apart at the moment, it’s no surprise that the pornography industry has had to adjust when it comes to creating new content and finding ways to work around the production hold. “A lot of companies are trying to pivot in order to stay competitive and release unique content despite the circumstances,” says Kross, and of course, VMG is no exception.  “Living rooms and bedrooms have been remotely transformed into sets, complemented by ring lights, tripods and cameras,” she explains, noting that VMG’s new at-home “Intimates” series is the result of this shift. The content, made by models at home, has attracted a myriad of new users.

“What this pandemic has done is influence production studios to pivot and find ways to continue to generate work for our industry, and create content within the unusual confines that COVID has created,” Kross says—and of course, said content is no longer limited to traditional porn clips and films. “A number of performers generate income from home-based content platforms including camming, OnlyFans, Patreon, SnapChat etc,” she says, although she points out that the popularity of these platforms was on the rise prior to the pandemic changing the game.

Still, while performers were using private Snapchats and cam sessions to make money from home in the past, the ability to do so easily and safely during quarantine is especially appealing—and you don’t have to be a professional to see why. Internet personalities and Instagram models alike have been launching their own OnlyFans pages left and right lately, and with millions of followers on their more mainstream social media platforms, creating a big following is far from difficult.

While digital celebs jumping on the OnlyFans bandwagon certainly helps normalize the idea of watching (and paying for) porn to their wide fanbases, one could argue these personalities—the majority of whom don’t consider themselves ‘porn stars’ or adult film actors/actresses—might simultaneously be hurting the porn industry by drawing its viewership elsewhere.

One way or another, Kross is sure that the pandemic’s effect on porn consumption and normalization in the future will be major. “Where we could potentially see a lot of change is in the attitude towards the industry and a number of new consumers discovering the product or engaging with it more holistically,” she explains. However, the spike in numbers could certainly drop the moment people can begin meeting up (and hooking up) IRL again. “There could be a decline in traffic as collective attention returns to work and businesses start back up again, but there will be a pool of new consumers who have discovered us during this time whom we aim to turn into lasting members,” Kross points out.

If socially-distanced sexting isn’t for you and you aren’t already paying for porn, now’s as good a time as ever to jump on the bandwagon and start streaming. My advice? Support a production company like VMG and take advantage of all their membership perks. Leaning into porn use during quarantine is a safe way to take the edge off what can only be described (repeatedly, lol) as an unprecedented time—plus, it’s a whole lot of fun.

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