It seems that the coronavirus isn’t slowing its steady trip around the globe just yet. More people’s daily routines in more and more countries are being halted or somehow affected by this new, highly contagious virus.
We recently covered one porn company’s offer of free porn to quarantined cruise ship passengers off the coast of Japan, and Pornhub’s offer for those in quarantine in Italy to access their premium site for free. But it is looking like those vacationers and those in Italy are not the only ones choosing porn to deal with the boredom and isolation caused by COVID-19 social distancing.
According to current statistical insights from Pornhub, many people are responding to the crisis by turning to the “comfort” of online porn.
Recently, Pornhub’s global traffic was up 5.7% from average midweek traffic. Some countries had drastically higher rates of traffic—like Thailand, at +15.4%, and Italy, at +13.8%. While the United States showed a smaller increase of traffic at +2.5%, some predict that US rates have risen as social distancing took effect more prominently.
Pornhub, no doubt, is thrilled by this global wave of house-ridden employees looking for ways to spend their time in isolation. As we said, they have already given free Pornhub Premium membership to Italians for a month, and they are extending the offer to other nations.
Others in the porn industry are taking advantage of the virus-induced publicity by offering free porn, like this Japanese porn company.
And as the porn industry welcomes the fresh wave of users, it is also churning out COVID-specific content in order to meet the demand of the 6,877,922+ global Pornhub searches containing the word “Corona” or “Covid” in the past month.
You don’t have to jump to porn with the masses
You’ve probably experienced your mom or dad looking at you sternly at least once in your life and saying: “If your friend jumped off a cliff, would you do it too?”
The go-to for a world of people stuck inside might be to pass the time with porn—it’s as easy as a couple of clicks, available at any time of day or night, and adds a kind of rush to otherwise boring hours in isolation.
But jumping off a cliff isn’t safe for the theoretical friends your mom likes to reference, and watching porn isn’t healthy for anyone now as we all wait out the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are 5 alternative ways to spend your time that will definitely keep you mentally, emotionally, and physically healthier than binging porn.
1. Binge-watch our amazing documentary series Brain, Heart, World.
Binging porn can harm your brain and can even be associated with rewiring your sexual template to be into more extreme or violent sexual behavior. But binging our docuseries? That will have the opposite effect, arming you with all kinds of research, data, stories, inspiration, and humor-filled explanations to have conversations with others about the harms of porn. In short, it will grow rather than stunt your intellectual capacities.
Shameless plug. But seriously, our docuseries is beyond awesome. Here’s a sample of what to expect:
2. Spend the time you would be commuting planning delicious, healthy meals.
A lot of people are transitioning into a remote work situation, thereby cutting out a lot of the daily logistics that go into getting ready for work and commuting to and from the office or job site. With that time suddenly available, try spending it planning and executing the tasty and healthy home-cooked regimen you haven’t gotten around to before. Before this crisis passes and you are right back to your busy life full of take-out dinners, take this opportunity to mindfully prepare good food at home—and have fun in the process.
Check out this vegan GF soy-free blog, this low-fat colorful and delicious family-friendly blog, this fitness-focused eating blog that embraces all the fabulous ways to cook meat and vegetables, and this clean chic wellness and whole-food blog. Or just start Googling—the options are endless.
3. Get creative with exercise—and do it every day.
Similar to the thoughts on cooking above, your schedule is likely to open up in some pockets during this COVID season of social distancing. Whether it’s 30 minutes of commute time you’re saving or entire days because your normal life is totally on standby, use the space created to exercise. It might seem cliché, but the positive effects of exercise cannot be overstated.
Especially during this time of high anxiety, stress, and isolation, exercise can radically improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and put you in a better mental place. Moving the body encourages neurogenesis, the creation of new brain cells, and helps to make you feel more energetic and motivated. For the record, porn does the opposite, often making consumers feel lazy, unmotivated, and depressed.
So instead of adding to Pornhub’s traffic, have fun working out—go on jogs, try new in-home workouts, do a yoga routine, challenge your partner or a friend to do 500 body squats in a day, etc. Whatever gets you moving.
4. Start a “swap” with your friends or neighbors.
We can get through social distancing, avoiding crowds and gatherings, without completely isolating ourselves. Think of a fun “swap” to get going with your local friends or neighbors. If you’re into reading, start a book trading circle and pass your favorite reads around. Or swap movie suggestions.
You can make Spotify playlists that motivate you to get through isolated days and swap with friends—your energetic workout playlist for someone else’s stress-reducing classical one. Recipes, pantry ingredients, yard games, board games—the options go on and on. The point? Stay connected to people even in quarantine, and create a swap that brings new things into everyone’s lives.
5. Take a break from technology.
As difficult as it may be, consider taking this opportunity to take a break from technology.
If your normal life is filled with texts, calls, computer work, news, social media, and overall busyness, try ditching all that just for a couple weeks when it isn’t completely necessary. When you feel bored and restless, resist the instinct to grab your phone. Go on a walk, talk to the people quarantined in the apartments next to yours, read something, listen to something, or just daydream and let your mind relax.
Research shows that tech breaks can increase your present-moment awareness, improve your sleep, deepen your interpersonal connections, increase your productivity and learning, and help you break the bad habit of mindlessly scrolling through social feeds.
Added benefit? You will probably lower your stress level by avoiding post after post, tweet after tweet, and article after article about the coronavirus and the world’s sudden lack of toilet paper.
Everyone can do their part
There’s a lot that we need to take seriously about COVID, and we certainly need to focus on doing our part to prevent it from spreading. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t, at the same time, make the most of it in our own lives
Think about ways that you can use this quarantine-induced shift in daily routines as a jumping-off point for some positive habit changes in your life, including ditching porn.