Pornography

People Stuck at Home Are Making and Watching Porn. Everybody Panic!

Anti-porn crusaders get their panties in a twist about a uptick in porn consumption during COVID-19.

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There's some evidence that Americans are buying more junk food, drinking more alcohol, playing more video games, consuming more marijuana, and watching more porn while stuck at home during the COVID-19 shutdown. The possibility that more people are possibly watching more porn has modern culture warriors doubling down on their calls for censoring adult entertainment.

Not only is the ban-porn brigade up to its usual business, but activists have started incorporating the new coronavirus into their anti-sex work campaigns.

The latest panic kicked off in March when the website Pornhub announced it would be offering free "premium" subscriptions to people in Italy, Spain, and France. A spokeswoman for the group formerly known as Morality in Media—now rebranded as the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE)—called it a "demonic deal."

A subsequent Pornhub traffic spike further upset moralists. Family Research Council Vice President for Policy and Public Affairs Travis Weber complained that "these pornography sites try to lure people and trap them into viewing this stuff while they're sitting around."

Sioux City Journal Columnist Linda Holub warned in early April, "As the country focuses on… COVID-19, there is another public health crisis that continues under the radar and is just as infectious and damaging to individuals, families and our children." (Get back to us when porn kills 50,000 Americans in two months.)

The porn-hubbub was premature. Big spikes in traffic tumbled once Pornhub's free-subscription promotion ended; it fell further as stay-at-home and shutdown orders wore on—suggesting the surge represented an influx of temporary new customers. Pornhub's skyrocketing March traffic became, by mid-April, a much more modest bump.

Alas, ours is an era of easily triggered scolds and illiberal nannies who see damning decadence in anything they don't personally like or understand. Not to mention, anti-porn "awareness" groups like NCOSE (on the right) and Exodus Cry (on the left) still have to earn their keep.

So, Pornhub's marketing stunt and traffic spike provided a convenient news hook. But anti-porn advocates are quite capable of whipping themselves into a fervor without help.

One might think the fact that porn studio production in the U.S. and Canada has been suspended until further notice would be some comfort. But thanks to social media, cash apps, cam sites, clip stores, and "fan club" platforms, experienced porn performers, sex workers from other sectors who are now out of work, and cash-strapped or stuck-at-home newcomers have been producing and monetizing their own content online. And this has anti-nudity nuts up in arms.

One platform, OnlyFans, has recently been getting more mainstream attention—and with that, a hefty dose of criticism.

"Every now and then, the modern world produces a trend so ghastly you can't help but sit back and think, would a global Islamic Caliphate really be that bad? One such fad is the sudden growth of OnlyFans, a monthly paid subscription content service," Charlie Peters wrote this week in The American Conservative.

Platforms like OnlyFans—which give sex workers more control over their own boundaries, clientele, and earnings than the porn world has traditionally offered—appear to be especially triggering to conservative anti-porn activists, who have long insisted their biggest concern is stopping sexual exploitation, not controlling what women can do with their bodies.

This misplaced ire is especially pernicious right now, with so many sex workers put out of work by the new coronavirus. Financial desperation can force sex workers (and other vulnerable groups) into riskier arrangements and make it more likely that they'll be victimized. Platforms like OnlyFans, meanwhile, can actually help protect "the young female population" Peters worries about by allowing consenting adults to engage in remote sex work from their own homes and on their own terms.

It's not just conservatives twisting anti-exploitation logic to fit a pet agenda. Anti-porn advocates on the left have also been using COVID-19 to scare up sympathy. In Australia, some are trying to blame porn for purported spikes in domestic violence—something they conclude is happening based on there being more online searches for the phrase recently.

Actual shelters and services for victims of domestic violence have been reporting an increased demand for their services during the COVID-19 outbreak, but they attribute this increased demand to abusers being forced to stay home and the stress of unemployment triggering abusive behavior—not otherwise non-toxic partners being radicalized by an extra 15 minutes on Pornhub.

Both the liberal and conservative iterations of the new porn freakout focus on pornography instead of addressing actual threats to vulnerable groups such as sex workers and those in abusive relationships (which are much more related to material resources than symbolic patriarchy or sex traffickers). Focusing on porn, in other words, lets anti-porn crusaders cosplay the ethical position while ignoring the actual contours of people's suffering or endeavoring to do anything about it.

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    1. The first post nails it.

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        1. God, i hope the irony doesn’t escape Savina.

  1. I’m watching less porn, because I can’t get away from my girlfriend long enough to whack it in peace.

    1. Solution: watch with her. Speaking from recent experience, it makes for a fun and engaging quarantine activity.

  2. Next, Ms. Brown will write of freeing oppressed nipples….

    1. Judy Smith started working for them online and in a short time after I’ve started averaging 15k a month••• The best thing was that cause I am not that computer savvy all I needed was some basic typing skills and internet access to start••• This is where to start… More Details

  3. At least masturbation gets the heartrate up. Sitting around getting fat while uninfected is just asking for the virus to kick your ass when it finally catches you. Kinda like your wife when she catches you watching porn.

    1. Kinda like your wife when she catches you watching porn.

      You calling my wife fat and uninfected?

    2. I once had a wife like that. She would absolutely freak out at the mere mention of porn. Luckily, we’ve been divorced for more than a decade. There are plenty of women who are not uptight prudes. You just have to decide that characteristic matters to you when dating. Don’t date prudes and you won’t end up tied to one.

  4. An easy way to test this theory is to check with local animal shelters and determine if there has been a sudden, unexplained mortality among their kittens.

    1. Nice.

      Also, look for hairy palms.

      1. Post-quarantine increases in visits to the optometrists would also be a sure sign.

        1. Now the run on kleenex and toilet paper makes sense.

    2. “Them sheep are all liars!”

  5. Australia, some are trying to blame porn for purported spikes in domestic violence—something they conclude is happening based on there being more online searches for the phrase:

    “choking the chicken”.

    1. “Spanking the monkey” sounds rather violent too.

      1. What did the salami do to deserve getting slapped?

        1. Battling the purple-headed yogurt slinger.

          1. Stranded all alone in the gas station of love, and have to use the self-service pumps.

            1. In Jersey, we only have full service.

              1. It’s unionized!

                “You can’t have Betty, because Bertha here has seniority.”

                1. The two-humped aardvarks’ union?

                  1. NTTAWWT, I won’t judge.

              2. i loved Jersey girls for that.

  6. Sounds like these crusaders have been watching a lot of porn for their research – a lot of hands on experience I would guess.

    1. They have been single-handedly tackling the problem.

      1. Nixon watched ‘Deepthroat’ 5 times. He was going to watch it till he got it down Pat.

  7. “Morality in Media”

    What, did the PMRC rebrand itself? Obligatory

    1. “Show me a Puritan and I’ll show you a son-of-a-bitch” –Mencken

  8. Every now and then, the modern world produces a trend so ghastly you can’t help but sit back and think, would a global Islamic Caliphate really be that bad?

    Slide that mask back in place, pal. It’s the law.

    1. I pointed out a while back that a bunch of Governors have mandated women cover their faces in pubic. Are we sure the Caliphate is not already here?

      1. *does* take away from being a “me” when everyone’s masked up

      2. “cover their faces in pubic”

        A Freudian slip is when you say one thing and mean a mother.

        1. Dental dams for everyone!

  9. Would guess Jfree, Rev, and all of the other faggots here are about tired of spanking their monkeys several times a day. But it’s something for them to do before they go back to their non essential jobs.

  10. “Oh, very well. There also has to be a 14-day downward trend in *that* before we re-open.”

  11. “”Every now and then, the modern world produces a trend so ghastly you can’t help but sit back and think, would a global Islamic Caliphate really be that bad? One such fad is the sudden growth of OnlyFans, a monthly paid subscription content service,” Charlie Peters wrote this week in The American Conservative.

    Yes, a global Islamic Caliphate would be that bad. Although I suppose kudos are in order for admitting that there’s actually a lot of parallels between the world that many Christian conservatives would like to see and a a global Islamic Caliphate.

    1. I regularly read TAC, mostly to remind myself that not everyone on the American right has completely lost their damn mind. Articles such as that one occasionally make me reconsider.

  12. I worked in a photofinishing lab in the 70s through 90s. We had “special” customers who’s film we’d develop and print during graveyard shift. I thought that the premium I was paid had something to do with graveyard shift but I guess it was hazard pay for having to color-correct pictures of naked people. My freelance side job was photographing couples doing it. That was back when porn meant something.

    1. Amateur stuff or developing the actual films? I think there was a developer in NYC that did something to run afoul of the mob in the 70’s and got whacked.

  13. I was going to drop this in the Volokh comment section, but I think it would be more suitable here:

    “The arc of the moral universe is long. Dr. Martin Luther King said these words in 1965. The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

  14. Don’t even need to read the article… yet another anti-porn “scare” article by the same author.

    Just once, I’d love to see you write and publish an article on the real dangers of porn. Because, believe it or not, there are actual negative impacts on all parties… men and women.

    I’ve been addicted to this stuff for nearly four decades. Since being laid-off by the shutdown in my state, I have had a lot of extra available time to get deeper in my addiction. Throw in some free money from the government (I’m earning more than while i was working,
    thanks to CARES) and now I have funds for porn subscriptions… and even some “extra” action with certain “gig-economy” workers who find themselves struggling to find paying Johns (I mean customers).

    ENB, the reality is this: The ONLY anti-porn movement I ever hear about is in your articles. I don’t see it anywhere in my daily life, nor do I encounter it anywhere online.

    Save us your “help, help, I’m being repressed” by anti-porn crusaders claptrap.

    1. How many stars would you give Church of Fudge?

    2. Umm… you can check her references. If you don’t run across it when you’re online then good, you don’t visit those groups websites or read the articles by those author’s.

      “Just once, I’d love to see you write and publish an article on the real dangers of porn”.

      Which are?

      1. “’Just once, I’d love to see you write and publish an article on the real dangers of porn’.
        Which are?”

        Childbirth. Which isn’t sexy AT ALL.

    3. Alcohol can be physically addictive and some people definitely have problems with it. And yet Prohibition failed miserably and was thankfully not revived.

      Damn near anything else can be psychologically addictive and some people will develop a problem with it, be it porn, or chocolate cake, or hoarding worthless items until their homes look like landfills.

      If you think the solution is to ban porn, ban cake, and ban the purchase of stuff in general, in order to supposedly protect the minority of people who could develop a psychological addiction, then you have very serious problems and you are also a rabid authoritarian.

      1. You nailed it. So true.

  15. Censorship kills. Authoritarianism Kills, A free press saves lives.

    “…After SARS, China created an infectious disease reporting system that officials said was world-class. In free open societies, when reacting to the appearance of clusters of a novel infectious disease, medical professionals would never consider first seeking the consent of local officials before alerting the appropriate national entities. A prompt national government response would generally enable those patients infected to be identified and isolated. That type of immediate notification should have allowed China to contain or at least drastically slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    In China’s authoritarian environment, the medical professionals deferred to local officials who, over a political aversion to sharing bad news, withheld information about cases from the national reporting system. As part of their attempt to conceal the news about the outbreak, local officials arrested Dr. Li Wenliang and seven other whistleblowers. The doctor died from the virus. In an authoritarian society, where a free press may be considered an enemy of the state, arresting a doctor who raises an alarm might seem reasonable. If China had a free press, they might never have arrested the doctor…”
    https://seekingalpha.com/article/4339689

    1. “In an authoritarian society, where a free press may be considered an enemy of the state, arresting a doctor who raises an alarm might seem reasonable”

      Somewhere in China, there’s an orange guy shouting “fake news!”

  16. Anyone else get the feeling that in a similar way to extreme anti-gay politicians caught in bathrooms with men, Linda Holub likes extreme rough and degrading gangbangs?

  17. Why I will never be a Libertarian. Morality does matter. The Founding Fathers would agree. Reason and Libertarians are more worried about hookers aka “sex workers” (a sickening term) than porn consumption. The First Amendment was not designed to protect such material and only since the 1960s has the Supreme Court invented such things out of thin air. Better get rid of a lot of other moralistic laws because they are based on the Ten Commandments. Oh No!

    1. Yet, Philadelphia in the era of the Founding Fathers was filled with taverns and brothels.

      1. Some of those ladies are still working, according to a friend.

    2. Morals do matter, but the issue is who gets to decide what is moral.

      The founding fathers were a special bunch of people. They were a perfect storm of wisdom that could foresee future problems like the factionalism we have today.

      They were deliberative and deliberate.

      There is a reason the 1st amendment is the 1st amendment.

      1. The Zeroth Amendment failed?

    3. Based on the ’10 Commandments?’ Where sex is concerned, the closest Commandment would be that against adultery. Adultery has occurred since the dawn of man, and has nothing to do with porn. There are, of course, examples of porn dating back to the Egyptians and Romans (among many others) but what was considered ‘normal’ back then makes us look like straight-up prudes!

      The other Commandments – don’t kill or steal – sum up what really should be the whole of the law. I heartily agree with you though; we really should get rid of malum prohibitum laws. That’s mean a HUGE loss of power for governments and other moralizing hypocrites, so….

      1. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife…nor his ass” might apply.

    4. I am a Libertarian and I believe that Porn is addictive, dangerous, and destroys families… So, why am I Libertarian?

      Well, being a libertarian has nothing to do with what you believe to be right or wrong, but instead everything to do with whom should fight the battles and make decisions. In the case of Pornography, that is a battle that should be fought in the communities and in the home, not with government. Government doesn’t have a good track record of successfully fighting wars it has no business being in. In fact, they are notorious for making a bad situation worse!

      This has more to do with the limitations of laws. Laws that simple and clear can be helpful in protecting those who cannot consent such as the mentally disabled and children. But overall, laws are a very poor means of creating a cultural change necessary to battle pornography. Cultural changes are made as people feel as though they have a choice and are active participants in that choice. (Also a reason why Liberaltarians are against child porn as children cannot make that choice. Adults, on the other hand, can. They are capable of seeing consequences and making decisions concerning sex.)

    5. this person can’t be real.

    6. Sure morality matters. It just isn’t up to the state, you, or anyone else to define what it is. Morality is about choosing the right thing. So let people choose! You’re trying to use the government to force people to do what *you* think is moral rather than to persuade people that your view of morality is better than theirs. That’s authoritarian, and that’s bad.

      A government is best which governs least. It’s more than a neat little slogan… it’s words to live by. If you give government the authority to be the moral police, do you really think your particular view of morality is always going to be the one forced on everyone, one-size-fits-all? You don’t want to open that door. People who would aim to declare their own moral convictions to be superior to those of anyone else can’t be trusted with power. In reality, no one can be trusted with power, but this is even worse.

  18. So, Constitutionalist, explain to me where in the Constitution it says you have the right to force me to not watch porn? Who died and left you in charge of all you survey?

  19. This is hilarious haahahah.

  20. Pornography is Terrorism!

  21. Indeed, pornography is one of those things to which, I’m told, one can develop harmful addictions.

    But to riff on a point made above, the same is true of booze and cigarettes…and gambling, which many states actively promote so long as the proceeds go to the state itself (or get raked off in taxes).

    “COME ON AND BUY TICKETS TO GET A CHANCE AT OUR SUPER LOTTERY JACKPOT! (Problem gamblers, call our hotline at 555-5555) – WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, BUY YOUR LOTTERY TICKETS NOW!”

    1. “AND YES, YOU CAN BUY LOTTERY TICKETS DURING THE PANDEMIC – LET NOTHING STOP YOU!”

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  25. I think porn is filthy and disgusting and I’m 100% against banning it. The ONE and ONLY rule pornography needs is that participants should be legal consenting adults. That’s it!

    Other than that, it’s a cultural war that should be fought by families and the community. The government has no right or advantage to fighting it, because we all know how well our government does fighting wars it has no business being in to begin with.

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  27. Commenting only so the comments aren’t stuck at (69) any more. Just too weirdly appropriate for this article.

  28. I have no problem with porn during the pandemic, so long as the performers wear masks and take care to stay at least six feet apart from one another.

  29. Ok, so a mom (woman first, but I never hear married women call themselves wives, ex-wives, well it is printed on business cards, but not a wife, hum..) with kids, and maybe WFH has an interest in getting laid, much less getting out of her sweats? NGH, not in the universe I live in.

  30. “Get back to us when porn kills 50,000 Americans in two months”

    People who are having sex are not social distancing. So the ones that are making porn might be problematic. The ones who are just sitting there watching it probably aren’t.

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