I Have Watched Coronavirus Porn and It Involves Lots of Purell

A quick and dirty survey of pandemic porn

Photo illustration. Image source: Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images.

PPornography is a form of escapism, so you’d think the last genre anyone would want to watch would be “coronavirus porn.” That would make as much sense as Corona beer sales going up this year — which they are.

As of March 23, searching “coronavirus” on Pornhub delivered more than 1,000 videos. Users on the site started punching in the search term on January 25. Since then, nearly 10 million have looked for coronavirus porn.

Coronavirus porn videos are all homemade because no one is going into an office, especially one as unsanitary as a porn set. There are so many coronavirus porn videos there are already four subgenres: apocalyptic horror, quarantine boredom, public service announcements, and “videos that have nothing to do with coronavirus but hope to get clicks by mentioning it in the title.” For instance, “Corona Virus Quarantine Gamer Girl St Patrick’s Day Blowjob.”

The apocalyptic horror videos are hard to watch — goth makeup and gas masks are popular. But many are scary in a different way. They belong to the “Last Man on Earth” category, in which couples have sex in some eerily abandoned public space: on a subway, or on top of an abandoned building onto which they’ve graffitied “Coronavirus” and “Hell.”

In “Covid-19 Scary Porn” (which is scripted and not really in public), an “agent” in a hazmat outfit walks around at night and locates an infected woman in a white gown with white makeup and red eyes whom he then, in a fashion, falls in love with. These videos offer the appeal of all horror movies, or the many war movies made during World War II—confronting our fears by seeing them played out in the extreme.

Purell porn plays on our hand-washing obsession. In one clip, a woman named Rebecca Vanguard stands alone in front of a camera, smearing hand sanitizer on her body and cooing “I want to clean myself so good for you, Daddy. Is this what you want, Daddy? Oh God, I can feel it killing all the germs. There’s so much hand sanitizer. It’s so cold.”

In another video, “The Cleanest Place in New York City,” strippers at Sapphire Club Times Square parade huge bottles of Purell with sparklers on top. Then they rub the sanitizer on each other and make it rain with toilet paper.

They then bemoan their boredom, the fact that they weren’t quarantined with any men, and discover to their great joy that they are lesbians.

Toilet paper is another popular subgenre, for example, “Aussie Girl Does Anything For Toilet Paper During Coronavirus Quarantine.” In “2 Girls 150 Rolls of Toilet Paper,” which is set in the near future, Vancouver-based Loretta Rose and Sofia Blaze wear tinfoil hats and sit in front of a pile of Cascades Fluff, a Canadian brand.

“I am bored as fuck,” says Blaze. “Can you believe it’s been two months of this shit?”

“Can you believe it’s been 10 days since we ran out of food and had to start eating toilet paper and washing our butts in the sink?” Rose responds.

They then bemoan their boredom, the fact that they weren’t quarantined with any men, and discover to their great joy that they are lesbians.

When several people in the comments section chastised them for hoarding toilet paper, Rose and Blaze insisted that, post-production, they’d donated them to a homeless shelter.

The category of quarantine boredom videos is just regular homemade porn clips. But there’s a gung ho, making-the-best-of-it spirit that’s genuinely uplifting. They’re like exercise videos, trying to keep the fear at bay with activity.

Plenty of the boredom videos go all-in on self-care. Most of these people are masturbating. But professional porn star Nikki Peach sits in her bathroom in Los Angeles, naked except for a knit hat, talking to the camera. “I know you guys are all super stressed out with this whole don’t-leave-your-home-thing, so I’m going to be doing daily yoga and guided meditation so you guys can join me… I know I said I wouldn’t be shooting for a while but since this whole virus thing happened I’m feeling inspired.” Then she adds brightly, “And I’m going to be doing conscious cooking and conscious cleaning.”

NNearly all the porn “public service announcements,” despite the presence of convincing-looking nurses, disseminate the incorrect medical information that the disease can be “sucked out.” Also, your temperature cannot be taken with a penis.

But amidst all these desperate attempts to put feelings into art, one singular voice emerged. A hero who saw coronavirus porn as a way to save lives. A hero named Chase Poundher.

Poundher, whose real name is Nick Dodge, is a 29-year-old who runs a company in Las Vegas that makes virtual reality porn games. He and his girlfriend, Little Squirtles, have been making porn for a year. Not in order to make money, supposedly, just for fun.

For months, Dodge has been a Covid-19 Cassandra, making G-rated videos for his friends and family, which include simulations using dots showing how the virus will spread if we don’t self-isolate like he did two months ago, when he told his employees to work from home. He sold nearly all his stock between three and six weeks ago. Everyone he knew made fun of him for prepping. “I still have friends calling me and traveling around,” he told me, of course, over the phone. “I had one wanting me to visit me. I said, ‘What are you doing?”

He went on social media to sound the alarm, but no one would listen to him there either. “It came to the point where I had to pull my penis out on camera to get my point across,” he said.

In his first public service announcement, he tells an affection-seeking Little Squirtles to stay six feet away and gives her a 30-second, medical-expert-quoting lecture. Then he gently puts a face mask on her as Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” plays softly in the background. They rub face masks as they make love. Nearly 300,000 people have watched the video.

In a sequel production, Poundher finds that, despite his earlier lecture, Little Squirtles is about to go to the mall. Wearing an outfit that would not at all be acceptable in a mall. But at least she’s more informed than in the first video. Unfortunately, she got her information from a bad source.

“Trump said the current growth of Covid-19 in America is going substantially down and not up,” Little Squirtles says cheerily. “So there’s nothing to worry about.”

“Wrong!” Poundher replies. “You are so wrong right now! Let me tell you what the real situation here in the U.S. is right now.” He tells her about test kit problems. And other things that make her touch herself. Eventually, he convinces her of the seriousness of the situation and they go to their bedroom.

Poundher says he’s been surprised by the massive reaction to the video, and even more surprised at the sizable number of commenters with a face mask fetish who want him to focus on that aspect more than the warnings.

He assumes most people are finding his videos accidentally, but is just happy they’re finding them at all. “On Pornhub, your average view is from people clicking around really fast and moving to the next video,” he says. “Our main goal was to put all the information up front. If they skip the rest, they skip it.”

It has more to say about my fragile state than the abilities of Poundher and Little Squirtles that none of the videos I saw turned me on. But I could see why people watch them. They reassure us that everyone, even people so different from us that they make pornography as a hobby, is going through this incomprehensible experience together. Some far more together than others.

Joel Stein’s In Defense of Elitism: Why I’m Better Than You and You’re Better Than Someone Who Didn’t Buy This Book, is the best book ever. www.thejoelstein.com

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