Pornography use in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic

J Behav Addict. 2020 Jun;9(2):181-183. doi: 10.1556/2006.2020.00015.


With the global expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic, social or physical distancing, quarantines, and lockdowns have become more prevalent. Concurrently, Pornhub, one of the largest pornography sites, has reported increased pornography use in multiple countries, with global traffic increasing over 11% from late February to March 17, 2020. While some substantial increases have coincided with Pornhub making its premium services free to countries in lockdowned or quarantined jurisdictions, countries without such free premium access have also reported increases in the range of 4-24%. In addition, pornography searches using the terms "coronavirus", "corona", and "covid" have reached more than 9.1 million. In this letter, we discuss COVID-19-related pornography-use patterns and the impact they may have with respect to problematic pornography use.

Keywords: COVID-19; compulsive sexual behaviors; coronavirus; pornography.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Behavior, Addictive* / epidemiology
  • Behavior, Addictive* / prevention & control
  • Behavior, Addictive* / psychology
  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / psychology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections* / psychology
  • Erotica / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pandemics / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral* / psychology
  • Psychopathology
  • SARS-CoV-2