Not all businesses are experiencing a downturn. The world’s largest pornography website, Pornhub, has reported large increases in traffic. In many regions, these spikes in use have occurred immediately after social distancing measures have been implemented.
Why are people viewing more pornography? I’m a professor of clinical psychology who researches pornography use. Based on a decade of work in this area, I have some ideas about this surge in online pornography’s popularity and how it might affect users in the long run.
Thorne Harbour Health – media release, 26 March 2020
For the first time in its four-decade history, Thorne Harbour Health is calling on communities to stop having casual sex in the face of 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Thorne Harbour Health, formerly the Victorian AIDS Council, is calling on LGBTI communities and people living with HIV to limit their risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Thorne Harbour Health CEO Simon Ruth said, “We’re faced by an unprecedented global health crisis. While COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, the close personal contact we have when during sex poses a serious risk of COVID-19 transmission. We need people to stop having casual sex at this stage.”
“But after four decades of sexual health promotion, we know abstinence isn’t a realistic strategy for most people. We need to look at ways we can minimise risk while maintain a healthy sex life.”
Last week, the organisation released an info sheet with strategies to minimise the risk of COVID-19 while having sex. Strategies included utilising sex tech, solo sexuality, and limiting your sexual activity to an exclusive sexual partner, commonly known as a ‘f*ck buddy’.
“You can reduce your risk by making your sexual network smaller. If you have a regular sexual partner, have a conversation about the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Provided both of you are limiting your risk by working from home and exercising physical distancing from others, you can greatly reduce you chance of COVID-19 transmission,” said Simon Ruth.
The organisation’s stance is not dissimilar from advice from the UK government. Earlier this week, chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries advised couples not cohabitating to consider testing their relationship by moving in together during the country’s lockdown.
Thorne Harbour Health CEO Simon Ruth released a video message today addressing sex & COVID-19 following last week’s message about physical distancing.
By Jon Johnson, Reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, CRNP
Bipolar disorder causes a person to experience intense shifts in moods, sometimes from a manic state to a depressed state, for example. These shifts can occur with changes in sexual desire, confidence, or sexual function.
Though the symptoms vary from person to person, bipolar disorder can disrupt several aspects of a person’s life, including their sexuality.
In this article, we discuss sexual symptoms of bipolar disorder and ways to manage them.
New research by Trojan condoms with the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada (SIECCAN) surveyed 2,400 Canadians between the ages of 40 and 59 about their sex lives.
63 per cent said they’re more sexually adventurous than they were a decade ago. 65 percent reported their last sexual encounter as being “very pleasurable.”
Findings also showed that two-thirds of single men and almost three-quarters of single women in the survey said that they didn’t use a condom the last time they had sex. More than half of those men had more than two partners in the past year. Almost three-quarters of single women said they did not use a condom the last time they had sex, and a third of those had more than two partners in the past year.
56 per cent of single men and 61 per cent of single women are “not very concerned” or “not at all concerned” about contracting an STI. Lack of concern seems to be translating into high risk behavior.
British Columbia Centre for Disease Control, Canada
A common question people have is “What are my chances of getting an STI?” While there is no simple answer, the charts below give an estimate of your chances, when your partner has that sexually transmitted infection (STI). These charts are based on research where possible, and have been reviewed by STI experts in British Columbia.
These charts don’t cover every situation or every STI.
For example, for HIV the charts do not address the fact that risk of transmission is even lower if your partner is on treatment for HIV and has undetectable viral load.
Here’s what the different chances mean in the charts:
Not passed (or possible only in theory): There is no possibility for passing the infection or it is theoretically possible, but there is no evidence that this happens.
Not commonly passed: This is not a common way to pass the infection but it may be possible with the right conditions (e.g., if condom breaks).
Can be passed: The infection can be passed this way with the right conditions (for example, from skin which is not covered by a condom or barrier).
Easily passed: The infection is easily passed this way.
Imagine: you’ve been married to your partner for 25 years. You live with them, love them, are sexually attracted to them, but physical intimacy? Almost impossible.
This is the reality for David and Jenni Heckendorf, who both have profound cerebral palsy that greatly limits their mobility. In order to have sex, they must use the services of a sex worker; a process of extreme trust, vulnerability and financial cost.
They lobbied to use their NDIS funding to access their sex worker, but others are restricted by state laws and regulations around sex work.
Rachel Wotton is one such sex worker, who works with clients with physical and intellectual disabilities.
What if your child had an intellectual disability? How do you teach them about all the nuances of sex and sexuality: consent, attraction, pleasure, emotion, consequences?
Mary McMahon has helped her gay son negotiate porn. Jarrod McGrath teaches sex-ed classes for children with intellectual disabilities.
And what happens, if and when kids come along? What is the most ethical course of action?
This week, Insight is looking at two issues that are definitely not mutually exclusive: sex and disability.
Meet the Guests
Dr Kerry Arrow
“There’s a perception that either people with disabilities are asexual or that they’re overtly sexual.”
David and Jenni Heckendorf
“In theory, [having assistance from a sex worker] is great. In practice, it took a lot of debriefing and reflection, finding a morality that didn’t destroy our sanctity of the marriage.”
Dignity for Disability Party, SA
Kelly Vincent MLC
“There’s certainly a lot of debate going on here in South Australia about whether in the event that sex work was decriminalised, whether people with disabilities would be able to use their funding for these types of services.”
“There’s lots of ways to get informed consent … you’re always giving verbal and non-verbal communication and consent to what you like and what you don’t like, and that’s the same with my clients [with disabilities] as well.”
“People haven’t taught them about good sex, bad sex, masturbation in private in a way that they understand. We do it for reading, we do it for maths, we do it for travel training, why not for ways to satisfy your sexual feelings safely and privately?”
Vaughan Adkinin and Marina Tadej-Adkinin
Marina: I adore children and we’re practicing at the moment. | Jenny: You’re really hoping this will happen soon, yeah? | Marina: Yes, I hope in the next year or two. | Vaughn: Good try.
Northcott Disability Services
“People with a disability are adults who have rights to make choices about their lives. They can make good choices, they can make bad choices according to their own set of moral codes and if it’s legal, they’re entitled to make those choices. It’s not up to us to decide what their choices should be.”
“Staff and people in positions of authority and a duty of trust and care were grooming disabled people … to become their personal sexual partners. And when these matters first came to light, they weren’t dealt with appropriately. They were viewed as simply perhaps a bit of inappropriate sexual harassment.”
The episode will be able to be viewed later online.