Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll in the Time of Coronavirus
How these big three pacifiers are finding ways to get paid during a global pandemic.
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It's going to take more than a pandemic to put sex, drugs and rock "n' roll in the corner. These classic categories of self-soothing might not always involve the healthiest life choices, but during a quarantine? They sure are helping keep a lot of people sane.
"Turn on your webcam, light up that blunt, and watch a live performance from your favorite band and I will see you outside once the apes take over the earth," says Ralph Sutton, founder of GaS Digital, a subscription network of comedy shows and podcasts.
Sutton's own show is called The SDR Show, which stands for the very same "sex", "drugs" and "rock" referenced in the title of this article. So who better to chime in on this breakdown of thriving vices?
"PornHub got it right: Free content," says Sutton. "Get people hooked now as we have no idea how long we're gonna be in this chaos we now call living — and if you get on-board because of a 30-day free account? You're probably going to continue once we find out that we are all here until mid-July."
The aforementioned adult entertainment behemoth's offer of free premium memberships to various lands on lockdown like France, Spain and Italy, is, of course, not the only pandemic gimmick they're exploiting. The site has had over 9.1 million coronavirus-themed searches from January 25th to early March and has content featuring masks, rubber gloves and...other things.
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When it comes to all things X-rated evolving with every new trend that enters the zeitgeist? To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park: "Porn finds a way."
Elsewhere in erotica: While Vegas may have shut down, Nevada-based sex workers are reporting a big surge in business.
And a lemons-into-lemonade shout out must be given to Portland, Oregon's Lucky Devil Lounge who repurposed their out-of-work exotic dancers into food delivering divas. Indeed the clever company is now providing door-to-door snacks and "socially distant stripping" to customers within a 20-mile radius of the city. However, thanks to a cease and desist from Uber Corporate, they're no longer calling the service "Boober Eats".
Alas, it's not all great news for sex. A possible global condom shortage is expected because Malaysia-based Karex Bhd, the world's biggest rubber maker, had to shut all its factories for a week due to a government-imposed lockdown. A 100 million shortfall is expected for brands like Durex.
"While I don't do much drugs myself, I can tell you that most of my friends have been living in a constant drug-induced haze since the beginning of March," explains Sutton. "So kudos to the essential service of dealers for keeping that going through this pandemic."
First, let's look at France, where the pastries are as transformational (see: chef Jean-François Pré's chocolate Easter eggs modeled after a microscopic version of the virus) as their PSA's are informational (officials recently released a public statement discounting rumors that snorting copious amounts of cocaine can kill the virus).
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Bunk blow facts notwithstanding, it should come as no surprise to anyone other than the very high that since this scourge first hit the states, marijuana sales rose by 50 percent in legal areas such as California, Colorado and Oregon with dispensaries in Cali already starting to worry about keeping plentiful supplies of the sticky icky.
And pot dealers in the Big Apple (where weed is still only available via the medical card you acquired for that glaucoma you can't spell and are much less actually be afflicted by) tell The New York Post sale are skyrocketing.
For those who prefer to sip away their sadness, in the week ending March 21, sales on alcoholic beverages have spiked by 55 percent according to Neilson.
More surprising: Mexico has halted production and marketing of Corona beer, but not for reasons you might think. It had everything to do with shuttering non-essential businesses and nothing to do with the brand's unfortunate moniker. Indeed Constellation Brand, which imports the south-of-the-border suds, claims sales grew by 8.9 percent for the first three months of this year with Corona and Modelo continuing to be its biggest draws.
Rock "n' Roll
"Major accolades to all the bands that are streaming live on Instagram every day. I have seen a few of my favorites perform live more in the last few days then I have in the past few years!" notes Sutton. "Their fans will remember this."
The LA Times recently ran a rundown of the best/worst pandemic song parodies. Highlight: Neil Diamond, himself, singing "Sweet Caroline" with less handholding and more hand-washing. Lowlight: The hundreds of versions of "My-Sharona" turned into "My Corona" that are currently coughing through YouTube. Current data that named loggers as one of the safest jobs due to their lack of physical proximity to others may have resulted in an upsurge of clicks for this Monty Python ditty.)
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And while an Irish band known as The Coronas has worried whether the "huge wave of interest" regarding their pre-pandemic name will prove to be a crowd-pleaser during these are anti-crowd times but if Latin America is any indication? Expect a huge amount of social distancing themed songs heading to playlist near you. According to Rolling Stone, Mister Cumbia's "La Cumbia Del Coronavirus," Kaseeno's hard- "Coronavirus," and Yofrangel and Fraga's "Corona Virus" are salsa-ing up the Spotify charts in several countries.
And on another-morbid-side-note alert: Of course, Michael Stipe has updated "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" with viral survival tips.
Stay safe, stay healthy and do whatever you need to stay sane. (As long as it doesn't involve recording your own rendition of "My Corona." Don't do that.)