Horny Reads Saw A 423% Sales Surge During Australia's Coronavirus Isolation

Image: Universal Pictures

We all know coronavirus left a major dent in the love lives of anyone single or not living with their partner. In great distress caused by this and the pandemic in general, we turned to many forms of escapism — streaming, gaming and reading. But while major streaming increases grabbed the headlines, some unprecedented surges in the sale of erotic fiction show Australians fancy a horny isolation read too.

Data released by Ebay Australia has shown book sales have surged since isolation measures were put in place around the country on 23 March. While numbers were up across all genres, with more than $9 million spent equating to around 360,000 books, erotic fiction saw a massive 423 per cent increase in sales during that period.

"Books join the list of traditional pursuits such as board games, puzzles, model train sets and paint by numbers that have recently seen a huge spike in sales. And getting lost in a good book is an ideal way to escape and de-stress during isolation," eBay Australia's Sophie Onikul said in a press release.

"While books are very much back in vogue, it's also clear we're a sheepish nation that prefers to purchase erotic fiction online rather than have to face the person behind the counter at the bookshop."

The fan favourites were there, of course, with Mills & Boon titles dominating the top purchase for the genre as well as E.L James' salacious romp, 50 Shades of Grey.

In the name of public interest journalism, Lifehacker Australia asked Ebay Australia to unveil the top horny reads Australians purchased during this time. It provided the top five selling books from The Nile, one of its biggest book seller.

  1. E.L James, 50 Shades of Grey, Book One
  2. Sylvia Day, Crossfire Series (four book collection)
  3. Sylvia Day, Captivated by You: Crossfire Book Four
  4. Rachael Treasure, Fifty Bales of Hay
  5. Helen Hardt, Surrender: Steel Brothers Saga Book Six

Outside of the softporn genre, non-fiction, self-help and cooking books also faced big increases of 89 per cent, 113 per cent and 101 per cent, respectively.

Nostalgia too was a big seller. Apparently, the coronavirus end times made us long for teen throwbacks like the Harry Potter and the Twilight series, which saw 65 and 108 per cent sale increases. The latter might have something to do with the shock announcement that Midnight Sun, originally penned for a 2008 release before the first chapter was unceremoniously leaked, was being brought back from the dead. The new book, set for release in August 2020, will see the Twilight saga retold from Edward Cullen's perspective and yikes, to be 14 again.

If the sales figures are an indication of how socially responsible everyone was being during lockdown instead of venturing out for books, then this might be 2020's greatest achievement.

What Porn Australians Have Been Watching In Isolation

People have been finding ways to relieve the boredom of being stuck at home since varying degrees of lockdown have been imposed across the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent research points to reduced sexual intimacy as a result of these restrictions, so it really should come as no surprise that porn viewing levels have increased. Our desire for social interaction and solace during the pandemic has driven the hyper-digitalisation and social media-isation of our daily lives.

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