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“Procasturbation”—or masturbating while procrastinating—is something people like to talk about a lot. Anyone who’s ever locked themselves away with their laptop for a weekend to “knock out a uni assignment” will be familiar with the process: the inexorable shift of one’s focus from the pages of Wikipedia to the bottomless annals of PornHub; fifty tabs’ worth of academic literature minimised to make space for a full-screen incognito browser.
With millions of people around the world currently working from home, and many of them effectively banned from physically interacting with prospective sexual partners, the stars have never been better aligned for a pandemic of procrasturbation. The conditions are primed. And Australian online retailer Yellow Octopus has taken a look at some numbers and confirmed that yes, heaps of you self-isolating employees are wanking, sexting, or just straight up shagging on company time.The company surveyed over 1,000 people from the USA, Australia, UK and Canada about their behaviour while working from home, in order to get a better understanding of how people are spending their time in lockdown and “find out what really goes on behind closed doors”. Researchers also looked at how often people are getting drunk and/or high while working, how much time they’re spending on unrelated activities, and how many people are logging on to video calls from the toilet (about one in three, as it turns out). It was people’s sexual proclivities, however, that produced the most compelling data.From the survey respondents, 35 percent of men and 17 percent of women admitted that they’d been masturbating during work hours—and only a quarter of those felt guilty about it. Younger respondents were typically more likely to have done so, with most of the wankers (31.3 percent) sitting in the 18 to 24 age bracket. About a quarter of those who admitted to masturbating while “working” were aged 35 to 44; the age brackets of 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 accounted for about 21 percent of the wankers each; while 8.3 percent were aged 65 to 74.
Men were also three times more likely to watch porn at work (33.9 percent admitted that they had) than women (11.3 percent of who said they had).“[It’s] Like I just got paid to masturbate,” said one respondent. “I felt grateful and slightly guilty.”The folk at Yellow Octopus have suggested that these self-loving behaviours might actually allow workers to boost productivity, however, citing research that indicates masturbation can be linked to tension release, enhanced mood, and boosted concentration. The same can be said for sex, which floods the brain with dopamine, endorphins, and oxytocin while reducing the stress hormone cortisol. Which brings us to our next category.In response to the question “Have you ever had sex while working from home?”, 24 percent of men and 19 percent of women answered in the affirmative. Again, the likelihood for someone to have sex on the job had an inverse correlation to how old they were: with about 28 percent of culprits aged 18 to 24 and just less than 14 percent aged 65 to 74. One survey respondent claimed “I received oral sex while on a conference call.”In addition to masturbation and physical sex, 5.4 percent of survey participants also admitted to having engaged in some sex chat with a co-worker over a video conferencing program such as Zoom. Almost 11 percent of those were aged 18 to 24, while the next highest age bracket (7 percent) was aged 45 to 54. Just 2.8 percent of people 65 to 74 said they’d engaged in some kind of video sex—but, importantly, that’s more than zero.Yellow Octopus’s conclusions from this survey are fairly inconclusive, and mostly used as an opportunity to plug items in their online store. But the fundamental takeaway here is this: everyone is horny, sex is perfectly natural, and as long as you’re not breaking the law or hurting anyone in the process, go forth. It’s been a hellish year and you probably deserve it.Follow Gavin on Twitter or Instagram