Corona, crowds, physical contact – three things that do not fit together. No wonder that the sectors in which large numbers of visitors or intimate encounters are the norm have been hit the hardest. To remind us of this, and to show publicly just how serious the situation is, round about 8,200 registered German companies have cloaked important institutional buildings in red light during the night from 22nd to 23rd of June 2020. A sign of togetherness, but also a sign showing the seriousness of the Corona crisis.

Corona and How It Isolates the World

Since mid-March 2020, the world has been in a state of absolute emergency due to the coronavirus. Entry and exit bans, lockdowns, curfews, stockpiling. What normally sounds dystopian has become reality. Without zombies of course, but with the currently changing world of work, some colleagues may have come a little bit closer to the undead existence in the past three months, at least visually – in the home office.

For some industries Corona seemed like a blessing. As trips abroad were cancelled, bicycle sales increased immensely; and since people were not allowed to leave their home, mail order and e-commerce companies made their sales of a lifetime. Digital industries were now switching to home-office – for 100 %. Work became home, and vice versa. In fact, the whole life changed. Openness became isolation, and a multitude became the singular – now for a terrifying long time. 

For business branches that are in need of cultural exchange and human contact, in which people dance closely together, laugh and hug each other over good drinks, isolation is the sword of Damocles swinging over their heads: no gigs, no concerts, no discos, no weddings, no smooching, no nothing. Out of a sudden. And when the income breaks off, there is no decent annual turnover. Instead, there are existential fears, worries and empty halls. Reason enough to make an impact now, after three months and while the first corona loosenings are taking place – with the Night of Light. 

Night of Light: With Red Light Against Corona

During the night from 22nd to 23rd of June 2020, countless important buildings in Germany were illuminated with red light, including clubs, bars, and small businesses. All those who are dependent on human contact – on conversations, handshakes, hugs, and personal closeness in general – played their part. The red light underlined the urgency of the appeal. Red as a warning color says: “It is urgent.” But also: “It is dangerous and it is an emergency.” And it is. The past three months have been a long time for many companies – especially in the event and entertainment industry. But there is also a branch of business that has always claimed the color red for itself, that has suffered greatly from Corona: The erotic industry.

Corona and the Erotic Industry – No More Kissing?

The corona virus, which has been keeping the entire world strained since mid-March, is mainly transmitted by droplet infection. Kisses, tender cuddling and even close physical contact and intimate conversations are therefore taboo. This meant a deep shock for the erotic industry. The whole infrastructure lay fallow: brothels, strip clubs, hotels, tourist centres – all those places that were both meeting place and erotic playground were suddenly closed. The erotic world sat on the replacement bench. Although there is now some loosening up going on, the current world is still far away from the optimum, from the amusing and intensive exchange between the sexes. 

In isolation, many have given themselves to other pleasures. Recent figures show, for example, that the sale of erotic toys and the consumption of pornography have increased significantly. That is nice. At least it is proof that people finally have become more open and more tolerant. It also shows that people do not want to go on without eroticism. However, a toy and a two-dimensional film are no substitute for the erotic intimacy that comes with a weekend with an independent, emancipated, and attractive escort lady, for example. Distance may be satisfying, but it is not intimate closeness. Only closeness creates closeness. And that is why the Night of Light of the 22nd of June 2020 in its beguiling red is not only a monument for the urgency in the entertainment world, but also a sign for the absolute indispensability of intimacy and eroticism.