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Pornhub’s Annual Report: Can You Guess the Most Popular Porn Categories in 2019?

This post is all about reviewing Pornhub’s annual 2019 report that gives us a look into society’s all-consuming obsession with hardcore porn.

By December 17, 2019No Comments

Trigger warning: This article contains explicit descriptions of porn categories as well as descriptions of abuse. Reader discretion is advised.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, so they say, where each of us gets to look back on how 2019 changed us, shaped our human experiences, brought us closer together…and influenced society’s collective porn habits.

This article is all about reviewing Pornhub’s annual report that gives us a look into society’s all-consuming obsession with hardcore porn.

To start off, we want to say that we have no way of fact-checking these metrics and making sure they’re being accurately reported, so we (unfortunately) have to take Pornhub’s word for it with a few grains of salt. Note that the reason Pornhub is our go-to for studying the porn habits of society is that it’s one of the more popular porn domains on the internet, so sampling people’s habits gives us a pretty good look at where porn consumption is heading, overall.

Related: 3 Leaked Celebrity Sex Tapes You Didn’t Know Were Actually Revenge Porn

And, this year, we’re changing things up a bit by incorporating stats from another popular porn site, xHamster, who has been so kind as to share their end of the year stats as well. (Note the sarcasm.)

But why report these metrics at all, if this organization’s goal is to raise awareness on the harmful effects of porn and not draw people more to it?

Plainly stated, an enemy that you know is better than an enemy that you don’t. It’s better that we fully understand the scope of the issue we’re dealing with so we can be more equipped and educated in addressing it. Right?

With that said, let’s get started.

Rule 34—if it exists, there’s porn of it

We say it every year, and 2019 is no different: a sad truth that internet porn is more varied than just about anything else you can find online.

The infamous Rule 34 of the internet—a comical list of protocols and conventions which first appeared years ago on a popular online forum—states, “If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.”

So, if you can think of a pornographic scenario, theme, or style—no matter how random or innocent it may seem—then such porn will already have been made and will be available online. If it’s somehow not out there, then it is only a matter of time before such porn is made.

Related: Abstinence From Porn Can Ease Negative Effects, Review of Studies Finds

For example, would you have ever expected that porn involving aliens would be popular in 2019? Given the Area 51 Facebook event that went viral, we can’t be too surprised.

But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. There’s a lot to unpack in this year’s report, so buckle up.

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Pornification of society

To understand just how popular and normalized porn is, one needs to look no further than the metrics Pornhub records and publishes at the end of each year.

Beginning in 2013, the mega-giant porn company has released a “year in review” on its SFW blog that shares detailed analytics from the site, containing information like Favorite Porn Star, Most Popular Search Terms, and Average Time Spent Per Visit. (Scroll to the bottom of this blog for links to our previous write-ups of the last few years.)

Related: 10 Things You Can Do Instead of Watching Porn During No Porn November

With 2019 almost officially over, Pornhub has finally released its analytics from the year, and they’re as shocking as ever.

To start off, there were more than 42,000,000,000 site visits to Pornhub in 2019—nearly 6 visits to the site per person on Earth—which is 8.5 billion more visits total than last year. That’s over 23 million more visits per day in 2019 than in 2018, a considerable uptick that’s double from last year. Note that YouPorn–a sister site to Pornhub—received just a humble 5 billion site visits.

Let’s dive deeper into the sheer number of people who visit this porn site each year, and the unimaginable amount of content uploaded over the last year. Brace yourself:

Difficult to wrap your brain around those numbers, right? And as those popularly commented words go, it’s not the first year the word “love” has been allegedly commented the most…but we don’t think it’s cause for celebration, given the violent, degrading, and exploitative content on the site.

Take a second look at the quote they included in the infographic: “If you started watching 2019’s new videos in 1850 you would still be watching them today.” That’s a lot of content, to say the least.

Related: How You Can Quit Watching Porn Today

To put it into perspective, Pornhub had to break down the metrics per minute instead of the whole year, just to make the stats semi-comprehendible.

Check out what was happening every minute on Pornhub in 2019:

Let’s unpack these numbers.

Every sixty seconds, nearly 220,000 views were added to videos. That equates to 13,199,100 video views an hour, and over 316,778,400 videos a day.

Related: 5 Real Stories of Trafficked Performers in the Porn Industry

But how much time does that equate to? This one is tough to comprehend: every minute, 11,082 hours of hardcore porn is being watched. That’s 664,920 hours of content being consumed every hour, and 15,958,080 hours of pornographic videos being consumed every single day.

And elsewhere, on a completely different porn site called xHamster with copycat stats, here’s what happened each minute:

Significantly smaller stats, but no less concerning.

Still don’t think that porn is that big of a deal, or normalized in our society?

Let’s examine the gender breakdown on Pornhub for 2019—how many women versus how many men are logging onto the site?

While the above stats detail the amount of content that was consumed in 2019 and who all was watching, let’s take a look at the specifically most searched for content on the site:

Note that this year is the first time in recent memory that “teen” hasn’t broken the top 10 searched terms on Pornhub, but don’t celebrate just yet because we have a theory as to why that is.

Since 2014, the most-searched term on Pornhub from all visitors around the world was “lesbian,” usually closely followed by “teen” or “stepmom,” and “milf,” in various orders.

This year looks nothing like the previous 5. Not only was “lesbian” outranked, but “teen” didn’t even make it to the top 10 searches. But why?

Related: How Porn Can Fuel Sex Trafficking

Consider this theory: content that fetishizes underage girls and teens is so popular in the porn world that “teen” porn has been absorbed by many of the other categories. So it’s not that sexualized underage or “barely legal” girls are any less popular, it’s that this content might not be distinguished or different from all the rest of the top categories. Creepy, right?

And elsewhere on xHamster, here are the top search terms from this year:

So what’s the big deal with these search terms? We’ll break it down for you.

Porn with “rapey” overtones and racist stereotypes outranks everything else this year

Let’s talk about the top search term from this year on both Pornhub and xHamster: japanese.

In their report, Pornhub says that much of “japanese” porn’s growth in popularity was due to a big traffic increase from Japan in 2019. Japan’s traffic to the site was ranked second in the world, behind the United States by a mile. Did their jump to the second spot really help account for the top search term in the world, really?

Related: I Tried Giving Up Porn For One Month, Here’s How it Went

This mix-up of search terms is bewildering, but it’s also possible that “japanese” porn can’t show anything different than what’s on the rest of Pornhub’s site. Consider that “asian” and “korean” are also in the top 10 searched terms.

There are plenty of reasons why the porn industry is dangerous and promotes harmful messages in society, but would you expect capitalizing off of racist stereotypes to be one of those reasons?

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It’s a poorly kept secret that this industry seems to get a free pass to promote endlessly harmful and abusive content in the name of sexual entertainment to anyone with an internet signal, and it’s a problem, especially when it comes to fetishizing racist stereotypes.

Think about it: if the average film or TV show had the same kind of stereotypically insensitive content that you see on mainstream porn sites (even skipping the hardcore content), you can bet that those studios would be shut down and condemned for promoting offensive and unwarranted stereotypes, or even glorifying racism.

Related: 20 Stats About the Porn Industry and its Underage Consumers

“The racism of the industry is so pervasive that it goes largely unnoticed,” according to a report by Gail Dines and Robert Jensen (FTND note: this report focuses on political issues on which FTND has no position as a non-legislative organization). “In an interview with the producer of the DVD ‘Black Bros and Asian Ho’s,’ one of us asked if he ever was criticized for the racism of such films. He said, ‘No, they are very popular.’ We repeated the question: Popular, yes, but do people ever criticize the racism? He looked incredulous; the question apparently had never entered his mind.”

In what other industry would content like this be acceptable? And yet, there it is, unabashedly ranked first on a search list compiled by Pornhub and shared with the world in their annual PR stunt.

A quick word on “hentai” porn

You have probably heard of “hentai” before, but do you know what it is?

Hentai porn has existed for centuries, but in the online world, it’s a relatively new wave of extremely hardcore animated pornographic material that has become extremely popular over the last decade. The word hentai is a word of Japanese origin which is short for hentai seiyoku—a perverse sexual desire. In Japanese, the term describes any type of perverse or bizarre sexual desire or act. Internationally, hentai is a term used to broadly categorize the genre of anime and manga pornography.

Related: What is Hentai Porn, and Why Is It So Popular?

The animated porn depicts highly exaggerated sex acts featuring characters with impossibly large body parts, and specializes in featuring disturbing fetishes like animal tentacles, children (particularly little girls), and incest. It is common for monsters, animals, giant insects, and plants to rape cartoon women.

Women and girls in hentai look like a mixture of adult and child because a consistent theme in hentai is “sexy innocence.”

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Many hentai fans argue that it is porn that is safer and more ethical to view. After all, they reason, it’s not exploiting real human beings and is not linked to issues associated with real porn like human sex trafficking. They claim that because it’s just drawings, it is not harmful to the consumer. And while we can understand why people have this perception, the reality is a much different story.

Consider how much of hentai focuses on underage children being taken advantage of.

Related: How Many Women Watch Porn?

This form of animated child exploitation is called “lolicon,” a sub-genre of hentai. Lolicon is intended to look like young girls or even toddlers. The children are often portrayed as frightened or resisting when sexual advances are made toward them, but they are also often shown to be enjoying sexual abuse while it takes place.

It goes without saying that cartoon child pornography is dangerous because it normalizes children as sexual partners. And is that ever healthy or acceptable? Research and anecdotal evidence would say absolutely not.

What did we learn?

Aside from the insights above, we also learned from the end-of-year stats that incest porn is still popular, lesbian porn still ranks high in searches, and consumers don’t likely know or care that Mia Khalifa made it clear this year that she wishes the porn videos she was in were deleted forever.

Clearly, porn is more accessible, more normalized, and more mainstream than ever before, and there’s no real change to that in sight.

But fortunately for us, information about the harmful effects of porn has also never been more accessible or mainstream than ever before. Did you know we have a free documentary series on the harmful effects of porn?

Related: How Porn Can Misrepresent and Fetishize LGBTQ+ Individuals and Relationships

So while people are logging on to Pornhub and daily adding to their unthinkably massive stats, we’ll continue sharing the facts and raising awareness that porn is anything but harmless entertainment. And judging by the hundreds of thousands of messages we’ve received over the decade we’ve been a movement, this movement for real love has already made a huge impact in changing the conversation around this issue.

Soon enough, our society will be less interested in the most degrading and humiliating content possible, and more invested in real relationships. It’s only a matter of time. You with us?

2018 Year in Review
2017 Year in Review
2016 Year in Review
2015 Year in Review
2014 Year in Review
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