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“Real People are Gross”: 3 Reasons Why Animated Porn is So Popular

Many cartoon porn consumers like animated porn because it doesn’t involve real people. But does that make it healthy to watch?

By August 16, 2021No Comments
Cover photo by Niabot. 5 minute read.
According to cartoon porn consumers, animated sex is preferable to realistic because real people are “gross,” animation offers more fantastical scenarios, and they can avoid feeling guilty for seeking out even more twisted and violent depictions of sex. But no matter how you slice it, animated porn still isn’t healthy to consume, and it doesn’t actually stop the demand for sexual exploitation. Basically, it’s a lose-lose situation.

Our generation is the first in history to be fully immersed in the worldwide web. We are the generation that Googled our way through our awkward phases, blew up our Snapchat as a new form of flirting, and invented the viral video. We are the first fully digital generation.

With modern-day digital design technology, we’re able to create worlds that are completely new and unique from our own. This makes for great cutting-edge sci-fi films and old Hollywood remakes, but what happens when we rely on special effects or even entirely fabricated animations to create moments of sexual arousal?

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

Until 2019, one of the world’s most popular porn sites annually released its year in review, and a “tech report” in 2020. What did they reveal? For one, it showed how search terms for animated pornography are steadily increasing. The reality is that animated porn is on the rise in popularity—but why?

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The history

While you can date cartoon pornography as far back as pornographic films themselves, the evolution of animation technology has created an entirely new animated pornography experience.

Besides Disney knockoff cartoon porn, or cartoon knockoffs of other animated shows and movies, there’s one specific genre of animated porn that has piqued the interest of many adult content consumers.

It’s called “hentai”—have you heard of it? (Trust us, don’t Google it. We’ll explain all you need to know here.) The word “hentai” is a short translation from its Japanese origin “hentai seiyoku,” which literally means a “perverse sexual desire.” Click here to read our more in-depth article about it.

Hentai is a subgenre of anime or manga, though not all anime or manga is sexually explicit or even pornographic.

Related: What Kind Of Porn Do Women Watch?

Popular themes in hentai involve airbrushed and exaggerated renders of humans and non-humans play out sexual fantasies that often defy the laws of gravity and nature, as cartoons usually do. While hentai has been popular in Japan for quite some time, its international popularity has skyrocketed somewhat in the last few years.

Look below at how “uncensored hentai” topped the charts for Android users in 2020, and “hentai” was ranked in second place on the entire site for 2019’s most popular categories, with “anime” in 14th and “cartoon” in 21st places.

Image retrieved from Pornhub’s 2020 Tech Review

Image retrieved from Pornhub’s 2019 Annual Review

The appeal

Not all animated porn is hentai, obviously, but explicit cartoons have all seemed to experience an uptick in traffic on major porn sites.

But what’s with all the big hype of animated pornography?

Like we mentioned, “cartoon” and “hentai” have been amongst some of the top searched terms on popular porn sites for the past several years. The reason for the appeal can be seen as a three-fold argument. Here’s a real comment we pulled from a porn site, and while it’s about hentai, the reasoning can be applied to animated porn in general:

We know there are a lot of harmful ideas to unpack in that comment. We’re sharing it here because, in order to raise awareness on the harmful effects of porn, we have to understand exactly what issues we’re addressing and why consumers are drawn to specific content so we can be prepared to respond.

The “humanitarian”

One of the reasons, and probably seen as the “most important” reason, consumers say they prefer animated porn it doesn’t involve real people. These cartoon sex scenarios involve animated humans (and other “non-humans”) in extreme, fantasy situations, without involving basically anything realistic or respecting the laws of physics and gravity.

The avoidance of using living, breathing people invites the consumer to indulge in the more extreme side of their sexual fantasies without the knowledge that actual humans were subjected to sexual violence or degrading fetishes.

Related: Pornhub’s Annual Report: Can You Guess 2019’s Top Searched Porn Terms?

Consumers often say they don’t feel as horrified (warning: link contains triggering content) when they watch animated porn versus regular porn, because they don’t have to ask themselves, “Did she want that to happen to her?” or wonder if characters are performing against their will.

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The reality is that nonconsensual porn is not uncommon, even on mainstream sites. The porn industry regularly profits off of images and videos of abuse and trafficking videos.

In our educational resources, we’ve shone a light on the ugly underbelly of the porn industry and its inseparable link to sex trafficking. So watching an animated video might seem like a loophole in the connection between the porn and trafficking industries.

But for many consumers, the content they start out watching can escalate to be more extreme, even switching between animated and live-action content.

Or, like the guy below, consumers can become repulsed by the idea of real human sex or bodies.

But even if someone’s preferences did not escalate to be more extreme, and even if they fully committed to animated-only porn, research shows that the “super normal” stimulus of porn negatively impacts consumers, their understanding of sex, and their expectations for relationships, and this is regardless of if a consumer’s porn is exploitation-free or not.

Even if real humans or animals aren’t directly harmed during the production of animated pornography, it still isn’t harm-free.

The extreme fantasy

For some consumers, the science fiction aspect of animated adult videos can spark a real interest.

Digitally developed porn allows the designer to create scenes that would be impossible or even illegal to act out in real life. After all, gravity and human rights aren’t issues in a world that only exists on the screen.

Related: What Devices Do Consumers Use The Most To Watch Porn?

Hentai, in particular, is known for glorifying and fetishizing the gross mistreatment of women and childlike characters through horrific scenes of bestiality and rape. This is a common theme in cartoon porn, where it isn’t rare for the producers to create scenes where monsters, demons, animals, giant insects, and even cartoon plants rape cartoon women, children, and sometimes men.

Consuming unrealistic sexual fantasies isn’t at all harmless, especially when they normalize, glorify, and romanticize rape and abuse as sexual fantasy or entertainment, no matter the improbability of the animated scene.

BHW - The Brain

The nostalgia

What’s another trait that draws viewers to watch cartoon pornography? Childhood nostalgia.

According to Certified Sex Therapist Melissa Novak, a lot of people’s “first memories are of being turned on by Beauty and the Beast or Snow White.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long to find knockoff animated porn involving your favorite Disney or Cartoon Network characters.

Related: How Many People Are On Porn Sites Right Now? (Hint: It’s A Lot.)

In fact, this very reason is why some kids have stumbled upon cartoon porn online. When cartoons are created for children, and pornographic videos are being produced with their favorite character as the lead, the chances dramatically increase for kids to be exposed.

This is already an issue considering the age of first exposure by 13 years old.

FTND Resources

The facts

The reality is, animated or non-animated, violent or sci-fi fantasy, porn can negatively impact consumers and relationships whether it is live-action or digitally designed.

Related: 20 Must-Know Stats About The Porn Industry And Its Underage Consumers

Animated porn may not be as directly tied to sex trafficking as live action porn is, but the toxic messaging of romanticized abuse and unrealistic expectations for relationships is still the same and can have similar effect on consumers’ brains and even harm their relationships.

Don’t forget that you deserve better than what porn has to offer.

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