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How Has Porn Changed in the Last 10 Years?

By March 22, 2019 No Comments

In 2009, a group of college friends came together after discovering research behind how porn affects real people’s lives, and Fight the New Drug was born.

Their vision sparked the beginning of a worldwide movement, and now millions of Fighters across the globe are raising awareness about the harms of porn.

Related: 10 Years Of Fighting For Love: 10 Fight The New Drug Milestones Since We Started

While what we fight for is fundamentally the same today, we’ve continued to learn and evolve as the scope of what we’re fighting against has changed pretty dramatically with time and technology.

So how is porn different from what we were dealing with ten years ago, and why does this matter in the fight against its harms?

Then and now: porn is different today than it was a decade ago

You may have heard us say the phrase that porn is more accessible, affordable, and anonymous today than at any other time in history—but what does that mean, exactly?

Well, the internet has come a long way over the last decade, and that means porn has, too.

Related: How Porn Evolved With Tech To Be More Accessible, Affordable, And Aggressive

In the early 2000’s, people typically accessed the internet from a stationary, desktop computer. But in 2007, two events opened the floodgate for easy access to free porn on a large scale: the release of the iPhone and PornHub’s official launch. Just 7 months later, PornHub’s site had already reached 1 million daily visits.

By 2008, about 99% of consumers accessed porn from a laptop, according to main porn sites’ analytics, and just 1% tuned in from a mobile device. However, smartphones were quickly gaining traction, and PornHub launched its mobile site that same year.

By 2010, more than 100,000 videos had been uploaded to PornHub alone, and the amount of free content available continued to increase exponentially. As of 2018, nearly 5 million videos have been uploaded—that’s 1 million hours or 115 years of video. The site also received 33.5 billion visits in 2018—5 billion more than the previous year.

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

The way people consume porn has changed, too. Today, about 77% of people own a smartphone and about 75% of consumers watch porn on their phone.

In 2007, the average consumer spent about 13 minutes per session on a porn site. Today it’s dropped to about 9 minutes per session—likely due to faster load times. Today, people can sneak in a quick video from anywhere—even in public places like airplanes, libraries, restaurants, or at work—which can mean shorter sessions, but more frequent visits.

The increased accessibility of free online porn on a variety of mobile devices has also contributed to kids being exposed to porn earlier in life. Today, the average age of first exposure has dropped to about 9 years old, and 1 in 10 visitors to graphic porn sites are under the age of 10.

Related: Here’s The Shocking Percentage Of 12-Year-Olds Who Admit They Struggle With Porn

Plus, people no longer have to seek out a porn website to access content. Many are exposed—often accidentally—via social media platforms or an innocent Google search, even on reportedly “safe” wifi networks like school laptops and tablets.

Classic PKL

The evolution of mainstream porn

Because consuming porn is an escalating behavior, this massive increase in content and consumers over the last ten years has also led to a demand for more extreme content to keep consumers clicking—at least in the short-term.

The mainstream porn of today normalizes behaviors and fantasies that are not acceptable in real life—rape, incest, violence, and a variety of risky sexual behaviors, just to name a few. If it exists, there is porn of it, and the porn industry has proven there’s no limit to what or who they’ll exploit for more views.

Related: Sex Sells, But In Today’s Porn Culture, Objectification And Dehumanization Sell More

A phenomenon of “made-to-order” porn is also widely available today with porn performers taking specific requests. Consumers can also find faked porn videos with virtually anyone’s face—from a favorite celebrity to an ex-girlfriend—digitally pasted onto existing pornographic content.

Technological advances in artificial intelligence bring porn fantasies to life for consumers in a variety of ways, like virtual reality experiences, live interactive webcamming, and fully customizable sex dollseven of children.

Aside from all of the sophisticated technologies of today that either weren’t available at all or at least weren’t mainstream a decade ago, the growth of the online porn industry and its “free content” business model has paved the way for a boom in amateur porn.

Related: How Is The Porn Industry’s Business Model So Successful?

In the early 2000s, the majority of porn sites were subscription-based, meaning consumers had to pay for the videos they watched. But as smartphones and free video sharing platforms like YouTube came on the scene around 2005—becoming more mainstream around 2009the porn industry followed suit by creating free “tube” sites.

These massive databases of free videos encouraged the creation of low-budget amateur porn videos, and pressure to perform more extreme acts for higher pay and to stay “relevant” to consumers.

Today, just about anyone can create and upload images or videos of themselves or someone else. There’s even an entire genre of revenge porn where private content—often obtained through sexting—is released of someone without their consent.

People Are Not Products - White

The impact of a “pornified” society

Today, porn is mainstream in popular culture and the line between the two is becoming blurrier, especially given that PornHub is trying to become a household name by breaking into the music and fashion industries. This is made easier by porn’s acceptance—for example, one recent study shows that about half of adults think that violent porn is acceptable.

Related: Porn & Pop Culture: How Society Is Becoming More “Pornified”

But the rise in porn over the last decade has also led to more research on a variety of phenomenons confirming its harms to society—like its role in child-on-child sex crimes, increased cases of Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction, decreased empathy for sexual assault victims, increased rates of compulsive porn use, and porn’s direct link to sex trafficking and exploitation.

People are noticing the toll porn takes on individuals, relationships, and society, and the field of research confirming its harms is only increasing. The porn industry has grown substantially over the last ten years, but this movement for love has, too.

As millions of Fighters worldwide continue sharing the research behind how porn is harmful, the next decade can be one that changes this issue for the better. Will you join us?

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