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Can You Guess 2018’s Most-Viewed Categories on the Largest Porn Site?

2018 saw an increase in female traffic to the world's largest free porn site, Pornhub, and an overall uptick of over 5 billion more site visits. Dive into these mind-blowing stats and see why this year's top terms are more concerning than ever.

Trigger warning: The following post contains descriptions of porn videos, porn categories, and the name of a popular porn site.

Looking back at 2018 means reviewing how the year shaped us, molded our lives…and influenced the porn habits of billions of people.

That’s right, this post 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. The reason Pornhub is our go-to for studying the porn habits of society is that it’s one of the most popular porn domains on the internet, so sampling people’s habits gives us a pretty good look at where porn consumption is heading, overall.

But why report them at all, if we’re ultimately trying 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. With that said, let’s get started.


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

It’s 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. For example, would you have ever expected that porn involving the video game Fortnite would be some of the most popular in the world in 2018?

Crazy, right? But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves. There’s a lot to unpack in their report, so buckle up.

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 company has released a “year in review” on its 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.)

When 2018 was officially over, Pornhub has finally released its analytics from the year, and, of course, they’re as disturbing as they’ve ever been.

To start off, there were more than 33,500,000,000 site visits to Pornhub in 2018—more than 4 visits to the site per person on Earth—which is more than 5 billion visits more than last year. That’s 13.7 million more visits per day in 2018 than in 2017, a considerable uptick.

Let’s dive deeper into the sheer number of people who visit this mega porn site each year, and the unimaginable amount of content uploaded over the last 300+ days:

Overwhelming, right? That’s right, over 33.5 billion visits in 2018 equates to a daily average of 92 million visitors and at the time of the report being released, Pornhub’s daily visits now exceed 100 million. To put that into perspective, that’s as if the combined populations of Canada, Poland, and Australia all visited Pornhub every day. Un. Real.

So, that’s a lot of visits. But how much content is being watched?

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

Check out what is happening every minute on Pornhub:

Woah, let’s unpack these numbers.

Every sixty seconds, more than 207,000 videos are being watched. That equates to over 12,420,000 videos an hour, and over 298,080,000 videos a day.

But how much time does that equate to? This one really blows us away: every minute, about 10,500 hours of content is being watched. That’s 630,000 hours of content being consumed every hour, and 15,120,000 hours of pornographic videos being consumed every single day.

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

And while the above stats detail the amount of content that was consumed in 2018, let’s take a look at the specifically most searched for content on the site:

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

The problem with these top search terms

After seeing this data, here is what people should be considering: the porn industry has no boundaries when it comes to who they’ll exploit or dehumanize in the name of sexual entertainment. “Hentai,” specifically, capitalizes on illicit animated fantasies involving children, animals, and anything else you can think of. “MILF,” “step mom,” and “mom” searches play on “fauxcest” fantasies—or fantasized incest. And “teen” capitalizes on fantasies involving underage teens, often in situations where they’re taken advantage of or pressured to do humiliating sex acts.

In fact, if something is considered taboo, unacceptable, or off-limits in society, producers are all the more likely to exploit it for shock factor and sell it as a sexual “fantasy.” This is a problem because porn isn’t exactly like the movies—producers don’t show things so people can learn, have empathy, be entertained by a solid joke or humorous situation, or gain an understanding of a complex issue through scripts and storytelling. Porn does something entirely different.

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Porn glorifies the abuse, degradation, and dehumanization of those on screen by specifically intending their humiliation to be sexual entertainment. These fetishized situations in porn have no regard for the dignity or humanity of any one person depicted. Porn intentionally makes objects out of people, some of whom are underage, or marginalized because of their sexual identity—just take a look at the top term, and the gaining popularity of “trans” porn.

Often, the category of “trans” porn is dedicated to the abuse, degradation, and humiliation of transgender persons. Many of these videos are clearly focused on “punishing” and humiliating them with forced, painful sex acts, often using highly derogatory terms to further dehumanize them. How is this acceptable?

Related: 5 Marginalized Groups Of People Porn Has No Problem Fetishizing

And the top term, “lesbian,” doesn’t surprise us but it is concerning.

The most popular porn genre for more than a few years has actually been “lesbian” porn. Exaggerated and inaccurate caricatures of female same-sex relationships are the focus of an objectifying fantasy in these videos, often produced for a male audience. These “girl on girl” scenes aim to fetishize a sexual orientation and play up stereotypes that often misrepresent what lesbian relationships are truly like.

As we’ve noted in previous posts, women do look up “lesbian porn” as well as male consumers. The theory behind this trend is that even if the content was not necessarily produced with a female audience in mind, often “girl on girl” content is less aggressive.

RelatedUnderstanding The Disturbing Rise In Popularity Of Refugee-Themed Abuse Porn

But what do real lesbians think about “lesbian porn?” Buzzfeed did a video on this and had women who are lesbians critique “girl on girl” porn. While it’s too triggering to embed here, it shows something important about this content: it’s not made by lesbians, for lesbians. It’s made specifically for heterosexual men.

“This is definitely porn for men,” one of the women in the Buzzfeed video says.

“It’s not real, it’s not honest, it’s not for the people it’s ‘apparently’ for. It sucked,” another one of the Buzzfeed video participants said.

For an industry that often markets itself as being LGBTQ+ friendly, the specific use of these derogatory terms and exploiting and fetishizing LGBTQ+ relationships make it clear that nothing is off-limits or too far for porn producers.

And speaking of women…more women watch Pornhub

The 2018 Pornhub report also shows the proportion of female visitors grew to 29%, an increase of 3 percentage points over 2017.

So what can we learn from these stats? Well, porn is absolutely not just a “guy thing.” When we talk about porn becoming normalized and popular in society, we’re talking about for everyone, not just guys. While pornography consumption for young adults has been repeatedly reported to be approximately 75% for men and 30% for women, these rates are considerably lower than those found in this study.

In fact, a new study just came out that examined young adult regular consumption rates, with male rates around 91–99%, and women’s consumption varying more widely 60–92%.

What did we learn?

It’s all too clear that porn is more accessible, more common, and more mainstream than ever before, and there’s no real end in sight.

But fortunately for us, information about the harmful effects of porn has also never been more accessible or mainstream than ever before. So while people are logging on to Pornhub and adding daily to their 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 years, 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?

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