What Was Popular In Porn In 2016?

Pornhub recently released their annual year-in-review of users’ viewing habits and, as usual, the results were fascinating. Among other things, they reported that nearly 92 billion videos were viewed on their site in 2016 (to put that number in context, that’s the equivalent of each person on earth watching 12.5 videos). In addition, the most popular porn-watching times were between 11 PM to 1:00 AM (or “fappy hour,” as they call it), and the most popular search term overall on the site was “lesbian” (for the second year in a row) You can check out the full report here in all its glory, but if you’re just after a few highlights, here are some of the things that stood out to me during my review of the data.

· MILF was the 3rd most popular search term on the site in 2016. It moved up a couple of spots from the previous year, too, suggesting that this genre is growing in popularity. So why are MILFs in such great demand in the world of porn? Research suggests that it may stem from heterosexual men being drawn to powerful and confident women. Learn more about the appeal of the MILF and the psychology behind it here.

· In 2015, the search term that had the biggest year over year gain was “giantess.” Giantess porn remained, well, “big” in 2016, too, especially in the UK, where it earned the distinction of being the top gaining search term (it was also among the top gaining search terms in Italy and Poland). Someone who is attracted to giant persons or creatures is known as a macrophile, a term that literally means “lover of large.” To learn more about the psychological origins of macrophilia, see here.

· Pokémon-themed porn was massively popular last year, thanks to the summer Pokémon GO fad. In fact, Pokémon actually made the top ten overall search terms in several countries, including Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. In case you’re curious, the most popular characters in Poké-porn were (in order): Misty, Ash, and Pikachu. The Pokémon GO craze of 2016 had effects on our sex lives that went well beyond porn viewing, though. For a look at some of the other sexual implications of this app (including effects on sex laws), check out this article.

· Overall, 26% of visitors to Pornhub in 2016 were female. This number isn’t surprising, considering that virtually all porn research has found that women report watching less porn than men. Be cautious in the conclusions you draw about this gender difference, though. Some might take it as evidence that women just aren’t very visually aroused; however, research does not support this idea. Multiple studies have found that women are very much responsive to visual sexual stimuli. Instead, the gender disparity in porn viewership may have more to do with the fact that most porn is produced by men, for men. Given that men’s sexual fantasies tend to be a bit different from women’s in several ways, it makes sense that there probably isn’t going to be as much porn out there that appeals to women. This insight helps to explain why “female friendly” was one of the most-watched categories among female visitors to Pornhub—women seem to be looking for something different from most of the mass-produced, male-oriented stuff.

· Speaking of women’s porn preferences, the top search term and category among women was “lesbian.” However, it’s unlikely that this is because most of the women who frequent Pornhub are lesbians themselves. Instead, it may stem, in part, from the fact that women tend to have a more fluid sexuality than men. For instance, research has found that, among persons who identify as heterosexual, women are more likely than men to report having experienced same-sex attraction and having masturbated to same-sex fantasies. Another factor that might contribute to women’s interest in lesbian porn is that it may fall under the “female friendly” banner. Yet one other possibility is that women’s interest in lesbian porn stems from the same reasons a lot of women are drawn to gay male porn: perhaps the actors seem to be enjoying the sex more, the pleasure appears more genuine, and/or the production value or plotlines are better. This reasoning makes sense in light of research showing that most women who watch gay male porn also watch lesbian porn.

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