How People’s Porn Searches Change on Halloween

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Our sexual interests are seasonal. For example, if you look at trends in porn searches throughout the year, you’ll see that they follow a predictable pattern of changes that reflect seasonal events and holidays. For example, there’s a reliable peak in porn searches related to Santa Claus each year around the Christmas holiday. Similarly, porn searches related to passion, love, and romance increase each year on Valentine’s Day. 

So given that Halloween is happening this week, should we expect a peak in searches for spooky porn?

According to data from the popular adult tube site Pornhub, searches containing “Halloween” spike more than 1100% on October 31. They start to creep up in the days leading to Halloween and stay higher than average during the first week of November. Examples of some of the more popular searches that rise significantly at this time of year are “Halloween sex,” “trick or treat,” “costume fantasy,” “Halloween lesbian,” and “Halloween orgy.”  

At the same time, a number of spooky searches increase, too. For example, people are more likely to search for “scary,” “zombie,” and “vampire” porn on October 31 (all of these searches rise by a somewhat smaller margin of about 200%).

One caveat to these findings is that Pornhub doesn’t report what the average number of daily searches is for each of these terms—they just report the percentage increase in searches above the daily average. If the average level of these searches is very low to begin with, then even an increase of more than 1000% might not amount to that many searches. So while the data reported here are fascinating, we should be cautious about concluding that Halloween porn searches are widespread until we know more.

So why do patterns of porn searches appear to change throughout the year in ways that are tied to major events and holidays anyway? 

Perhaps the most compelling explanation is that people tend to grow tired of sexual routines—we need continued sexual novelty in order to keep our libidos revved up. Just consider that if people watch the same porn clip every day for a week, they tend to become less aroused with each viewing; however, when people are shown varied erotic clips instead, they tend to maintain higher levels of arousal over time [1].  

This phenomenon is known as the Coolidge Effect and it helps to explain not just why porn searches vary so much throughout the year, but also why novelty is one of the keys to maintaining passion in a long-term relationship

The Coolidge Effect isn’t the only factor at play in terms of why so many people find Halloween-themed porn to be arousing, though. For example, a lot of Halloween porn features BDSM themes, such as anything involving vampires (which, incidentally, are the most fantasized about mythical creatures across gender and sexual orientation).  

Given that BDSM is one of the most popular sexual fantasies out there, it makes sense that some people would be drawn to porn featuring Halloween themes. 

In short, if you enjoy some Halloween porn this week, you’re apparently not alone. And if seasonal porn is your thing, then it probably won’t be long until you move onto Thanksgiving and Santa porn!

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[1] Kelley, K., & Musialowski, D. (1986). Repeated exposure to sexually explicit stimuli: Novelty, sex, and sexual attitudes. Archives of Sexual Behavior15, 487-498.

Image Credit: 123RF/lightfieldstudios

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