A recent examination of nearly 400 million internet searches via Dogpile.com, a meta-engine that combines search results from Google, Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines, found that 13.75% of all internet searches are overtly sexual in nature. Color me unsurprised. Even without solid math skills, I can tell you from this research that a whole lot of people are looking at a whole lot of pornography.

But who is looking, and what are they looking at?

As many readers probably already know, internet search engines keep track of who we are and what we look at online. They do this for two primary reasons. First, they use our data to refine the algorithms that can make our searches more efficient over time. Second, search engines collect the information and sell it to marketers. Marketers then use it to put the ‘right’ product ads in front of us.

A Leg Up for Social Scientists

An unintended benefit of this process is that social scientists can take an unfiltered look (in a general way) at our lives – including our sex lives. So now, instead of trying to get people to respond honestly to sexual surveys (which they’re usually unwilling to do, given the amount of social and personal shame that surrounds sexual behaviors), we can simply take a collective look at the search histories of a large number of people, as Ogas and Gaddam did. In fact, researching a large quantity of internet searches as Ogas and Gaddam did is probably the best (and perhaps only) way to get an accurate read on our sexual interests.

Generalizations about the Behaviors of the Sexes

Without question, each person’s sexual arousal template is unique, evolved from genetics, early attachment, and a variety of social, cultural, and environmental factors. That said, some general conclusions can be drawn. One of those conclusions is that males and females view sex and relationships very differently. For starters, males seem to be more interested in sexual body parts and purely sexual behaviors. On the other hand, females seem to be more interested in imagery and stories that provide at least a hint of emotional intimacy and connection. Sure, there are plenty of men who like a little romance with their porn. Moreover, plenty of women prefer the sex and just the sex, thank you very much. But in general, there are some measurable differences between the sexes when it comes to porn.

Digging a little deeper, it appears that most people have a ‘type’ that they look for.

With men, age-related descriptors are the most common internet search variant, with 16 and 18 being the most popular ages. Other popular ages? Well, hold on to your seats, because 50, 40, and 60 are next in line, followed by 17, 30, 70, 20, and 19. That’s right, folks, more men are searching for granny porn than college co-eds.

Tube Sites and Search Terms

So, while younger women are popular pornographic search targets, so are Cougars, MILFs, and GILFs. This fact is probably most apparent on ‘tube sites,’ which are, if you’re unaware, the pornographic equivalent of YouTube. These sites allow users to post whatever pornographic imagery they’d like, and visitors can enjoy these videos free of charge. (Instead of making money from subscriptions, as porn sites did a few years back, tube sites earn money from advertisers, and by pushing users toward pay-per-view ‘live porn’ with camgirls/boys.) According to Ogas and Gaddam, the most popular tube site is called PornHub. The most popular search term on that site is… wait for it…“Mom.” (I assume that most of these searchers look for sexual imagery of someone else’s mom rather than their own.)

Skinny or Curvy?

Another somewhat surprising finding in Ogas and Gaddam’s research is that willowy thin women are typically not what heterosexual men are searching for. This finding stands in stark contrast with what fashion magazines might have us believe. In fact, for every ‘skinny’ search there are three ‘chubby’ searches. Furthermore, BBW sites – with ‘BBW’ standing for Big Beautiful Women – are incredibly popular. So it seems the cambers of femininity are attractive to a lot of men. Sure, wafer-thin, flat-chested women certainly have their online fans (especially in the fashion industry). But in general, it’s curvier women who are the biggest draw.

In a future post to this site, I will discuss females and their use of pornography. In the interim, if you or someone you know is struggling with pornography, free help can be found on the SexandRelationshipHealing.com website, and professional treatment can be found at Seeking Integrity: Los Angeles.

Author

Robert Weiss PhD, LCSW is Chief Clinical Officer of Seeking Integrity LLC, a unified group of online and real-world communities helping people to heal from intimacy disorders like compulsive sexual behavior and related drug abuse. As Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Rob led the development and implementation of Seeking Integrity’s residential treatment programming and serves as an integral part of the treatment team. He is the author of ten books on sexuality, technology, and intimate relationships, including Sex Addiction 101, Out of the Doghouse, and Prodependence. His Sex, Love, and Addiction Podcast is currently in the Top 10 of US Addiction-Health Podcasts. Dr. Rob hosts a no-cost weekly Sex and Intimacy Q&A on Seeking Integrity’s self-help website, SexandRelationshipHealing.com (@SexandHealing). The Sex and Relationship Healing website provides free information for addicts, partners of addicts, and therapists dealing with sex addiction, porn addiction, and substance abuse issues. Dr. Rob can be contacted via Seeking Integrity.com and SexandRelationshipHealing.com. All his writing is available on Amazon, while he can also be found on Twitter (@RobWeissMSW), on LinkedIn (Robert Weiss LCSW), and on Facebook (Rob Weiss MSW).

2 Comments

  1. Starlette Singleton Reply

    very interesting to type the least, but i really enjoyed this read. TY

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