PornHub, The Thrilling Conclusion: So What Does This Actually Mean?

Fun fact #1: The literal meaning of the word “pornography” is “to write of harlots”. Never say I never taught you anything!

Over the past six weeks, I’ve trawled – like an arctic explorer – through the depths of internet hell, also known as PornHub. I’ve seen things I’ve never seen before, and have no desire to ever see again. I’ve observed an alien threesome, some incredibly athletic lesbian sex, and even witnessed a woman smearing petroleum jelly over her breasts and somehow managing to keep a straight face.  I have emerged from the other side of these six weeks a changed woman.

Although one of my main aims of this series was, to put it bluntly, make people laugh so hard that they cried, it was my intention from the very start to explore the nature of human sexuality, and why so many people watch porn. If you came here for the lolz, my apologies. This post is going to be more about analysis of porn than anything else, so unless statistics are where you get your kicks, this instalment may not be the prose for you.

You might be wondering: Chesca, what are you doing writing a boring old analysis? What happened to wry yet witty observations of porn?

I bet you were expecting something funny and ultimately trite. And this post will be funny! But trite? Oh, buddy – you thought wrong.

So without further ado, let’s get to it!


1. Statistics

You might have heard of the Rules of the Internet. If you have, then you’ll know Rule 34: If it exists, there’s pornography of it. No exceptions. After my foray into the Deep Dark Web, I’m inclined to agree.

Fun fact #2: Did you know that porn is the most commonly consumed item on the internet? It’s true!

Despite this, however, there is a significant imbalance between male and female viewers. Approximately 23% of PornHub’s viewers are women, whilst almost three quarters are men. On average, 90% of US males have been exposed to porn by the age of 18, and the same goes for 60% of women. Something else to take away from this: the most common category searched on PornHub in 2014 was “Teen”.

Clearly, a vast majority of pornography viewers are male, whilst a significantly smaller demographic are female. We’ll get onto reasons why in a minute. Additionally, many viewers are younger audiences, and indeed, studies have shown that the largest consumers of internet pornography are 12 to 17 year olds. And finally, it’s been proven that addiction to porn is as powerful as the chemical dependency on cocaine.

As Doc Brown would say, Great Scott! (This is getting heavy, Doc…)

So these are the facts. Let’s break this down into something actually understandable.


2. So what’s the deal?

Why so many children watching this stuff? Why so many boys? And why in hell do people enjoy this sort of thing so much? It’s theory time!

When it comes to sex education, many of us are sorely lacking. I was incredibly fortunate to have a mother who happily answered any questions I had about the birds and the bees, leaving me able to go back to reading Harry Potter or whatever I was doing at that age. But let’s be honest, sex ed in most schools just isn’t that great. I left the classroom more confused than when I went in. Is it surprising, then, that so many children resort to the internet in search of answers? In lieu of actually being sat down and taught the whole business properly, many kids simply google “How to have sex” and click on whatever comes up. And the rest, as they say, is (internet) history.

Other theories about the weirdly young age demographic include peer-pressure. No one wants to look like that dweeb who’s only experience with a vagina is their birth (although let’s be honest, this is EVERY secondary school student, no matter what they like to pretend). What better way to look “cultured” than to have the balls to google “boobies” on the school PC when the teacher’s back is turned?

Something that also should be taken into account is the age of consent. No sixteen-year-old planning to have sex is going to dutifully wait until they are 18 to watch porn on the internet. What’s the point of being legally able to have sex if you can’t legally watch other people do it? The logic behind this is flawed to the point of being utterly bizarre.

But what about the gender gap?

Quite a large number of people argue that women have lower libidos, and therefore have less need for porn. I am personally rather fond of the theory that women are more likely to be sexually fluid, and therefore have such great lesbian sex that porn simply pales into comparison. On a similar vein of thought, women are far more likely to identify as asexual than men, and lord knows I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg of the magical world of pornography. It is possible that this affects the overall female demographic.

Naturally, I have my own theories, but these will have to wait until later.

Finally, we come to the addictiveness of sex. I do not claim to experience this – in fact, I personally find sex to be rather boring and repetitive – but I think we can see for ourselves that for other people, this is definitely not the case. The most obvious cause of this is survival: sex is the number one way to ensure the continuation of our species, and naturally a base level of instinct is going to go towards the “time to make babies!” route. Another reason is that, fundamentally, sex feels good. You get all the warm-n-fuzzies after, and all the orgasmic stuff in the middle, and all the… whatever… at the start. I mean, obviously this is nature’s incentive to turn on the baby-makin’ machine, but still. It counts.

Fun fact #3: Did you know that the clitoris is the only organ in the human body with the sole purpose of producing pleasure? No? Well, you do now!

Fun fact #4: The word “clitoris” comes from the Greek word “kleitoriazein“, meaning “to tickle”. Adorable, right?

So we’ve got our theories. But how does all this relate to my great pornathon of 2017? (Note to self: never say that phrase, in any capacity, ever again).

Let’s find out!


3. Observations

As I sat there on my laptop, eating popcorn with the door locked while two people did the horizontal tango onscreen, I noticed something.

No, not just the fact that this was decidedly not how I had expected my life to go. Something else.

On one of the tabs on the left of the screen, there was the option to select what type of porn you wanted to watch: Gay or straight. Thinking that this seemed a little simplistic, I clicked on the “Gay” tab, expecting, naïvely, to find an even mix of same-sex male and female couples. This was not the case. What I found instead was dicks – dicks as far as the eye could see. (It was not a pleasant sight, let me tell you).

So where were the lesbians, you might ask?

Well, funnily enough, they were in the “Straight” section. Confused? So was I.

I thought this through, as I dug through the hellsite that is PornHub (and simultaneously dug my own grave). Why were lesbian women being billed in the straight section, rather than a special “gay women” section, where they clearly belonged, or even in the gay section?

My conclusion: This was never about organising the videos according to sexual preference. This was about catering to either gay or straight men.

Suddenly, it all made sense. There is a gay section on PornHub for the gay men, and a straight section on PornHub for the straight men, but if you’re a straight or LGBT+ woman? You get the scraps in the “For Women” section, which boasts a lowly 5000 videos. Even the so-called “Lesbian” videos are aimed almost solely for the straight male gaze. The whole point of PornHub is that is caters for male sexual appetites, with little thought about what women might want to watch.

I don’t want to shovel yet another spadeful of dirt over my grave by saying “fuck the patriarchy”, but honestly? Fuck the patriarchy.


4. Conclusions

My discovery that on PornHub, women are there to pleasure, rather than be pleasured, thus brings about some inescapable conclusions.

I believe that part of the reason women are less likely to watch porn is not just due to lower libidos or phenomenal lesbian sex (as fun as that sounds), but also because there is so little porn out there that specifically caters to them. It’s no fun trying to get off to two girls having a go when neither of them has short hair and/or flannel, and you know in your heart of hearts that the person this video was really designed for was a man.

For the lesbians, you have two generically attractive young women with long hair and big boobs moaning erotically, their vaginas waxed and their buttocks aimed artistically at the camera. For the straight women, you have a generically attractive woman with long hair and big boobs being pounded into by a largely unattractive bloke, who is usually a decade or so older, and who seems to be under the impression that it is his god-given right to fuck these women into the middle of next week. There’s no niceties, no care, no tenderness; it is all about the man, and what he wants to see.

If you are a gay man, you have no end to male-on-male pornography, with all the dicks you can get your grubby little hands on. If you’re a straight man, then you’re in luck! You can get a straight woman to bang, or a busty woman in very tight leather to dominate you, or even two lovely bisexual ladies who not only have decided that their sole purpose in life is to get you off, but are even willing to get each other off in the name of getting you hard. These women are at your disposal, however you want them, and they are here for your amusement entirely.

Something worth mentioning here: out of everything I watched, the gay men seemed to be the nicest to each other. It was somewhat more… strenuous, it’s true, but on the other hand, there was also a hell of a lot more cuddling/aftercare. With the lesbian you often didn’t even get an orgasm, and in the straight porn the video usually ended when the man finished. I think it’s safe to say that these women are not being viewed as sexual beings in their own right; rather, they are sexual objects there for male gratification rather than their own.

Let’s be honest here, boys and girls: pornography, like so many other things in this society, is a man’s world.

Is this not the sort of thing that was supposed to die with Hugh Hefner? Is this not the sort of heinous discrimination that is perpetrated only by the elite bastards of society?

Oh, my sweet summer child, I think not.

This has been going on since the dawn of time. The Ancient Greeks were convinced that while men could go around having sex with men and women like it was going out of fashion, women had no sex drive and were simply there to be ornaments in the corner of the room. Pornographic woodcuts, when you look at them, follow a similar theme to PornHub’s male-oriented gaze. For the longest time, lesbians were not even thought to exist, because so many men were convinced that just because women hated having sex with them, they hated having sex, period. (Like, nah, mate, you’re just terrible in bed, and your ego is too delicate to admit it).

And even now, in the twenty-first century, you find men who call Mr. Hefner a “legend” and a “lad”, and openly admire him. You find men who jack off to lesbian porn, but still oppose marriage equality. You find men who are fine with their wives kissing another woman, but only if it results in a threesome.

I think that some men have become so used to the porn industry being all about them, that they forget that women in real-life – unlike on PornHub – are not just there for male pleasure. I think that porn has made some men forget that women are people, and not just glorified sex objects.


So on that slightly depressing note, happy new year! We had 2016 (AKA: the great culling of celebrities), we had 2017 (AKA: the destruction of political standards), and now we topple gently into 2018, with tea in our hands and resolutions in our hearts, praying to every deity that we can think of that World War 3 won’t be happening for at least another year.

I’ll be taking a short break to gather my wits (and recover from the horror that was PornHub 2k17: The Endless Hellscape). We will return to regularly scheduled posts on the 18th of January in two weeks time.

Until then!

– Chesca


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