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Posted on 18 Jun 2020
As it’s our expertise, we thought we’d give you some facts and figures about the burgeoning adult industry. Once confined to the shadowy underworld, it is now considered fairly mainstream with many of its most famous performers moving on to have lucrative and extremely successful acting or music careers. Sex toys are now so commonplace in modern society that they can be bought in supermarkets. This signifies a profound change in the public’s attitude toward sex and sexuality. Where the British used to be known for being rather coy about matters relating to this part of life, many people are remarkably open about their sexuality and preferences in the bedroom. Whether the prevalence of social media is responsible for the continued blurring of the once well defined line between public and private life remains to be seen, but something has most definitely altered. Almost everywhere you look, adults are talking about sex, from Men’s Health to Mumsnet, there are daily discussions about every aspect of human sexuality.
Here are some statistics about the adult industry that you may not know…
As one of the most lucrative industries in the world, pornography generates a phenomenal amount of money for some of the people who work within it. As with any large industry, the porn business pays a huge amount of tax and helps to support the economy. According to StatisticBrain.com, as of 2017, the industry pays $36 million in tax every year.
Although many performers and producers are suffering due to the rampant use of tube sites such as Pornhub, Youporn and Xvideos, business is still booming with recorded sales of DVDs and other hard copy formats still at $3.62 billion each year. That’s a staggering amount of money for any industry, let alone one that is often hampered by strict government rules and guidelines in terms of the content that is permitted and where it can be sold. Online content does pretty well, too with $2.84 billion recorded sales in just one year. A surprising figure is the number of sales relating to Cable/PPV/In-Room videos in hotels and similar establishments. A massive $2.19 billion was generated by this kind of material. This figure also incorporates sales of phone sex and erotic chat. Those that like their adult entertainment up close and personal in lap dancing and strip clubs contributed an eye watering $2 billion and the sales of novelties and magazines (think phallic lollypops and dirty greeting cards) accounted for $1.73 billion and $0.95 billion respectively.
The most popular way to access adult material is via the internet and although the figure has significantly reduced in recent years, around 60% of all websites online are considered to be adult in nature. According to statisticbrain.com the vast majority of users are male accounting for 77% of all visitors to adult sites. That means that around a third of women use adult websites, accounting for 33% of traffic. Attitudes are certainly changing and beginning to move away from the puritanical and rather judgemental attitude held by some people as 38% of all adults now believe that looking at nude pictures is “morally acceptable.” The average age of a male user who regularly accesses adult material is 41 and their average income is reported to be $60,000. 46% of these users stated that they were married, meaning that the remaining 54% are either single or in unmarried partnerships.
Now that most sites are optimised for mobile content, the browsing habits of the porn viewing public have changed slightly, with 75% of users preferring to browse porn on their phone, rather than using their laptop or desktop PC. This is a massive increase in just ten years, which is a testament to the speed that technological developments take place and indeed, take hold of the market they relate to. In 2008, just 1% of all users accessed Pornhub on their mobile device. This figure had rocketed to 56% by 2014 and looks set to continue rising as mobile technology develops even further.
The adult industry giant has spent some serious time and effort collecting and collating their statistics and they have even managed to break down their statistics on mobile users even further. Apparently, users of Android devices outrank iPhones and other Apple products with 53% of Pornhub users using Google’s own IOS driven phones to engage in some self pleasure and 47% of users preferring to use the ever popular Californian technology developers.
It’s no secret that there’s more adult content out there than ever before. When Pornhub conducted their survey in 2007, 134 hours of content had been uploaded to the site. This may sound like a lot, but compared to today’s levels, it’s a tiny percentage. The last survey established that the site now hosts over 1.5 million hours of video, which amounts to a staggering 173 years of content. This figure will no doubt continue to rise, which is great news for single people and those who enjoy the more adult side of internet. In a quote first published on the Daily Mail’s website, a Pornhub executive said: “The first telegraph message was sent on May 24, 1844,’ says the survey. ‘If you started watching PornHub then, you would still be watching new videos today.” Just let that sink in for a second.
Although the way people access pornography might have changed significantly, the types that people search for have remained largely the same over the past decade or so. Videos tagged with titles relating to Milf, Amateurs and Lesbians remain the most popular three categories by far. In 2007, Amateur was the most searched term on the site and this remained the case until 2011 when “Teen” took the top spot. It seems people’s tastes have matured somewhat in recent years as “Milf” was the most searched term for three years running from 2012 onwards. Most recently, the girls are the ones ruling the roost with “Lesbian” appearing at the top of the table for most search terms since 2015 until now.
You would be forgiven for thinking that with all of that content available, much of it totally free, people would be using the site for longer periods of time than ever before. In fact, the reverse is true and Pornhub have seen a profound decrease in the average time spent watching videos on their site. Ten years ago, the average time spent on the world’s most popular tube site was 13 minutes and 46 seconds. By 2012, this had dropped to just 8 minutes and 58 seconds. In 2017, this figure has increased very slightly to 9 minutes and 46 seconds. Still a full three minutes less than the statistic recorded in 2007. The explanation for this change has been attributed to a number of factors but one of the most significant ones was the dramatic decrease in buffering or loading times for videos. This means that in 2007, people may not have been spending their time viewing the material, but waiting for it to load.
This is a particularly interesting area to think about. Some people like the thrill of seeing something they could never hope to do themselves due to mobility problems or other health issues, others like to watch with their partner to get them in the mood. According to statisticsbrain.com 72% of people use pornography as a masturbation aid whereas 69% of people use it as a tool to provoke arousal in themselves or other people. A whopping 54% of people, that’s more than half, use pornography to satisfy their curiosity and 43% watch it to fantasize about situations or sex acts that they like to think about, but would not like to experience in real life. Finally, 38% of people use it just to distract themselves from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
So far, we’ve talked a lot about the people who use pornography, but we haven’t really mentioned much about those who perform in it. A little known fact is that every professional porn performer who engages in sex acts with other people, whether protected or unprotected, must take a sexual health test every 28 days. Many of the biggest studios require a minimum of three months’ worth of clean test results before they allow performers to work with them. There’s a good reason for this as a shocking one in four adult industry performers have suffered from a sexually transmitted infection such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia. Unfortunately, despite fairly stringent regulations, more serious infections such as H.I.V and Hepatitis do still happen, causing chaos and mass shutdowns across the whole industry. Even though this kind of work still carries a substantial risk of infection, according to L.A Weekly, as of 2016, 69% of performers they surveyed had never used a condom or any kind of protection while on set.
Attitudes to sex and sexually have changed profoundly, especially in the UK, where phrases like “lie back and think of England” were commonplace until quite recently. Thankfully, most of us have thrown off these repressive and frankly, quite worrying old attitudes and embraced the many facets of human sexuality. According to the daily express, more than half of the people they surveyed admitted to owning at least one sex toy. 48% or almost three million of the people questioned said they owned a vibrator, dildo or other type of adult toy. Of those surveyed, more than one third were women and perhaps surprisingly for some, the ages people are most likely to buy or use a sex toy were between 45 and 54 years of age.