There Were 42 Billion Visits To Pornhub Last Year—You Were Probably One Of Them

by Amber Leventry
Originally Published: 
Scary Mommy, PornHub and Malte Mueller/Getty

Pornhub published its 2019 Year in Review and humans are fascinating creatures if nothing else. Before you get your panties in a bunch or clutch your (anal) pearls too tight, porn is not nearly as taboo as you may want people to believe you think it is. There were 42 billion (yes, billion) visits to the free porn site, and I would place money on the probability that you’re one of them.

I am not judging; I have my favorite search words and no shame in self-love. I do need to be better about clearing my history on my phone though. One time I needed help signing into a hotel’s Wi-Fi network, but when I handed my phone to the lovely woman behind the desk so she could open my browser to see where I went wrong, she saw a whole lot of naked people having sex. We had a good laugh and agreed that porn was a healthy release and that our searches were very different.

Newsflash: that incognito tab isn’t keeping any secrets from one of the world’s biggest and most popular porn sites. The folks at Pornhub are watching you watch people get it on. Okay, nobody is actually watching you, but their findings give us insight into human sexuality and desire.

To set the stage for how primitive and, well, unpredictable humans are when it comes to coming, the most searched type of porn on the site was “real” or amateur sex, yet “aliens” was the second most searched word. Yes, alien sex. After the viral Facebook event called “Storming Area 51” invited people to express their interest in knowing what is going on at the secret military base in Nevada, Pornhub saw a spike in searches for alien porn. I didn’t try to find out if this means people want to see aliens having sex with each other or if this is an intergalactic, cross species kind of voyeurism. But does it matter? People are searching for alien porn.

Regarding “real” sex being people’s top search, Dr. Laurie Betito from the Sexual Wellness Center told Pornhub, “It seems that people are looking for more realistic depictions of sex. ‘Real’ people vs. actors seems to be the draw. It’s interesting that more and more people are putting themselves out there as amateurs. The message is: anyone can be a porn star!” I wouldn’t go that far, but seeing people who look more like me is a bit more appealing.

Absolutely not surprising is the fact that the United States is by far the country that brings the most traffic to Pornhub. Japan and the United Kingdom rank #2 and #3. On average, folks in the U.S. are on the site for 10 minutes and 36 seconds. Based on the way the site captures demographics, female viewers (the vagina is implied) watch for 23 seconds longer than male viewers. Wait a second — vaginas need more time and patience to orgasm?! THIS IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION.

Oleg Elkov/Getty

Porn is not just for the youngins, either. 53% of U.S. Pornhub watchers are 35-65+. People over the age of 55 tend to stay 2 minutes longer than younger consumers. I don’t know if this is because older equipment just needs more time to get up and go or because Boomers are still trying to figure out how to insert their VCR tapes into their smartphones.

Most folks (83.7%) watched porn on their mobile devices, specifically their smartphones. Peak viewing hours were between 10:00 PM and midnight, but above average spikes in porn-watching also happened between 3:00 and 6:00 PM with the climax happening at 4:00 in the afternoon. In case you’re wondering what people are doing at work, the answer seems to be jerking off. The highest traffic time was Sunday night at 11:00 PM. Perhaps this was to get nice and relaxed before a long week of work or because those Tinder or Bumble dates didn’t go the way folks had hoped and they need to relieve some sexual tension.

Actually, I take it all back about not trying to find out about the alien stuff. It turns out that even before the Area 51 event, folks were very interested in alien porn. In very particular order, the top three searches were “alien impregnation”, “alien sex”, and “alien hentai,” which from what I can gather is anime pornography. Oh, don’t worry. The usual “alien dildo” and “alien pussy” searches probed their way into the top 20.

As hilariously baffling as is the fact that so many people are into pregnant E.T., a poignant observation is that the “lesbian” category is tops in North, Central, and most of Southern America. It’s the most viewed category in Australia and the second most viewed in the entire world. This could seem like an obvious eye roll because of course men, who make up 68% of Pornhub’s viewers, get off seeing two women getting it on. And yes, most lesbian porn is made for male consumption and is not realistic, but of the 32% of women watching porn their favorite category is “lesbian” too. If we are going for specifics, and why the fuck not at this point, “fingering” and “pussy licking” were very popular subcategories. Whether giving or receiving, cunnilingus is where it’s at—specifically at the clitoris.

Women searched for porn that involved a lot of vagina and very little “big dick” searches. Men’s most popular searches included Japanese, amateur, and MILF. After alien porn these seem pretty bland. But other searches that made the most popular list were “big dick” and “transgender.” These results not only showed the fluidity of women’s sexuality, but also highlight the very well-known existence of hidden internalized homo and transphobia.

Sadly, most societies are not nearly as progressive as they should be in terms of sex and sexuality especially if those fall outside of heteronormative terms. When it comes to LGBTQIA+ searches by those who don’t openly identify as queer or who are questioning their identity, layers of secrecy and shame feed fear and often violence against the queer community.

Talking about what turns us on and what we want without the pressure of society telling us what is “wrong” with us would do all of us a lot of good. I know there is a lot of really awful and illegal pornography on the internet and I am not condoning any of it. This article was meant to normalize some good old fashioned blow jobs by two gay men in the back of taxi. I don’t understand the fantasy of aliens getting it on, but if it is consensual and of age sex, then knock your socks off.

Other fun facts: “Avengers” topped the list of Movie and TV characters searched on Pornhub with more than 13 million views; “Star Wars” searches jumped 748% on May 4th; the government shutdown translated to a daily 6.32% increase to the site; and when Facebook and Instagram had their biggest outage on March 13th, Pornhub’s traffic increased by 19% during peak hours.

We all need to be doing something even if that something is ourselves or a partner.

This article was originally published on