Health

Here's the Most Popular Porn in Each State

March 2nd 2016

By:
Alex Mierjeski
Kyle Jaeger

Porn preferences vary from state to state, but data from Pornhub and Vocativ reveal apparent patterns in how different regions of the U.S. search for porn online. After analyzing the most searched terms on the popular porn site during the first month of 2016, Pornhub produced a map with insights into American porn habits.

Here are the most-searched porn terms in the U.S.

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While much of the West, Midwest, and East Coast seems to favor lesbian porn, according to PornHub data, the rest of the U.S. is notably diverse. For several northern states — Wyoming, Montana, Minnesota, Ohio, and Maine — the most-searched porn term was "step sister." In Alaska, Washington, Kentucky, and New Hampshire, "step mom" got the most searches.

What Americans search for privately could be reflective of deeply held desires that run contrary to their publicly stated belief systems, according to Shira Tarrant, a professor of women's, gender, and sexuality studies at the California State University, Long Beach.

"I think it's a combination of regional taboo, which makes things sexy when you're not supposed to or you're not allowed to, and a rhetoric and reality gap where people's public politics or stated religious morals means that they have to be secretive about their desire or it makes their desire sexier," Tarrant told ATTN: in a phone interview.

People who opt for animated porn are concentrated in Nebraska, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Vermont, where "cartoon" is the most-searched term — a trend Tarrant could not explain. And in southern states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia, "ebony" and "black" are the most popular searches — which Pornhub points out might be because those states have a large proportion of Black residents.


via giphy.com

But according to Tarrant, that explanation is suspect given global trends that suggest minorities are sexualized in porn viewing habits. "It could also be a measure of racism and taboo, because things that are taboo are more sexy," she said.

Here are the most viewed porn categories in the U.S.

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In the case of lesbian porn, which is overwhelmingly the most popular search term in the U.S., it is worth noting that both men and women — gay and straight — seem to find that category appealing. The lesbian category on Pornhub is the most commonly browsed by women, The Daily Dot reports, and since analysts found that approximately one in three adults searching for porn online is female, that could explain why it has such widespread popularity.

Tarrant said that because PornHub is just one of many online porn resources, the site's analysis should not be the end-all-be-all of porn viewership trends — especially considering how "mainstream" the search terms appear to be. "These measurements are, in part, really a measure of how things are tagged and keyworded," Tarrant said, adding that nuanced searches ("authentic female orgasm or double cunnilingus") wouldn't necessarily show up in trend maps because videos aren't tagged as such.

To get a sense of how specific, and in in many cases NSFW, porn searches can be, take a look at PornMD's live ticker of online porn searches.

"It could be a measurement of the keywording instead of what's actually inside people's heads," she said.

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