2016 was a fucked year—in many ways, you could say we fucked ourselves. This is especially true if you take that sentence literally, and, even more so, depressing if you see the overlap between real-world phenomena like Donald Trump and the amount of people actually beating their meat to him and Boris Johnson. (No seriously)
If you're thinking "WTF" about that last sentence, just know that this is all according to the most recent data released by PornHub from their 2016 Year in Review. From virtual reality to Overwatch; Kim K to Ivanka Trump, here's our breakdown of the most surprising and disturbing things people wanked to in 2016.
From Black Mirror to Her, pop culture has largely painted the idea of virtual sex as something taboo—a concept generally devoid of humanity that leaves the participant depressed, drained, and lonely after having climaxed with a non-human entity.
But according to the data the world doesn't agree with that assertion at all. In fact, across the board, searches for virtual reality porn skyrocketed like no other category. With just 1,800 videos available, PornHub has clocked in over 38 million searches in the nine months since they first launched the service, and searches for "VR" rank as the highest-trending search in a number of countries.
"With respect to enjoying the VR content on Pornhub, it seems Asian countries are the ones most interested in VR porn," PornHub said in their report, noting the lack of Western countries that have caught onto the trend.
"China, Thailand and Hong Kong are the top three countries where VR is most searched (proportionate to their total searches) while countries a little over to the west like Egypt and Chile round up the top 10."
Fantasy VS Fiction
Similarly, the introduction of massively-successful multiplayer games like Overwatch and Pokémon Go yielded a sharp increase in the amount of searches for items related to their content. Tracer (a character in Overwatch) was rivaled only by the timeless sexual objectification of Lara Croft—Croft leading Tracer by a mere 77,000 searches overall.
Take out the competition between video game characters and pit them against real life, however, and the story changes. Overwatch, for example, was searched for more frequently than the all-popular, everlasting category of "anal."
"It appears that the trend is moving more toward fantasy than reality. 'Generic' porn is being replaced with fantasy specific or scenario specific scenes. Is this as a result of boredom or curiosity? One thing is certain; the typical 'in-out, in-out' no longer satisfies the masses, who are clearly looking for something different," says Dr. Laurie Betito, a sex therapist quoted in the PornHub report.
On that end, Harley Quinn—after the release of the 'meh' Suicide Squad—was another popular fictional character to wank to this year. In countries like Italy and Russia, Quinn was one of the most frequently searched and quickest-growing terms, and ended up being the most highly-searched movie character all year (almost 7 million searches more than Batman).
Pop Culture and Trump-ism
When it comes to real people, it wasn't porn stars who dominated PornHub's search engines in 2016. Nope. It was celebrities. Kim Kardashian—despite having only released a single sex tape almost a decade ago—was the third-most searched term all year, and her sex tape remains the most-searched PornHub item of all time. The Kardashian empire—including Kylie Jenner—also netted huge search numbers on this front.
Of course, this wouldn't be a 2016 list without Trump. Among all celebrity searches, Donald Trump ranked 4th. Just below Kim K, Kylie Jenner, and Angelina Jolie, and towering above the rest of his family—including his wife Melania and his daughter Ivanka. Interestingly, despite the sexual fascination the internet has for Ivanka, it was her sister Tiffany that got the most attention. Since her father's presidential win, searches for Tiffany Trump increased 2548 percent.
If you go a little bit lower, you'll find Hillary Clinton, Boris Johnson, and Theresa May also in the top 20. Why people want to see old, decrepit politicians (or, more accurately, their pornstar doppelgangers) fuck each other is beyond us, but, hey, we're not judging.
Well, for starters, millennials (obviously) are watching the most porn. Viewers aged 18—34 make up 60 percent of PornHub's viewership, while those who are 65+ make up just 4 percent. Is anyone actually surprised? Also worth noting is the fact that people are watching more frequently on mobile phones than ever before. PornHub says their usage of mobile devices from 2010 is up 1424 percent, which means less spolooge on keyboards, more on touchscreens.
Unsurprisingly, the US makes up the biggest chunk of PornHub's viewership—40 percent of all views go to them. The UK comes second, Canada comes third despite its relatively small population, and India is fourth. Japan—well-known for being pioneers of taboo sex culture and strange dongles for our Johns—jumped up to fifth place this year.
At the very bottom is South Africa, Belgium, Argentina, and Sweden. Why do these countries not watch as much porn? No idea. Maybe they value their socks more than Canadians.
The Gender Gap—What Do Women Watch?
This is where things get slightly *thinking emoji*. Apparently, Brazilian and Filipino women are more open to watching porn than the rest of the top 20—35 percent of PornHub's Brazilian and Philippine viewers are reportedly women. But, more interestingly, Jamaica—not actually in the top 20 list for porn viewership—had the highest rate of female viewers of any country, sitting at the near gender parity of 46 percent.
PornHub also notes that countries like the US, UK, Canada, and Australia—typically at the top of the porn consumption food chain—were ranked among the lowest for sporting female viewers.
But How Long Do They Last?
For some reason that is beyond us, Philippines has been (and was able to remain) the top-ranked country for amount of time spent per session on the site for over a year now. Exactly as they were in 2015, the average session for a Philippine PornHub viewer is user 12 minutes and 45 seconds. This number is crazy for the simple fact that no one even gets close. The next country on the list is South Africa, who bumped their average viewing time up from 10 minutes 34 seconds in 2015, to 10 minutes 45 seconds in 2016. South Africa is followed closely by the US (10:15), Canada (9:49), and Australia (9:44).
Cuba and Mongolia stayed lowkey by continuing their trend of getting on and getting off in under 5 minutes (impressive!). Bolivia clocked in just a bit higher, at 6:41.
Follow Jake Kivanc on Twitter.