This Is the Porn That People Search for at Different Ages

This Is the Porn That People Search for at Different Ages
Source: Getty
Source: Getty

"Age ain't nothing but a number." That's always been the saying, but when it comes to our porn habits, age can make a difference for what we're getting off to.

The stats: In collaboration with Vocativ, Pornhub recently broke down the top porn preferences for every age bracket, from 18 to 65-plus. The findings? Turns out our dirtiest searches might be as influenced by our birth year as by our individual turns-ons.

As studies show, our interests in porn not only reflect our personal biology but the way we're socialized. Today, that means the shift from porn as a sinful, shameful habit to a common practice of men and women alike. The best example of this is the rise in female viewership: In 2010, the Pew Research Center found  that only 2% of porn viewers were women, according to Slate. But that number jumped up to 8% women in 2013, and it's likely still increasing.

While 77% of Pornhub viewers are male, the highest proportion of women watching occurs in the 18-to-24 bracket. That age group accounts for 31% of all site users, while users age 25 to 34 are right behind them. The typical Pornhub user averages 35.3 years old. 

Some fascinations never change: How do all these young viewers' interests differ from their, er, parents and grandparents? Some of the greatest porn standbys hold across almost all age brackets: MILFs, teens, "big dicks" and girl on girl. That might reflect  cultural obsessions with youth, motherhood and large male anatomy, fixations that seem rather timeless.

Source: Pornhub

However, Pornhub found that "as people age, they are more and more interested in content that is more representative of who they are," as the site writes on its Insights blog. That could be why squirting might stop making appearances in the top ten lists of people past 35 to 44 — it's only come to prominence in the last two decades. Or why "massage" search terms become increasingly popular as we get older, "coinciding with increased likeliness of joint-related aches and pains," Pornhub notes.

The real generational divides emerge when we zero in on each age group and compare the biggest differences in search terms for each. 

Source: Pornhub

Porn interests reflect real life: These differences suggest that what we seek in porn reflects our own real-life interests and even our own current experiences. Viewers 18 to 34 are most likely to search for exact porn star names, like Asa Akira to Sasha Grey, the stars who often post on social media to their fans or whose names turn up in headlines — a kind of accessibility that is appealing to their younger fanbase. The reliance on certain stars might also reflect the fact that, new to sex yet exposed to literally millions of porn sites, young people might not know yet exactly what kind of sex or kinks they want.

As Debby Herbenick, associate professor at Indiana University, previously told Mic, "Many people start looking at porn at very young ages, 12 to 15, and don't necessarily have much of an idea at those ages about what sex, relationships and intimacy are all about."

For the older set, on the other hand, search terms seem to focus on real-life experience. Popular searches like  "wife swaps" and "swingers" among the 35-to-54 bracket indicate a middle-aged interest in marriage-oriented porn. 

Viewers over 55 also want something that reflects real life, although even less based in fantasy. "Searches like 'very very old granny,' 'soft,' 'hairy pussy' and 'hairy' showing significantly more popularity here again indicates that older people are more drawn to visual representations of bodies that are more like their own," explains Pornhub. The oldest porn watchers among us embrace searches that reflect not only their older age, but perhaps also the fact that they didn't come of age in the Internet era. 

Our porn-viewing futures: That isn't to say our sexual preferences are carved in stone from day one — stats like these could easily change as the Internet porn generation ages out of their 20s and even more nimble searchers replace them. But even so, there's no arguing that what we watch onscreen is distinct from what we do and want in real life.

Plus, while younger generations are the most enthusiastic porn fans, the data also shows that the older crowd spend the most time on the site (about 10 minutes per use). There's hope for retirement.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Kate Hakala

Kate is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Mic. A former editor of Nerve, her writing has also appeared in the The New York Times, Playboy, Refinery29, Salon, and The Daily Dot. On most days she is thinking of Louis C.K.

MORE FROM

The 5 major people Donald Trump fired since taking office

Reince Priebus is just the latest high-profile person to be fired by Trump.

How brands battle for creativity and authenticity

In the age of call-out culture and brand boycotts, how can brands get it right the first time?

While You Weren’t Looking: 5 stories free from “skinny repeals” and the Mooch’s “colorful language”

Five stories you may have missed while trying to keep up with a chaotic news week.

In the shadow of Brooklyn’s luxury apartments, “canners” form a tight-knit community

For many lower income people in New York City, canning can be a safe and legal way to earn a living.

A Steve Bannon propagandist is turning the alt-right’s antihero Based Stick Man into a comic book

"We’re never going to change the culture from Washington. We’re going to do it from comics, from movies.”

NBC News chief wanted to dial back MSNBC's liberal identity. Then Trump got elected.

Some insiders say MSNBC is having an identity crisis — but the channel is having its best ratings year ever.

The 5 major people Donald Trump fired since taking office

Reince Priebus is just the latest high-profile person to be fired by Trump.

How brands battle for creativity and authenticity

In the age of call-out culture and brand boycotts, how can brands get it right the first time?

While You Weren’t Looking: 5 stories free from “skinny repeals” and the Mooch’s “colorful language”

Five stories you may have missed while trying to keep up with a chaotic news week.

In the shadow of Brooklyn’s luxury apartments, “canners” form a tight-knit community

For many lower income people in New York City, canning can be a safe and legal way to earn a living.

A Steve Bannon propagandist is turning the alt-right’s antihero Based Stick Man into a comic book

"We’re never going to change the culture from Washington. We’re going to do it from comics, from movies.”

NBC News chief wanted to dial back MSNBC's liberal identity. Then Trump got elected.

Some insiders say MSNBC is having an identity crisis — but the channel is having its best ratings year ever.