Can Pornhub Be A Mirror Of Society's Secrets And Dark Desires?

lunes, 19 de junio de 2017 9:15

|Maria Isabel Carrasco

It’s no secret that movies and any cultural product reflect the society they come from. Think about classic films, regardless of genre, and you’ll find at least one reference to what was going on at the moment of its production. For instance, several Western film protagonists represented the US president of the time, while the antagonists symbolized the country's threat (Germans during the Second World War or Russia during the Cold War). In the same way, the monsters in horror movies mirrored society’s main concerns. Godzilla, represented the horrors and devastations of the atomic bombs.The vampire craze in the eighties was a reflection of society's anxiety about the fast spread and devastation of AIDS. It’s no surprise to see how humanity’s greatest concerns are portrayed in culture. But nowadays there’s a quite revealing medium that can help us understand our current landscape: Pornhub.

Pornhub mirrors society three

Yes, porn shows not only the most common desires of people, but also everything we tend to hide as a society. For starters, porn is still a taboo subject. While many claim that pornography is a perverted and damaging medium for society, the number of users continues to grow each day. It’s not that movies no longer portray humanity’s concerns, but the porn industry is, by far, the one that reveals a great part of our secrets, desires, preoccupations, and anxieties.

Pornhub mirrors society dance

While many think of porn websites as containers of adult videos, in fact, it’s proven to be one of the most organized and innovative industries in the world. Moreover, many technological inventions and improvements were actually foreseen by this industry. As one of the most visited websites in the world, behind Pornhub there’s a whole system that studies statistics and data. This information, which is carefully analyzed and processed, shows the themes and subjects most people search and, therefore, what the majority likes and is into. In that way, more than just than being a container of videos, it becomes the container of humanity’s desires.

Pornhub mirrors society wood

The statistics software and analyzers study the most commonly searched topics but they also make all sorts of sociological studies. This means that the industry is self-aware of its power as a digital medium and that it’s capable of evolving from within to give its users what they seek. But, besides the statistics, what can porn tell us about ourselves? Desire and Sexuality are part of our basic instincts, but one of the questions raised about human sexuality and its relationship with porn is, what mirrors what? In other words, does porn teaches us how to experience our sexuality or does porn reflect our sexual experiences?

Pornhub mirrors society kink

Pornhub's analytics show that many users engage in certain sexual activities based on what they see on their website. It presents us with alternative activities and sexual behaviors we didn’t know we enjoyed until we saw them on the screen. That means pornography shows us our possible tastes and lets us expand our notion of sexuality. But not only that, these studies made by Pornhub have become a media where all the darkest thoughts of society are freely exposed. For such a long time the theme of race has been an important constant in pornography, it’s even a crucial category of the website. So, people feel free to show all their racial prejudices and stereotypes according to their fantasies.

Pornhub mirrors society orgy

Websites like Pornhub are a media where we can show everything we’re afraid to express in real life. As a result of that, many themes we would consider as perverted are the ones that are more common in the search engines. It becomes a place with no prejudices or incriminatory attitudes, creating a more reliable source to understanding human behavior. For instance, in 2015, the most popular category and themes were related to step-sex relationships: that means sex between in-laws, something quite controversial in real life.

Pornhub mirrors society gray

Finally, other important theme these sites expose is the relevance of political and social events in our understanding of sexuality. While many of the studies made by the company were focused on the United States, it’s also true that as a species we share many similar attitudes. Anything happening in the world is quickly sexualized by users of Pornhub and similar platforms. For instance, there are searches in relation to world events like "Cuba" when Fidel Castro died, "burglar" when Kim Kardashian was robbed in Paris, and, of course, "covfefe," Donald Trump’s famous term.


Sexuality is one of the main drives of human beings. Pornography has always portrayed that basic instinct and has become one of the main means to explore all types of kinks, tastes, and sexual attitudes. If you're interested in the evolution of this industry, check our this article on the history of pornography. We also recommend these seven documentaries that show everything you need to know about porn.

Images by: @pornhub


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Maria Isabel Carrasco

Maria Isabel Carrasco