The ways in which porn addiction impacts humanity aren’t easily discernible due to how we talk and think about it.
Most adults are willing to discuss other people’s porn habits but not their own. Some people rarely or never consider how porn addiction affects them as individuals, let alone their relationships or society.
That’s not to say culture can’t or isn’t currently shifting towards more healthy open discussion and less taboo or shaming of the topic. However, pornography statistics have shown an upward trend in consumption since 2008.
Pornography and humanity’s appetite for it aren’t going to stop magically. Still, its impact on you and the people around you can certainly lessen. We’ll establish a base by sharing porn statistics about the size of the industry and consumption.
This article will then present statistics on the scope of porn addiction and how it’s affecting us as humans. The hope is to spark discussions about porn’s negatives, how things don’t have to be this way, and the many benefits of ideas like NoFap.
Breaking that down, this comes to 6 billion visits per month, 200 million per day, 8.3 million per hour, or 138,000 per minute. The average visit spans 6.5 pages and lasts just over 10 minutes.
Pornhub’s popularity has only grown over the years as it is perhaps the most well-known site. Its annual visits more than doubled from 2014-2019.
In a short 13 years smartphones have monopolized PornHub’s traffic totaling 84% of all traffic, with no signs of giving up any growth. Out of all the porn statistics, this one may be individually the most telling of changes in porn habits.
Compare today to 1% via mobile devices in 2008 and 56% via mobile devices in 2014.
In addition to mobile access, it’s more anonymous than ever. With cell networks instead of the family computer, your porn habit can be with you in your pocket anywhere you go.
Not included are tablets, which made up 3-4% of traffic in 2021.
That equals 11,082 hours of porn per minute. If we take this number and expand it to all streaming sites, it equals something like 20 billion hours of porn.
Humans spent over 2 million years watching porn in 2019.
Each day in 2019, 18,900 videos were uploaded to PornHub. That means that every minute, PornHub adds 19 new videos.
That’s 169 years, or two human lifetimes of content.
Out of that, PornHub itself accounted for 25.8% of traffic to Tube sites. The five largest sites monopolize 75% of the traffic.
This seemingly impossible number we get by not limiting the analytics to just the ‘Tube’ sites like PornHub. After all, pornography is much more than just streamed video.
It still ranks #2 for traffic overall, however.
Even though porn sites make up a small portion of the internet, a disproportionate amount of the internet’s traffic is to porn sites.
In terms of content consumed, pornography is a significant part of our culture. Once a porn habit turns into porn dependency, it becomes a part of the daily diet of digital media we take in. As a culture, most of this remains behind closed doors.
An ExaByte (which you may have never heard of) comes after PetaByte, which is after TeraByte. This ridiculous number equals 6,600,000,000 Gigabytes.
That’s nearly a gigabyte of pornography for every human on Earth.
With only 3% of its traffic being to paid content, the cost may seem rather low. But disregarding money, pornography can bankrupt you in many other ways. Mentally, emotionally, and even physically.
As ironic as it sounds, porn can even bankrupt you sexually. You’ll see how as we move now into porn statistics regarding porn addiction.
Self-reported surveys show the highest percentages, with as much as 11% of men at least somewhat agreeing with being porn addicts. As much as 25% of men report problematic porn usage.
Pornography is a trap of instant gratification, usually followed by negative feelings that persist longer than positive ones. And those negative feelings only worsen with sustained usage.
Shame can come from wanting not to consume pornography but still giving in to compulsions.
In our study, one-third of respondents reported feeling guilty for a specific genre. The guilt is presumably due to escalating to more extreme or uncommon porn genres as ‘normal’ content becomes disinteresting. This conflicts with morals or one’s self-image.
Porn Induced Erectile Dysfunction, or PIED, is a prevalent problem for someone dealing with porn addiction. PIED can manifest in multiple ways, but the simplest is a man who is aroused by pornography but struggles with real-world intercourse.
The brain becomes conditioned to the process called ‘PMO’ or Porn, Masturbation, Orgasm. PMO becomes what is associated with sexual pleasure, and natural intercourse becomes foreign or unrelatable to the brain.
The link between pornography use and erectile dysfunction can be complicated to realize, at least initially. ED can happen for other physiological reasons, especially throughout the aging process. However, PIED may be the reality for many men struggling with sexual dysfunction.
Two decades ago, this statistic was much lower, around 15%. It has likely increased to today’s level due to the accessibility and spread of online pornography. More and more sex addicts are addicted to and consuming porn, leading to PIED.
Among different studies and surveys, the results average out to 90% of boys exposed to porn before the age of 18. Girls were lower, but still 60%. Between 45%-60% of boys aged 13 had already been exposed to porn.
Multiple studies have been done that demonstrate early porn exposure being a relevant variable in adverse adulthood outcomes, including the following:
A significant relationship between less life satisfaction and the age of first exposure is shown in the youngest ages (age 7-11) compared to later or no exposure to pornography.
A given explanation is that children exposed before puberty are susceptible to internalizing the scenes portrayed in porn as what sexual relations and human intimacy is meant to be. These beliefs, when left uncontested, can lead to unreasonable expectations. When those go unmet, disappointment and negative self-image can creep in.
Those with earlier exposure to porn may base their sexual self-worth on what they saw in porn scripts or scenes by mistaking it for reality. Often it is the only material they have to go off of at the time or for years into adolescence.
A meta-analysis of 22 studies from 7 countries showed that young people are among the most common consumers of online pornography. As more kids grow up in the digital age, this becomes less of a surprise.
Fifty studies involving 25,000 teens over 30 years have shown that 20% of parents never discuss sex with their kids. Of the parents who do give the talk, 40% of those are after the teen is already sexually active.
Neuroplasticity, or the brain’s ability to adapt and change, is much higher in young brains. Porn is a less-than-ideal source on which to base an understanding of sex.
Escalating here means actively searching for or being involved in sexual content which was previously not exciting or considered disgusting.
One of the functions of addiction is tolerance. Without tolerance, addiction could be nonexistent. Think of an alcoholic or drug addict; they need more and more to get the same high as time goes on.
In the porn addiction discussion, tolerance shows up as well. It is the brain adjusting to your regular porn stimuli over a time of prolonged consumption. Eventually, it just doesn’t stimulate the consumer enough, and they go further down the rabbit hole that is pornography.
This percentage is a range because this pornography statistic is only really gatherable by surveys, which aren’t the most scientific research method. Most public surveys come in on the low end, near 25-40%. However, surveys done by more adult content-focused sites report 60-70% but are biased.
Porn statistics such as this are supported by noon to 5:00 pm being the second-highest time for porn traffic. 9:00 pm to 2:00 am is the most popular time. Some articles propose that psychologically, employees feel they put in work and deserve a reward or view porn to reduce stress.
With nearly all surveys coming in over 50%, this is a more concrete porn stat than the last. The global pandemic influenced this, but it is not a new phenomenon.
Not limited to everyday civilians, federal agencies such as USPS, NASA, Social Security, and British Parliament have had reports or scandals involving porn in the workplace. And that’s only naming a few examples.
We can’t make this up; the problem is so pervasive that two different bills were introduced in the US Congress to ban porn use by federal employees at work. HR 901 (114th) & HR 680 (115th) were introduced in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
Neither ever came to pass or even to a vote.
Through these pornography statistics, we’ve attempted to shed light on internet pornography and porn addiction. It’s more acceptable than it once was, but not equally as understood or regulated. The first half of statistics revealed the iceberg of internet porn, with only a fraction easily visible but a vast amount more below the surface.
The second half of these porn statistics aimed to get at porn addiction itself and share examples of how porn addiction affects us. On the individual level, it can be defeating, hurting parts of your outer life, inner mental health, and even physical health. Expand that to a broad yet hush-hush scale in society, and porn addiction could, in ways, be considered a crisis or epidemic in the way drug addiction is.