Anti-Porn Crusaders Warn Us about Porn Escalation
There’s absolutely no evidence that viewing porn activates some kind of neural mechanism leading us down a slippery slope of seeking more and more deviant material.
There’s plenty of evidence suggesting that men’s sexual interests are stable. We looked at adult website billing data (including data from both gay and straight sites).
Also, private data from adult sites (including PornHub, the most popular adult video website in the world), online sex-seeking ads, web traffic patterns, and the ratings, tags, and clicks on millions of videos and stories.
None of this data suggests that users steadily escalate to the more hardcore material. Men purchase subscriptions to the same type of fetish website over and over again.
When men visit tube sites, they view the same genres of videos over and over again. Men tag the same kind of videos again and again and read the same kind of stories again and again.
Anti-porn crusaders warn us that pornographers are always “pushing the envelope by introducing new, harder themes” which “they must because their customers are building up a tolerance to the content.”
This is not supported by evidence from the adult industry nor actual online behaviour. Even a superficial examination of the relative popularity of the different genres of visual erotica for men reveals they have remained stable over time.
In fact, the most popular adult video sites have actually reduced hardcore content (eliminating rape and bestiality material) in order to broaden their appeal.
Videos and images portraying young, healthy women having heterosexual or lesbian intercourse, engaging in oral sex, or simply appearing nude, have never been threatened as the most popular kinds of erotic content for men.
Internet porn has not been a rush to the bottom; just the opposite: a small handful of tube sites featuring a relatively narrow range of mostly mainstream interests now accounts for the vast majority of online sexual traffic in every country.
You can certainly find a mind-boggling diversity of sexual content online, including material that R&W would surely consider bizarre and deviant, but traffic to these sites is relatively shallow and ‘tube’ sites usually offload such material to sister sites that specialise in hardcore interests.
There are pornographers who do constantly seek out “new, harder themes”–Evil Angel has purportedly found great success with anal gaping videos.
This is a way of attracting and temporarily monopolising the small minority of individuals who are true novelty seekers.
PornHub and RedTube aren’t losing eyeballs to such sites: novelty seekers never went to the vanilla tube sites, to begin with.
Men tend to search for the same thing over and over again. If you like women’s feet, year after year you’re going to ogle feet. You aren’t going to switch to knees, then move up to hips, climb over breasts, then escalate to earlobes.
Neither will you start with a taste for teen feet, drift to leather-whipped feet, and escalate to whipped midget granny feet.