The website Pornhub.com is one of the most popular adult destinations online. How does a site manage to rise to that level of prominence in the Internet's infinite wasteland of filth? By giving away millions of videos for free.
Thanks to its popularity, the site's traffic is a fairly representative gauge of how many people are viewing pornography on any given day. And last week, they analyzed their U.S. traffic from 2012 to determine the days when Americans watch the most and least pornography.
They only released a few of the results online but their media relations people were great about getting me the top 11 results for both most and least pornographic days. It's interesting. I've emailed medical journals, academics, hobbyists, world record holders, major media organizations, authors, blogs and businesses -- and no one has been as receptive and quick as the people running a massive free porn website.
Here are the 11 days in 2012 when Americans watched the least online pornography. Not-so-coincidentally, all of them happened on holidays or near holidays. There's not, like, some random Tuesday in August thrown in here. (The list with the most pornographic days will be published later this week.)
Why did this come up in my safe search for Valentine's Day pornography?
February 14th (Valentine's Day). On one hand, it's kinda sweet that people chilled on the pornography on Valentine's Day; perhaps the expectation/delivery of actual sex curbed the usage. On the other hand, the fact that 10 other days beat it out is kinda sad. I'm thinking that everyone does *something* sexual on Valentine's Day, whether or not you're with someone else.
June 17th (Father's Day). Everyone would've had time to look at porn on Father's Day, only dinner at Applebee's ran too late because of an unexpected 90 minute wait thanks to all the other families trying to eat there too.
May 26th (Saturday of Memorial Day weekend).
May 27th (Sunday of Memorial Day weekend). I think both of these can be chalked up to lots of travel, family time, weddings and barbecues. There just isn't a convenient way to sneak off to spend eight to 14 minutes getting all weird with Internet porno. Or we can run with a more naively idealistic theory that people are just respectfully memorializing America's heroes by abstaining.
October 20th (Superstorm Sandy). This is the only day on the list that (hopefully) won't repeat in 2013, but it makes sense. Sandy knocked out power and Internet in some of America's most densely populated AND densely deviant areas. And the rest of us were watching and reading news; hard to make the awkward and abrupt transition over to porn when you're in full-on empathy mode.
This was Good Morning America's photo choice for New Year's Day hangover. All I see is a dead body on SVU.
January 1st (New Year's Day). January 1st was a particularly bad day in 2012 since it was a Sunday -- meaning the masturbation demographic had to focus more on getting over their hangovers and post-holiday bloat so they could be ready for work the next day. There was water to be drunk and a massive amount of sleep to be had. This year, the 1st was a Tuesday -- it'll be interesting to see how that changes its position.
July 4th (Independence Day). This would be a much bigger day for pornography if you declared your independence... from pants.
December 24th (Christmas Eve). You'll either be caught by one of the other 17 family members staying in the house -- or by Santa. Totally awkward in both cases. (Notice how the first night of Hanukkah didn't make this list, by the way. All that singing about how the driedel has a lovely body gets the Jewish loins burning.)
April 8th (Easter). I guess Jesus is the only thing that rises on this day! HI-YO!
[Pause for laughs.]
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So, let's see what else is in the news.
November 22nd (Thanksgiving). This makes total sense. There are four things that keep you from having the time OR moxie to look at online pornography on Thanksgiving:
A long, often judge-y day with your family.
A long, often self-judge-y day of drinking.
Being so grossly full that even you're not attracted to yourself.
Can't go to sleep, must go to Target to fight people to save $15 on a iPad case.
Thanksgiving really might be the least sexy day of the year. Yeah, I said it. Take THAT, Talk Like a Pirate Day.
December 25th (Christmas). I guess Santa Claus is the only one coming to town! HI-YO again!