My New Book Has Been Released!

It’s always a lot of fun to write that title on one of my website posts. I’ve only been able to do it three times now, but each time, it feels like a massive exhale. Up until this point, the process of getting a book out is very private and solitary. Now, the words that I feverishly worked on, that I think are good enough to share with the world in perpetuity, that I believe are so worthwhile that they should have a small price tag behind them — it’s all out there for the world to see.

There is no more timely a moment to read this book than now. As we see cases of the Coronavirus surging in numbers and states starting to roll-back their openings, it means more people will be back in situations which make them vulnerable to pornography — either consuming it, or producing it.

Ever wanted to read first-person accounts of addiction from those dealing with it? Ever wanted to know what kind of person it takes to become an online pornography camera model? Wonder what this OnlyFans craze is about? Want to hear an unbelievable story about a man who is slipping his wife pills to help fight the STD he may have passed onto her from an affair, but refuses to tell her, blaming the pandemic for bad timing?

This is unlike any book you’ve read, because we’re all living this in the moment. At some point, it will become a book that can be put into the history section of the library, but now, it’s current events. Even if pornography and/or pornography addiction isn’t a part of your life, COVID-19 is part of your life, and this book shows how others are dealing with it.

I hope you’ll consider picking it up from Amazon. You can follow a link to read more about the book HERE.

Thank you to those of you who support me by purchasing the book. It allows me to continue the fight to educate the world about pornography addiction.

The First Draft of the ‘Porn During the Pandemic’ Book is Basically Done

I was asked to write a mini-book by my publisher and to make it 10K to 20K words 15 days ago. Since then, I have interviewed 19 people, some at great length and written 28,961 words. My short days were 8-10 hours and once the interviewing was mostly done and it was just writing, the days got longer. On Saturday, I wrote 9,735 words over 15 hours and yesterday I wrote 8,224 words over 14 hours.

I think I’m going to start reading it later today, but I needed to give myself at least 18 hours to kind of get it out of my head so I could start at the beginning with a fresh set of eyes.

I’m still looking for another porn addict who has successfully navigated the pandemic (Rollie, you fit the profile? If so, drop me an email), a cam model who has retired, and a therapist to talk a bit about healthy sexuality. If you’re any of these people…let me know.

I actually think more than my other books, this one best shows my ability as a journalist and writer. While I do tell this story in the first person as a narrative thread, there’s a ton of research and a pretty deep dive into analysis of statistics. I wrote on here at the beginning of the year that I think some of Pornhub’s reporting is faulty, but I really lay out my case in this book.

I also interviewed a bunch of cam models, which is something I’d never done before. I’m usually on the side of telling people it’s not healthy to watch them or participate in them, and I still believe that at my core, but I met a really interesting bunch of people, almost all of whom I would think could be, or could have been, my friends in real life when I was younger. Having them talk about the more technical end of their job and what it means to their real lives off-camera was something I haven’t read much about. It’s the longest chapter, probably because in many ways, I found it to be the most interesting since it was my first time tackling that subject.

I think writing this book has been very good for my mental health. I’ve kind of been wandering aimlessly the last several months, even before the pandemic, uninterested in the freelance/ghostwriting I was doing and unable to get up and excited for a new book idea I have — which I still think is great, but it’s not the time for it yet. And then I have another book idea for after that, which is even more exciting, but I’ve got to get them done in the proper order. Nonetheless, I didn’t need to hustle for money because I was doing OK and nothing was stoking any fires of passion for my work. Turning out a well-researched 30,000-word book in two weeks has changed that. If gave me a burst of much-needed adrenaline. I think it also helps that in these two weeks, the weather has got much nicer and I can sit outside in shorts most days. That helps my demeanor a lot.

I believe the hope is that the book will be out in late June, but with the slowdown in production, I have a feeling that July is more realistic. With the way states are acting about the epidemic, I’m sure it will still be around and make the book still relevant in the moment. If not, I think it will always be an interesting look at how this time caused people to act in ways they otherwise wouldn’t.

During the creation of the book, I got another piece of very cool news that should be a big boost to me professionally, but I have also signed a non-disclosure agreement that says I can’t announce it for a little while. They haven’t given me a timetable, but I think it will be July or August on this one.

And, as always, you can buy my first two books from Amazon. The most recent book is on sale at the moment, 27% off the regular hardcover price and 19% off the softcover. No idea how they get those figures. You can see that book HERE.

All right, time for lunch, a little sunshine and some editing…

The News Isn’t Getting Much Better Regarding Porn Use During the Pandemic

Depending on exactly where you are in the world, you’re just on either side of the two-month mark as it pertains to the quarantine with COVID-19. If you’re here in the United States of America, you’re seeing a lot of cities and states stick their toe in the water as it pertains to reopening. I understand their desire, and it appears our collective efforts to minimize contact has really helped lower the first estimates of a death toll, but the curve has not started to continually go down anywhere.

It seems dangerous to reopen at this time and there are several instances from the last great pandemic, the Spanish Flu of 1918, that shows when you reopen or get together too early, bad things happen. For those who think crowded beaches are safe, do a little research about a parade in Philadelphia that spread the Spanish Flu. Just because you can open, doesn’t mean you should open and just because you can go out, doesn’t mean you should go out. Admit it, you’re loving this excuse to keep your hair growing out.

At the beginning of this pandemic, I wrote about how I thought it was obvious the online porn industry was going to explode and PornHub, which tracks and shares their analytics, especially when things are going well (despite pretending terms like “teen” and “incest” don’t exist in their searches) has been continually providing almost real-time data.

In an attempt to lure more viewers, the site took down its paywall for premium content – whatever that means – when COVID-19 first hit parts of Europe hard. When it went worldwide, so did their promotion. In the early days of their promotion, when many mainstream media outlets picked up what they thought was probably a funny story, the average PornHub traffic jumped by 20% to 30% depending upon which country you were talking about.

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I followed up a few weeks later with the good news that those numbers seem to have dropped to the 9% to 12% level in most countries – still a huge jump in traffic considering you’re talking about one of the Top Three porn sites in the world and one of the Top Ten most popular websites in the world. That’s right, PornHub consistently gets more traffic than Amazon, Pinterest, Reddit and LinkedIn.

Unfortunately, as we’ve all settled in for the long haul on this, the numbers have rebounded. History has always shown spikes in porn use on the weekend – which plays to the idea when people are home and have nothing to do they’ll turn to online porn – and that trend also continues worldwide.

While the US topped out at around 25% above average in late March, it had dropped to 9%-12% a few weeks later. It’s come back though and in the last 10 days of April, the average weekday bump in traffic is around 14% and weekend traffic is 18%.

In Canada, the story is a little different. There was not as dramatic a drop off the highs (about 20%) so there has been no rebound. Through April, Canada has consistently shown a weekday bump in traffic of 11% and weekend traffic of 14%.

The UK is the opposite of Canada in that it fluctuates greatly from weekdays (now at about 12%) and weekends (now at 22%-23%). Those trends mirror most of Europe, which PornHub reports at about 14% on weekends and 20%-21% on weekdays.

The worst figures are probably out of Spain, which as far as I can tell, has the one-day surge record of 61% on March 17. These days, weekday or weekend doesn’t seem to matter as they are regularly 25%-30%. Unsurprisingly, their neighbor Portugal is in a similar boat.

If you’re looking for a country with good news, Australia is dipping well below 10% on weekdays and has never gone over 18% on any day during the quarantine. France, which spiked into the 30s, has now settled to less than half of that, even on weekends.

I haven’t seen any statistics of what other websites are looking like, although I’m guessing that things like Facebook and Instagram are seeing much more traffic than usual. I’m not sure if that would count if it goes through an app, though. They don’t consult me on these things.

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Unfortunately, the latest comprehensive website stats I can find are dated March 1. I’ve made a record of these and when new statistics come out for all of March and forward, I’ll try to make sure to bring them to you. If PornHub has seen this surge, we’ll be able to judge how the other porn sites in the top 25 websites have gone up or down.

And for those wondering the big deal, some figures can be extrapolated. For instance, we know that roughly 1-in-3 men between 18 and 30 believe they have an issue with porn. So, if 10% more men in that age group are looking at porn, it seems to me that one-third would now be at risk for an issue whereas they might not have before. Yes, somewhat unscientific, but you can’t tell me that extended use of porn over weeks and now months won’t result in higher numbers of addicts than before.

I’ll keep everyone updated on what’s happening as more statistics come in. Cross your fingers for good news. We can certainly use some these days.

 

 

I Confirmed It: Porn Companies Doing Big Business, Recruitment During ‘Social Distancing’​

When Donald Trump went on TV that Wednesday night in early March as one of the last people to admit what many of us had come to recognize in the previous 72 hours – the Coronavirus was the real deal – one of my first thoughts went to how this was going to be the single greatest boon to the pornography industry since the invention of the Internet.

We’re still in it – probably not even at the halfway point – and it turns out, I was unfortunately correct.

As much as I detest PornHub, I’ve got to give them credit for the statistics they provide. Granted, they are not independently verified and sometimes they leave out crucial information (such as ignoring the fact “teen” is a popular search term in their annual report) but I think they are providing a unique window into what is happening.

In late February and into the first week of March, when the virus was really starting to get its grips on Europe and gaining attention in North America, PornHub’s average worldwide viewership was up only 1% to 2% compared to an average day. In the second week of March, when Americans decided toilet paper was the hottest commodity, average traffic rose to 4% to 7% higher than an average day.

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The worldwide numbers exploded on St. Patrick’s Day, rising to 11.6% and have steadily been on the rise, topping out at 18.5% above average daily traffic.

In a PR stunt a few weeks back, PornHub offered its “Premium Content” service to all residents of Italy, followed soon after by Spain and France. That cause a huge overnight spike in Italy, with average traffic up by 5.3% on March 11, but then skyrocketing to 57% above average on March 12. The number fell over the next week, but is still between 25% and 35% above average most days. When the offer was extended to France, their traffic jumped overnight from 5.7% to 38.2% and in Spain, the jump was 12.7% to 61.3%.

Perhaps most troubling is that as the pandemic became truly worldwide, Pornhub extended its free premium service to every person who can find an Internet connection on Earth. The short-term true effect of the extent of this stunt probably won’t be known until the company releases its next numbers. The long-term effect makes me cringe.

You can find data for nearly two dozen countries on their Insights Page. (No Porn Visible)

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While men from the United States are looking at PornHub about 10% more than the average day, women are watching 21% more. In Mexico, the 20% rise for men is dwarfed by the 34% rise of women watching and in hard-hit Italy, while viewership for men is up 24%, it’s up 36% for women. These kinds of statistics are the same in countries like the UK, France, Spain, Japan, Canada, and almost every other civilized country in the world.

I’m not shocked by this because it tends to support statistics that show women are one of the fastest growing segments of pornography addicts along with my theory that with the Internet allowing more anonymity, women are sampling porn in higher numbers than ever. If 100 women were looking at porn in Italy on a January day it became 136 in less than two months. That’s a substantial jump and while not all will stick with it after the crisis, some will, and some of them will become porn addicts.

While most people think PornHub is the biggest porn site in the world, it was actually ranked third as of late 2019 (yet still in the Top 10 of overall sites in the world.) The other two, which I won’t name here, have not tried to build a brand the way PornHub has, nor – to their credit – have offered any special deals to try and profit off of this worldwide self-imposed isolation.

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Speaking of isolation, I’ll be fascinated to see what website traffic looks like in the upcoming months for cam sites. These are the sites where a male, female or couples (the “models”) are on one end of the computer and customers willing to pay them for nudity and/or sex acts sit on the other end. They usually come with a chat interface and an option for taking the models into a private room where only one customer, paying a premium, gets to interact with the models one-on-one, a virtual “private dance” of sorts. Of course, giving these bonus sessions away during a flood of traffic is a great way to get people hooked long after the virus is gone. It’s just drug-dealing 101. Get them hooked for free now and they’ll pay for it later.

While I’m sure that these sites are seeing double-digits increases in traffic, I’m more interested in finding out how many women joined their ranks. Think about it: We have the highest unemployment claims in American history by more than 500% and many service industry employees are wondering where their next paycheck is coming from. While I’m sure it’s not a huge leap for a stripper to make the transition, I have a feeling there are likely a lot of women (and a smaller percentage of men and couples) who either have, or will, make the decision that getting naked and/or getting sexual on their webcam for what they hope are only strangers will help make ends meet. I worry these people have no idea about this online culture nor the long-lasting effects of what making this decision will cause.

Understanding this, PornHub has again flexed its PR muscle. Instead of offering its models around 50% to 60% of the money spent by customers in their chat rooms and on private videos, during the pandemic, PornHub has raised its commission to 85%. Brilliant recruiting? Giving back? Capitalizing on pain? I guess it depends on who you are in the equation.

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I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention Periscope, a streaming video platform similar to that of Facebook Live where hundreds or thousands can watch a single stream at one time. Owned by Twitter, Periscope has been known for its decent moderators and strict rules concerning nudity and sexuality.

That seemed to disappear in the third week of March, according to many users. Now, alongside people hosting cooking shows, exercise sessions and simply looking for company on the ride to work, there are plenty of nude models, people having sex and other explicit, sometimes illegal, material.

Did Periscope sent all its moderators home because of the Coronavirus? I tried to find some kind of confirmation of this online, but came up empty. It seems to me that the easiest job to do from home would be a moderator of an online chat site, right? Why would anything be different?

Of course, suspending monitoring of the rules will bring a lot of new eyes, and a lot of new streamers, to their site. Under normal circumstances, a website that goes from PG- to X-rated overnight owned by a media powerhouse like Twitter would get a lot of attention…but not so much during the modern plague. The media and those in power who would use this kind of news for views and attention have bigger fish to fry, so Periscope can fly under the radar.

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I’m sure there are plenty of other instances of companies that either peddle pornography or have found a way to use pornography to their advantage during the Coronavirus crisis. If you happen to see any, please let me know as I’d like to keep track.

Yes, I believe it’s more important to stay safe and keep your family safe in this confusing, scary time, but I also believe it’s important to not develop new routines and habits that may not be easy to break after this crisis has gone away.

Ironically, I often preach against filtering software as a false sense of power a parent has over their child’s use of pornography. But, we’re living in a temporary world where they don’t have easy access to their friends’ laptops or smartphones. You can actually lock porn down as long as we remain locked down. Now, more than ever, that may be the smartest move.

PornHub Lets Us Know How Bad Things Are Getting, Part II: Trust These Numbers?

I promised I’d be back with Part II of looking at select statistics and what they may mean from PornHub in 2019. As I said last week, they may be having a major contribution to the pornification of our society, but they do know how to present a report to make amateur behavioral economists happy. But with today’s stats, I’m a bit more dubious.

Looking by the Ladies

When I’m doing podcasts or presentations, the question always inevitably comes up: “Are there female porn addicts?” The answer is yes, but until I saw these numbers, I didn’t have any idea this many women were actually looking at pornography.

If you remember last time, I mentioned there were 42 million visits to PornHub annually, or 115 million per day. The site reports, on average, that 32% of its visitors are female. That represents an increase of 3% over 2018. Basically, that means 38 million visits per day are from women, and again, PornHub is now the third largest pornography site in the world. That puts daily visits for women well over 100 million for just the three largest sites on a daily basis.

The reality is, women are mostly built the same as men, but in the pre-Internet world of strip clubs, adult bookstores and adult theaters, porn was not marketed to women and was difficult to find. Now that we all have an iPhone or Android in our pocket, access is an even playing field and the pornography companies know it.

Countries that have a higher average than that 32% include top-ranked Philippines and Brazil (39%), Mexico (36%), and Australia and Sweden (35%). France, Spain and Canada are at the average and countries coming in below include United States and Italy (30%), United Kingdom (28%) and Germany (25%).

Most of the Top 10 search terms for women are related to lesbian sex. Also, of the most searched-for pornstars by women, only three of the top 12 were men. PornHub added that among porn featuring only gay male performers, 37% was consumed by women.

Problems with This – PornHub doesn’t ask the casual user their gender. I have no idea if this is the case, but with some of their “member” services I’m sure there is demographic profiling to sign-up and perhaps they are extracting and extrapolating their numbers this way, and they could be 100% correct. I don’t doubt they are far off, but I’d like to understand their methodology.

Also, and this is as good a place as any to mention it, although it’s not just a female search issue. In none of their data do the search terms “incest” or “teen” appear. As a former addict who stays away from the stuff, I’m not going to go count the instances that these two words appear on the front page of PornHub, but faux incest between teen siblings or child/parent are among the most popular genres of porn currently according to every article I’ve read. Maybe if you put them up front on the home page nobody has to type in the words to find them. We can talk about the psychology of that being a popular search another time, but to not admit it’s what people are watching makes all of these stats somewhat dubious.

How Old Are You Now?

PornHub places the average age of one of its users at 36 years old. Instead of trying to explain what the results were, it’s easier to just look at the pie chart they created:

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The average user in the United States is 39 years old according to PornHub data, with 32% of users making up the largest demo, in 25-to-34. It claims that only 15% of American users are under 24 years old. The numbers are almost carbon copies for Canada, where like the UK and Italy, the average user is also 39. The youngest goes to the Philippines at 32 while Spain recorded the oldest at 41.

Problems with This – This is a case of making the numbers work for you. PornHub measures people between the ages of 18 and 65, but it measures the youngest demo over a range of only six years, 18-to-24, whereas every other age group has a ten-year range.

Do some math with me and tell me if I’m wrong. If 25% of their users are 18-to-24 and 36% of their users are 25-to-34, that makes 61% of users under 34 years old. How can the average age be two years older?

And much like the “teen” and “incest” omissions, notice that there is no category for users under 18 years old. Why? Because it’s bad PR. Despite the fact that in America, there is no need to prove your age to gain access to the site, apparently there isn’t a single underage person going to PornHub. Yeah, right.

Again, I’m guessing they’re measuring this with some kind of membership or premium level and even if underage teens can gain access to it, they’re not going to admit that they are not of age. They’re going to claim to be, oh, I don’t know…36?

The Greatest Porn Computer Ever

When I appear on video podcasts, I always make sure to have my phone nearby so I can lift it up at some point and say the “greatest pornography computer ever now fits in every 14-year-olds pocket.” I didn’t realize just how correct I was.

From 2018 to 2019, pornography access via smartphones grew by 7% to 76.6%. Porn access via desktop computer dropped to 16.3% and tablet use dropped to 7.1%. Three-out-of-four people accessing porn are doing it by phone and that certainly skews to a younger generation.

In the United States, 81% of PornHub’s viewers are accessing via smartphone and only 12% are using a desktop computer. Only 74% of UK residents and 71% of Canadians access via smartphone. The highest percentage country for accessing via desktop is Russia, at 34%.

Problems with This – I actually have no problem with how PornHub reported this data. They’ve got the ability to track not only what device you’re using, but what operating system, browser, game console, etc. I believe what they’re claiming here. Big Brother is watching you, even when it’s just to spy on you checking out his porn stash.

My only problem with this data is anybody (parents, spouses, etc.) who still believes they can keep someone’s eyes off of pornography at this point are fooling themselves. This isn’t 2005 and NetNanny can lull you into safety. Heck, take out all of the devices from your house. There’s a great big world out there full of them, and it’s a world that needs to start talking about pornography addiction education or these numbers are only going to get worse.

And, just because I’d like to end on some good news, even PornHub admits that certain events cause it numbers to plummet, specifically sports. What’s it going to take to have a Super Bowl every weekend?

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