On the Cover: Pornhub Is the Kinsey Report of Our Time

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Illustration by Ben Wiseman

Pornhub, the biggest adult website on the planet, turns ten this year. For New York Magazine’s June 12-25 cover story, “Pornhub Is the Kinsey Report of Our Time,” Maureen O’Connor looks at what ten years’ worth of the site’s data can tell us about the internet’s collective id.

“We tend to think of porn as something that happens hidden away, over there—maybe as a substitute for real sex, maybe as a bad lesson for what sex should be,” says New York deputy editor David Wallace-Wells. “But for many people, now, in the streaming era, porn is a bigger part of their lives than sex. What Maureen asks us to do is consider the universe of porn on its own terms, as a kind of theater of sexual desire that lives almost separate from what people might want in the flesh. Kinsey was only looking at what people actually did; what ten years of Pornhub data allows us to do is look at what happens to sexual imagination when it is really liberated. Turns out, it can get pretty weird.”

On the Cover: Pornhub Is the Kinsey Report of Our Time