Porn Viewership Goes Down When This Product Is Released

photographed by Lauren Perlstein.
If past popular video game releases are any indicator, porn streaming websites like Pornhub and YouPorn can anticipate a considerable decrease in traffic this weekend with today's release of Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2.
According to data collected and shared with Refinery29 from Pornhub and YouPorn, this happens in varying degrees when a highly anticipated game comes out. When Fallout 4 was came out in 2015, they saw a 10% decrease in their site traffic within a few hours of its release (about how long it takes for the very large file game to download). YouPorn saw a similar decrease of 9% when Overwatch League, the first global online sports league to exist, was released.
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This phenomenon only lasts for a few hours when the game is first released, before site traffic returns to normal levels. When you've been looking forward to a game for months, little else can tear you away...at least for a little while. Occasionally, as was the case with Fallout 4, there might even be a surge in traffic by the end of the day.
When a public beta test for Overwatch was made available a few weeks before the game's scheduled release date, Pornhub saw related search phrases soar by 1,102%. When the actual game release date came, they saw a similarly staggering 947% increase in search phrases to do with the game.
For the most part, it looks as though people are using generic search terms for game-related content; however, sometimes search phrases go viral around a specific character as was the case with a prominent support character named Bridgette in a multi-player shooter version of Overwatch. Gaming search phrases are often among the most searched phrases website-wide, according to Pornhub's data. This is likely to do with the history of hypersexualizing female characters in video games. Though, studies have shown that while the hypersexualization of female characters reached an all-time high in the mid-nineties, it has been on a steady decline as more people call out gaming companies for their portrayal of women, and as women become more prominent characters in video game plots.
Extreme drops in porn viewership is not exclusive to video game releases: YouPorn saw a 15% decrease in site traffic during Apple's September product roll out. Based on these findings, porn streaming sites can expect a very uneventful Friday.
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