Why are people so into “incest” porn?

Guilty Pleasures | Quinn Scanlan | March 4, 2016

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On Wednesday, Pornhub published a map detailing the most searched terms for every state in the United States for the past year. While the term “lesbian” was searched the most in 30 different states, what I found more surprising were all the searches for incest-related porn. In Washington, Alaska, Kentucky, New Hampshire and South Dakota, the most searched term was “step mom.” In Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Ohio and Maine, the most searched term was “step sister.”

For top searches worldwide, “step mom” comes in at number three, up from number four in 2014; “mom” comes in at number six, down from five in 2014; “step sister” moved up six spots to finish at number seven; “step mom and son” moved up a whopping 71 places to be the 15th most searched phrase on Pornhub, worldwide, for 2015. For top searches in just the U.S., “step mom” comes in at number one, “step sister” comes in at number seven and “mom” shows up at number 10. According to Jon Millward, a data journalist, two of the top ten roles a female porn actor plays in films are daughter, at number six, and sister, at number 10.

None of the scenes actually depict real siblings or parents and children. In fact, many scenes include the actors explicitly saying they are not related to their partner(s) in the scene. That still doesn’t change the fact that people are finding it seriously hot to get off to scenarios that are seriously taboo in modern life. According to GameLink.com, as reported by Vice, between October 2014 and January 2015, there was an average increase of “family role-play porn” in the U.S. by 178 percent. Pornhub reported that in 2015, compared to 2014, “step dad and daughter” and “step mom and son” were searched worldwide 307 percent and 262 percent more, respectively.

“Step mom” is searched with the highest frequency in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Sweden and Greece, compared to other countries. “Step sister” is searched with the highest frequency in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Sweden and Belgium, compared to other countries. And it’s not just men. Though Pornhub’s female users only account for an average of 24 percent of users worldwide, they document an “incest” porn proclivity, too. “Step dad daughter” is the 11th most search term by females and “step mom” is 15th. Comparatively, for males, “step mom” is number one, “mom” number four, “step sister” number five and “step mom son” number nine.

I don’t think the people searching for this type of porn actually want to bang their moms/sisters/fathers/brothers (step or biological), but the trend is real, and it raises the obvious question: what the fuck is so hot about semi-incestuous scenarios?

This Vice article suggests that maybe it’s the porn industry’s fault for perpetuating this type of porn by producing it more and more. To me, the data from Pornhub suggests otherwise. If the porn industry was to blame, there might be an increase in consumption of this type of porn, but that couldn’t explain the level at which people are actively searching for it.

In the same Vice article, Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals, a sociologist and author of Exposure: A Sociologist Explores Sex, Society, and Adult Entertainment, said the reason for people’s proclivity towards incest-like porn, which she dubs “faux-cest,” could be due to living in more conservative, “sexually repressive” places, which makes sense for some of the states who had either “step sister” or “step mom” as their top Pornhub search, but it doesn’t make sense for all of them. It especially doesn’t make sense for a country like Sweden, one of the most liberal, gender equal countries in the world.

Tibbals also suggested that people watch (and seek out) a lot of faux-cest porn because it blends the “commonplace” with the “marked taboo.” By this, she means that many families in the U.S. have a step-something (that being the “commonplace” and sexual relations between family, even step-family, is extremely taboo. She said the mixing of these two things could just work for some people.

What comes to my mind is the notion that people often want what they can’t have – the just-out-the-oven cookies for the bake sale, the $300 formal dress, the boy with a girlfriend and…maybe even a step-sibling? It’s a stretch, I know, but if you put aside the taboo-ness of incest, it makes sense (not that I’m an expert by any means).

If Freud was here, he’d have something to say about an Oedipus Complex, or the subconscious desire for a child to have sex with his or her parent of the opposite sex. Although Freud thought that children between the ages of 3 and 5 had this, and that it was suppressed later in life because of the child bonding with his or her parent of the same sex. Freud actually might view these trends in porn as a failure of humanity because he regarded people’s ability to repress these urges as “the most important social achievement of the human mind.” Plus, it’s not just the young people watching this type of porn. For the age groups 35-44, 45-54 and 55-64, “step mom” is the fourth most searched term. For those 65 and older, “step mom and son” is the most searched term.

Again not that I’m any sort of expert, but it’s possible these trends are a result of people seeking out the “dirtiest” porn they can think of. It would be interesting to interview people who watch this porn to see how they feel about it after they’ve orgasmed. Maybe they recognize the taboo-ness of it, but in the moment, it wasn’t taboo; it was just hot.


 #SexConfessions

“My hook up at the time and I were studying in Elliot. Around 11, we got super bored and decided to visit bone town. We didn’t have a condom so he had to cum on the floor and it was hysterical… so if you see something white and spattered on the floor…” – After Hours Player

“Every time I saw him in class, my vagina got really excited. Within an hour and six shots of formally meeting him at a party, we were in the bedroom of his 2400M apartment. I was on top of him when I took my shirt off. He immediately pushed me away, kissed me, sat up straight, burped, and then ran out of the room. The lights were off and I couldn’t see much, but the room started to smell. I turned on the lights and saw vomit EVERYWHERE. It was on the bed, ceiling, wall, floor, and my shirt. I walked out of the bedroom, shirtless, to find his big throwing up on my big – who was also shirtless. The entire apartment smelled like Zelko and mozzarella sticks. My big and I couldn’t leave because our shirts were ruined from the boys’ vomit. We started throwing up from hearing the boys throw up. After 45 minutes of vomiting, we Postmated ginger ale and saltines. My big and I have yet to accept an invitation to return.” – AllergicToYou, 20