Facebook and Instagram could be keeping your partner from Pornhub

Stats show that if people are not on Facebook or Instagram, ten percent of users go straight to Pornhub. Picture: Charles de Luvio/UnSplash

Stats show that if people are not on Facebook or Instagram, ten percent of users go straight to Pornhub. Picture: Charles de Luvio/UnSplash

Published Apr 6, 2022


More than 960 gigabytes of porn will be streamed on Pornhub by the time you finish this sentence, with a spike in the numbers when social networks experience downtime.

The adult website Pornhub claims its viewership stands at 120 gigabytes in just one second. A number that increases by 10% when social networks like Facebook and Instagram go offline.

On 4 October, 2021, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp experienced an outage, which is also when Pornhub’s traffic increased by as much as 10.5%.

Meanwhile, on 4 March 2019, another severe social network outage was experienced, which saw Pornhub’s traffic surge by up to 11% at 1pm.

The increase continued later that day and reached 19% that evening.

In 2018 one of the stranger instances, Pornhub spikes were reported after Hawaii residents were erroneously warned of a false missile strike.

The website reported a 77% traffic decline when residents received the warning via text message. After that, a surge of 48% above typical levels - all between 8:07 am and 9:01 am.

A South African rehabilitation centre, which assists sufferers overcome porn addiction among other addictions, believes numerous factors contribute to the spike in porn consumption when popular online sites and social networks go down.

For one, porn is easy to access.

Taku Mhonyera, admissions manager at the Crossroads Recovery Centre, which facilitates recovery from porn addiction, among other treatments, told IOL Wealth the ease of accessibility of porn and free content make porn more engaging during social network outages.

“It’s all about connecting. If people aren’t connecting on social networks, they engage on Pornhub, which becomes a fantasy world which becomes entertaining and engaging,” Mhonyera said.

It’s also about that feel-good hormone, dopamine. Mhonyera said the release of dopamine - a chemical in the brain, widely recognised for the release of pleasure and satisfaction, among other emotions - increases while watching porn, suppressing the need for communication with another person.

He said the adult websites were also becoming more aggressive in marketing themselves against the severe psychological impacts brought by the consumption of porn.

“While some people don’t have a problem watching porn with their partner, some people may have a partner with zero tolerance. Other people who suffer from this addiction can also be caught at home or work browsing, which becomes even more problematic,” Mhonyera said.

He added that porn addiction was not easy to cope with, but sufferers should realise they are not alone.

“Our centre is one example of a treatment facility for this type of addiction, while local support groups are accessible locally to assist people in helping combat their addiction,” he said.

* If you or someone you love has porn addiction, please seek help. There are numerous recovery centres throughout South Africa, waiting to help you. Including Crossroads Recovery Centre and Relapse Prevention.

IOL Wealth