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When it Comes to Internet Porn, the Bible Belt Craves it Most

I hope you’re sitting down when you read this. I know it’s very possible it could make you pass out from shock. So, please, take whatever precautions you deem necessary. Because I can’t be held responsible for what happens after you do read it. Okay?

Religious conservatives can be sex-starved porn addicts.

I know, I know. It’s hard to believe that people in the so-called “Bible Belt” — the part of the United States where Christianity is most widely practiced and embraced — would be the kind to search for porn on the Internet, but that’s exactly what the data shows.

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A 2014 report called Archives of Sexual Behavior, published by Canadian Universities, makes it plain that when analyzing Google traffic patterns, folks who consider themselves Christlike go looking for free sexually-related content more often than those in other regions.

Across two separate years, and controlling for demographic variables, we observed moderate-to-large positive associations between: (1) greater proportions of state-level religiosity and general web searching for sexual content and (2) greater proportions of state-level conservatism and image-specific searching for sex.

While we should be careful to assume and generalize about Christians in the Bible Belt based on this study, The Daily Beast once reported similar findings based on data from an online porn distributor. That time though, the data was focused on homemade adult content

Homegrown Video announced the results of a six-month study on amateur porn demographics. Just under a third of all homemade sex tape submissions were created in the “Bible Belt”. (Patheos)

You may also enjoy reading: Woman goes into anaphylactic shock after swallowing partner’s semen

The Daily Beast story also contained a tidbit I thought was kind of interesting. It seemed to imply that maybe what we should be taking away from these reports is that there are more sexually free and independently thinking people in the Bible Belt than we had presumed. Perhaps the issue is that we assume the Bible Belt has more prudes in it than it does, and maybe even the number of born-again evangelical porn shamers isn’t nearly as high as we’d thought?

But perhaps even more interesting is the type of user-generated content coming from areas of the country some consider repressed. ‘We get so many interracial tapes from states that people would stereotype as being racially bigoted areas,’ says Timlake. ‘And that plays into the same thing: the more repressed it is, the more taboo it is, the more somebody is going to want to see it or touch that fire.’

Pornhub — a site I’ve definitely never, ever, ever heard of or visited, publishes data every year on the kinds of porn that’s searched for in different regions of the country. Their results often find that in the Bible Belt, a lot of people go looking for gay porn.

… the majority of states with a high percentage of gay viewers is in the South. According to the numbers, Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia lead the South in gay porn consumption, and the state with the highest percentage of gay porn viewers in the nation is Mississippi at 5.6%. (PornHub)

It’s interesting that a lot of interracial porn comes from states in the Bible Belt. It also is very eyebrow raising how much gay porn gets searched for in the same regions. One would presume that the overwhelming majority of rhetoric that’s anti-LGTBQ comes out of those states, so either we have a lot of hypocrites in Bible Land, or there truly are a lot fewer people in the religious right and the reality might just be they’re louder and unrelenting in their complaints.

This probably means we should all stop and pause before we make a comment about how racist they are. Then again…

I could just as easily be assuming the wrong way myself. It’s entirely possible that this data shows pretty conclusively that a lot of people are “Hide the beer, the preacher’s here” kind of religious conservatives. They talk the talk, but when the lights are out and they think no one’s looking, they want to fap just as much as anyone else. Given humankind’s propensity to be at least a little hypocritical — try being a parent and never dipping a toe in the “do as I say, not as I did at your age” pool — that’s really the most likely paradigm to take away from the data.

It’s not a stretch at all to imagine that religious conservatives might be more obsessed and preoccupied with sex in general. If something is made taboo, it tends to attract more of our interest, not less of it. In the religious corners of this country, I can’t think of something with more taboos associated with it than sex.

But I’ll leave you all to draw any conclusions you want.


Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.

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