Monday, December 11The Voice of London

Cougar time: the rise of mature porn

As part of a continuing investigation into the modern porn industry, VoL looks into the surge of mature genres.

By Jack Cummings | Sub-editor: Chloe Chapman

Over the past decade, a discreet, Freudian surge in viewership has been taking place throughout the adult industry. As it happens, a growing number of visitors to Porn’s biggest websites are seeking out women old enough to be their mother.

It’s a trend that can be traced back to the early 2000s, when users began increasingly demanding ‘MILF’ material. That in itself wasn’t overwhelmingly out of character – most performers who fitted the bill were in their late 30s and had the bodies of glamour models. Essentially a MILF was your typical pornstar – just a decade older.

But a few years later, the category began fading in light of ‘mature’ porn, which featured natural, often amateur women between the ages of 40-55.

In the increasingly diverse world of adult entertainment, the existence of this category is by no means unusual, but it’s popularity far exceeds what you might expect from such a niche. According to Lynx, a mysterious spokesperson for Xhamster, ‘mature’ is the website’s 4th most popular category, outranking the stereotypically more popular ‘teen’ and ‘MILF’ genres.

Meanwhile, on Pornhub – the planet’s most frequented porn website – mature has become the most popular category in some countries.

Corey Price, VP of Pornhub said: “Mature is especially popular in European countries. It’s the #1 category in Southern/Eastern Europe and Spain.”

In an interview with VoL, Price suggested that this was in part due to the slightly older user base in Europe, and noted that those viewing ‘mature’ porn tend to spend longer on the site than the average viewer.

global demographics, image courtesy of Pornhub
global demographics, courtesy of Pornhub

There is however a significant lack of research into the viewership trends of adult entertainment. Most academic studies into porn focus on its media effects rather than its consumption. Lynx attributes the popularity of mature porn to the viewership trend towards ‘real’ women. What’s equally fascinating however is the obvious Oedipal connotations in men seeking out women far older than themselves.

This can be observed increasingly within the sub-categories of mature porn. In 2015, ‘step-mom’ and ‘mom’ were Pornhub’s 3rd and 6th most popular search terms respectively, and commonly depict familial style role-play.

Of course, in some countries, stereotypes about porn consumption remain as true as ever. According to Pornhub – who allowed us unprecedented access to their demographics – ‘hentai’ (animated) content is most popular in Japan, whilst hardy Russians prefer ‘anal’ above all else.

Globally however, it’s a sunny era for the mysterious world of mature porn, and whilst nobody exactly knows why the category is so popular, we probably don’t want to know the answer either.

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