A Billion Wicked Thoughts

The world's largest experiment on human desire.

Shemales, Bestiality, and Granny Porn: Mere Curiosity or Genuine Sexual Interest?

An analysis of unorthodox sexual searches.
This post is a response to The strange new science behind "A Billion Wicked Thoughts" by Stephen Snyder, M.D.

WARNING: This article contains language which some may find offensive or obscene.

When people hear about some of the popular yet unconventional sexual interests described in our research—such as shemales, grannies, and bestiality—they usually respond with one of these reactions:

  • Unlike me, fans of those interests are deviants!
  • Unlike me, fans of those interests are sex addicts!
  • Like me, those people aren't really interested in that stuff—they're merely curious, like visiting a circus freakshow.

So how can we distinguish whether a Web search for one of these erotic genres reflects mere curiosity or genuine interest?

The America Online dataset contains the individual search histories made by 657,427 men and women over a period of three months. A cursory examination of these search histories often reveals that individuals search for the same unconventional interest week after week:

User #4204452
animal sex lovers
webcam sex no credit needed
cheat codes for playstation 2
teens and 35 year old women fucking animals
sexy crotchless panties
free animal slut movies
animal fucking asians

User #12170089
24-7 shemales
anime babes pictures
sexy shemale pics
clit piercing
hot sexy shemales
basement floor tiling
rate my tranny

User #51661
old plumper galleries
fat old grannies galleries
www.homedepot.com
granny huge breast galleries
plump nude granny galleries
mature fat plumpers

At some point, such repeated searches must surely reflect a genuine erotic urge. After all, searches for shemales occur more frequently than searches for butts, fellatio, and Asians: Are men really spending more time satisfying their curiosity than their libido?

But we don't need to settle for a cursory examination of search histories. Using the entire set of AOL search data, we can compare the pattern of searches for Paris Hilton Sex Tape (presumably reflecting curiosity) with searches for NBA and lottery (presumably recurring interests) and searches for three types of porn frequently claimed to reflect "mere curiosity":

We see that about three fourths of people who search for Paris Hilton sex tape only search for it once—a convincing indication of curiosity. When it comes to searches for lottery—presumably a recurring interest—about half of searchers search for it once. This is the same fraction of people who search for granny porn and shemale porn only once. In other words, shemale porn and granny porn are probably not curiosity. It's also worth observing that bestiality searchers search for bestiality more often than NBA searchers search for the NBA.

But even those users who search for unusual sexual interests just once might be more than curious:

User #9198313
regal cinemas
transformer belt buckles
barbarianshemale.com
beatles songs
elton john songs

User #6880015
www.chryslerfinancial.com
view profile.php
picgalleries.hotshemalesluts.com
pcu.org
www.saintjoseph's hospital.com

In both these histories, the specificity of the shemale search ("barbarianshemale.com," "picgalleries.hotshemalesluts.com") suggests it is not mere curiosity, even though they only made one "shemale" search in a three month period.

There are a few other sources of evidence that unconventional sexual searches reflect interest and not curiosity:

  • The popularity of these unconventional searches corresponds to the popularity of websites devoted to these interests.
  • There are significant numbers of purchases of memberships to porn sites devoted to these unconventional interests. Are men willing to pay $29.99 and have World-Shemale.com appear on their credit card bill just to satisfy their curiosity?
  • There are significant numbers of erotic stories written about these unconventional interests. Reading an erotic story is a greater commitment than clicking on an image, and writing such a story is an even greater commitment.
  • Many free sites devoted to unconventional interests have message boards where one can read fans' appreciation for the content.

Our brains appear to be designed to react to unfamiliar sexual interests with fear, repulsion, or dismissal. This natural sexual intolerance probably evolved to keep us focused on our own reproduction-driven interests during long prehistoric eras when a sexual interest in animals, post-menopausal women, or unusual sexual anatomy was a genetic dead end. But in an age of democracy, digital technology, and easy birth control, these biological mechanisms of instinctive intolerance are obsolete.

Western democracies have slowly overcome religious and racial intolerance. But overcoming sexual intolerance appears to be the most difficult battle of all.

 

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Ogi Ogas, Ph.D., studies computational neuroscience. He is co-author of A Billion Wicked Thoughts.

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