Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Sex

Why Is Alien Porn Suddenly So Popular?

Curious clues to what we desire right now.

Key points

  • Alien porn was the second most popular search term on Pornhub in 2019.
  • In 2019 alien porn was found to be popular with women as well as men.
  • Watching a certain type of porn doesn’t imply that a person wants to do it, but it does offer some clues about what they may want to feel.
Marti Bug Catcher/Shutterstock
Source: Marti Bug Catcher/Shutterstock

As a sex therapist, I take people’s porn preferences very seriously, and they offer a wealth of information about what people secretly fantasize about and perhaps long for. Of course, just fantasizing about something doesn’t mean you want to try it. But it usually means an element is experienced in that porn that you would find exciting between the sheets, if on a much less intense scale.

There is such a vast array of porn out there – people don’t just randomly pick stuff that magically gets them off. It’s just the opposite. People are extremely particular about the porn that leads them to nirvana. When they want to get the job done, they often focus their attention on particular personal preferences. But people can be quite secretive about these preferences.

I ask just about everyone I work with about their favorite types of porn. But it can take months – and sometimes longer – for people to acknowledge what really gets their juices flowing. Most people respond to my questions with, “You know, the usual. Couples, maybe threesomes. Nothing crazy.”

Now, just playing the odds here, I’m pretty sure that most of the time, this is only part of the story. Not because people want to be secretive with the person they are paying to help them with their sex life (me). But because they feel so much shame about these scenarios. So, most people stay silent and hope I’m a good enough therapist that I can fly blind. After 25 years of this, at least some of the time, I think I can manage without much radar feedback.

Recently I’ve been intrigued by a porn category because it is impressively popular among the 18–25-year-old crowd – men and women alike. That both males and females agree on a type of porn is noteworthy. That’s because people who identify as male tend to prefer different kinds of porn to people who identify as female.

Scientific research (yes, there’s lots of academic, peer-reviewed research on this), as well as Pornhub (the most popular English-speaking porn site in the world), agree on this fact: males tend to prefer porn depicting pictures of genitals.

In contrast, females generally prefer more of a context to these genitals. Females want to know who owns them, and women are more interested in the relationship of the people whose genitals are on display. For a woman, the story is part of the porn. For a man, the story can merely distract from why he’s there in the first place.

But I digress from the fascinating topic of this blog – that of alien porn. I only considered alien porn a phenomenon to understand when Pornhub ranked it as ”The second most popular porn search that defined 2019.” No kidding! Even I was amazed, and I pride myself in being difficult to surprise after many years in this field. What could all this enthusiasm be about?

Pornhub’s “2019 Annual Year in Review” report (fascinating reading, by the way, if you like that kind of thing) suggests that one reason alien porn shot up in popularity so rapidly in 2019 was because of the alien talk on Facebook that year – specifically, about Area 51. The Pornhub analyzers explained that stuff making the news is likely to find its way into people’s porn searches. Okay, that explains at least part of it. But to thicken the plot, they added, “Women are 33% more likely to search for and view alien porn than men.”

Pornhub’s expert, Laurie Betito, explained this, too. She suggests that domination fantasies can be popular among women, and alien porn pretty transparently addresses this dynamic. Alien porn typically consists of a female (cartoon or real) being sexually invaded by an alien creature. The female isn’t playing the dominant role in these scenes. That doesn’t mean she appears unwilling or unhappy about the situation. But the alien is in charge.

Betito also suggested that alien porn bypasses the complex and very earthly dynamics of consent. So perhaps, not having to deal with consent is part of the appeal? Finally, because much of it is animated, women may find the domination scenes less threatening than if live humans were depicted. These are interesting hypotheses. And I wonder if men are attracted to alien porn for similar reasons – domination play that doesn’t involve real people or consent. And the fantasy nature of the entire endeavor may make these themes less threatening for all. The jury is out on this. But it sure is interesting to speculate.

Furthermore, alien porn isn’t the only non-human porn gaining significant popularity of late. Cosplay and Apex Legends also enjoyed impressive popularity in 2019. These non-human and/or animated types of porn are more popular among the under 35 crowd.

As a futurist, I find this fascinating and worth understanding. How will these porn preferences interface with people’s human partner experience? What social dynamics are facilitating this shift toward getting off via animation and fantasy? Has sex between humans become so complex and tricky that fantasy sex works better to get the job done? Have dominance dynamics, a very potent and exciting form of sex play for many, become so associated with abuse that they can only safely be experienced in fantasy? I have more questions than answers in this fascinating world of the future of intimacy.

Facebook image: Marti Bug Catcher/Shutterstock

advertisement