Some time ago, I was watching Kristen Schaal doing some stand-up comedy and she mentioned YouPorn. You never know with her. It would be entirely in keeping with her style to make up such a thing. On the other hand, of course the porn industry would create an “adult” site with that name. Although now that I think about it, YouTube sounds kind of obscene too. The truth is, just about everything sounds obscene in the right context. Anyway, I had to know, so I opened a new tab in Chrome and typed “youporn.com.” And sure enough: there is such a site and it is exactly what you would think it would be.
YouTube was created in February 2005. YouPorn was created in December 2005. And if you look on Alexa, you will see that YouTube is the third most popular website in the world while YouPorn is number 127. So clearly, the pornographers are clever people — they knew what they were doing. And I, as usual, am pretty clueless — not realizing that of course there would be a YouPorn.
Before I go on, I should explain Alexa traffic ratings. The lower the number the better. But 127 is still remarkably low. There are over a billion active websites on the internet. Frankly Curious usually has a ranking of a bit less than two million. That represents about 500 visitors per day. And it isn’t linear. A website with a ranking of 20 million (generally Alexa doesn’t rank sites with that little traffic) would not have 50 visitors per day but more like 5. So you can imagine the number of people who are visiting YouPorn — millions per day.
But YouPorn isn’t even at the top of the heap in terms of porn websites. Black Hat World provided a very helpful article about a year ago, List of Over 300 Porn Sites in Order by Their Traffic Ranking. YouPorn, with its nifty name only ranks number six behind such sites as XVideos, PornHub, and the similarly titled RedTube (created right after YouPorn). And YouPorn is only a little more popular than the charmingly titled YouJizz. Shockingly, Porn.com — created a full decade before YouPorn — isn’t even close. I guess like in anything, management matters.
Perhaps I would be better informed about all this if I were a big consumer of video porn. But I’m more of a literary guy myself. Video has many problems — most specifically it doesn’t really have motivation. People have sex. There really isn’t much motivation there. Although I will admit that I came upon a Russian how-to video that was excellent. It was aimed at young men and was more about seduction than mechanics. It really was charming, because it involved a young couple and it would show the guy screwing up and then rerun the whole thing with him behaving more appropriately. I really wish that I had had such a video when I was young. But regardless, such things are the exception and video porn is generally more like a filmed gynecological exam than anything sexy. Give me Anaïs Nin’s careful prose any day!
So there I was, encouraged by Kristen Schaal to see if YouPorn is a real thing and finding that, yes, it is a real thing. But then, the next time I needed to go to YouTube, I entered, “you…” That was always enough. Chrome filled in the rest and took me to YouTube. But not after the YouPorn incident! At that point, “you” took me to YouPorn. I’d been going to YouTube for many years and YouPorn once. But Chrome suddenly decided that “you” meant I wanted to go to the Sexy Site of Sexy Sex. I remained calm. I figured it was just using the last thing I entered. So I carefully entered YouTube each time. But after “You” it always offered up “YouPorn?”
It isn’t just that it was vaguely embarrassing. I do, after all, have Kristen Schaal to blame for it. But it interfered with my work. I am highly dependent upon habits. So I was forced to change my habits, which sucked. Well finally, Chrome now offers “YouTube?” when I type in “you.” But this took over two months to happen. Entering “YouPorn” once make the stupid browser think that I wanted nothing so much as the sixth most popular porn site on the internet. If Google didn’t own YouTube, I would suspect some kind of payola scam going on. As it is, I figure it is just bad programming.