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Half Of UK Adults Watched Porn During Lockdown, Says Ofcom

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Half Of UK Adults Watched Porn During Lockdown, Says Ofcom

Almost 50 percent of adults in the UK watched porn during lockdown, a new study has found.

Research carried out by Ofcom found that in September last year, 49 percent of UK adults used adult sites, which amounts to around 26 million people.

According to reports, the most popular site was Pornhub, which had 16 million visitors - giving it a larger audience share than mainstream channels like Sky One, ITV4 and BBC News.

For younger people, the figures are even higher, with a third of young women and three-quarters of men visiting PornHub during the same period.

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The information was collated as part of Ofcom's annual internet consumption report.

As well as porn sites, the regulator also recorded a rise in the use of sites such as OnlyFans, which relies on user-created content, usually adult in nature.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Discussing the trend, Ofcom said the financial impact of the pandemic had led more and more people to sign up to the site.

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A spokesperson said: "It has been reported that economic factors caused by the lockdowns may have led people to turn to sites such as OnlyFans to generate an income, in the context of rising unemployment or furlough, and financial uncertainty for many in the UK."

In the year to November 2020, OnlyFans, which takes a hefty 20 percent cut of creators' earnings, recorded sales of £1.7 billion, up 615 percent on the previous 12 months.

The number of creators also rose during this time from 348,000 to 1.6 million, according to recent Companies House filings.

While the number of subscribers skyrocketed from 13 million to 82 million people in 187 different countries.

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It has even proven quite lucrative for some of its users.

During lockdown, it was revealed that glamour model Dannii Harwood had become the first British creator to make £1m from the site since she joined back in 2019.

Speaking to the New York Times about the allure of OnlyFans, she said: "You can get porn for free. Guys don't want to pay for that.

Credit: OnlyFans
Credit: OnlyFans
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"They want the opportunity to get to know somebody they've seen in a magazine or on social media. I'm like their online girlfriend."

This all ties in with Ofcom's further findings that we are spending ever-increasing amounts of time online.

The study says that the average Brit adult spent over three-and-a-half hours online each day last year, which is an hour longer than those in Germany and France, and 30 minutes more than the average adult in Spain.

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom's director of strategy and research, said: "In an unprecedented year, we've seen a real acceleration in our migration to online services - which, for many people, have provided a lifeline in lockdown.

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"This research is critical to keep pace with these changes in technology, economics and behaviour, as we prepare to take on new responsibilities for regulating online safety."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: onlyfans, Internet, BBC, Social Media, porn, ITV

Dominic Smithers
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