January 8, 2009

Latin teen booty or Asian MILF boobies? Trends in porn over the past 20 years

One feature of the mid-late '90s that I've always found bizarre was the brief rise of Asian girls as sex symbols, despite having no ass or breasts, flat and fat faces, and a cold demeanor (Lucy Liu on Ally McBeal). This was an on-the-ground phenomenon too, with guys saying things like, "Dude, did you see her roommate? She's ASIAN!" Other aspects of female sex symbols -- the ones that aren't so central to her value -- go through fashion cycles, such as the recent domination of the ass over the boobs.

To investigate how real these apparent trends were, and when they started and stopped, I searched for certain keywords within the titles of porn movies at the Internet Adult Film Database. This can't tell us what percent of porn chicks were Asian in a given year, but it at least tells us about the strength of the niche market for Asian videos (or whatever), where the word appears right there in the title. Most of the keywords show up around 1988, so I started all of them there to make the graphs comparable.

I looked up three trends: Latin vs. Asian ethnicity, teen vs. MILF ages, and emphasis on asses vs. boobs. The number of titles in each year is standardized by dividing by the number of titles with "the," a neutral word to compare against. I've plotted the trend for each of the two types on the same graph, as well as another graph with the difference between the two. First, the ethnic groups (click to see full-size):




In the trend graph, we see that an increasing fraction of porn movies have either an Asian or Latin focus -- the titles are no longer vague, like "Sexual Inferno," but explicitly name the type of girl and act you're looking for, like "Latin Booty Worship 2." This trend begins in the mid-'90s. The Latin - Asian gap favored Asians from '92 to '99, though not by a lot. After being neck-and-neck in 2000 and '01, Latins have taken over since then, peaking in 2004.

And now for trends in unusual ages (young or old):




Teens became a popular niche in 2000, and MILFs in 2003 or '04. Looks like teens have stalled out as a niche, while MILFs are still rising in popularity. There wasn't much difference between the two age groups throughout the '90s, but from 2000 to '06, teens blew MILFs out of the water, peaking in '03. For the past two years, though, MILFs have been a stronger niche than teenagers -- a sure sign that civilization is doomed.

Lastly, the trends in focus on the ass or breasts:




These two increase throughout the '90s, but at the turn of the millennium both increase even faster. It seems that the late '90s was when porn changed from movies with acting to an unconnected series of scenes on the same theme. Booty movies have always been more popular than boob movies, which I wouldn't have guessed would be true before 2000. Either there are more assmen than boobmen, or even boobmen become more interested in asses when they need to get the job done. The ass - boob gap was greatest in 2006, but has declined somewhat in the past two years. Has the booty bubble burst? Let's hope not. But Congress can always break it off a piece of its big stimulus package to keep it floating.

So, along with rock music, we can add "porn" to the list of pop culture things whose most recent peak was around 2003 - '06.

Guys like to think that they're largely immune to fashion changes in female sex symbols, and to a great extent, we're right -- short of driving a spike through our brain, you can't convince us that Sarah Jessica Parker is sexy. But for traits that don't matter so much, we may go along with whatever's cool at the moment, like a J-Lo booty. I've been a fan of that shape ever since my first girlfriend in sixth grade, a Central American with a full rump and the largest breasts in the entire middle school. But for others, it may be like the Asian craze of the mid-late '90s.

5 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:29 AM

    I think a big part of the appeal of asian girls is that they're perceived as being easy (and they pretty much are).

    They're also a lot less fat than typical, which while not much of a feature in itself sadly is a pretty big deal nowadays.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous7:40 AM

    On porn trends.

    The talent pool isn't nearly as big as you might think, so a temporary focus on MILFs might just be due to there being proportionally few boxcover quality teenagers entering porn. If you look at all the big American sites you'll usually see the same women doing all the sites, and there's not a lot more than 100 or so female performers active at any one time.

    For instance, in 2000 there were something like 4-5 hot teenagers doing a ton of movies (over 300 per person) and being the "stars". Remove them and collectively a 1000 titles might have had a different focus.

    Also, most MILF porn includes women from 22 and upwards and only very rarely focus on actual mothers or women above 40. Usually it's just code for big tits and ass.

    If you look at something like http://www.eurobabeindex.com/sbandoindex/thumbs_a.html where there's a high influx of teenagers I think you'll see that they usually are the most in demand.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Guys like to think that they're largely immune to fashion changes in female sex symbols, and to a great extent, we're right -- short of driving a spike through our brain, you can't convince us that Sarah Jessica Parker is sexy. But for traits that don't matter so much, we may go along with whatever's cool at the moment, like a J-Lo booty.

    um, what?

    dude, it's the actresses that follow the trends, not the viewers. especially porn actresses, who are not exactly well known for their trail-blazing individuality.

    the trends change, the actresses change accordingly, and the titles change in turn.

    similarly, the sharp increase in milf titles is almost certainly more a reflection of a SATC-influenced influx of older women into the adult industry than of an actual shift in viewers' preferences.

    when you prepare your toiletry kit, don't forget to pack occam's razor.

    ReplyDelete
  4. when you prepare your toiletry kit, don't forget to pack occam's razor.

    Didn't your parents teach you about supply and demand?

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Asian fetish has been around a long time - lots of guys at Berkeley in the mid-80s had "yellow fever". Like anonymous@7:29 said, they're less likely to be fat. They're also more likely to have long hair, and while I have a preference for big tits, smaller tits are a lot less likely to sag. Asian women also, when they're not putting on the bitch shield, are more feminine-acting than white girls. (Latinas are all over on this - some are more femme than most Asians, and some are bull-dykes that prefer dick, and everywhere in-between.)

    ReplyDelete

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