back to article Survey sets out to pin down nation's pr0n habits

A ground-breaking and timely survey of how individuals use porn was launched yesterday. The aim of this survey, available online at, is to collect evidence around the everyday uses of pornography and find out how the people who use it feel it fits into their lives. Ultimately, the data may be used to challenge …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    "the everyday uses of pornography"

    And they needed a survey to tell them? FFS

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: "the everyday uses of pornography"

      Hands up who didn't read the whole story!

      1. The Beer Monster
        Thumb Up

        Hands up

        But wash them first

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        He can't. They are both in use.

      3. E 2

        Oh indeed

        Mea culpa!

        1. asiaseen


          maxima culpa

    2. LinkOfHyrule

      Yes they need a survey!

      Well not everyone uses porn for wanking you know. I quite enjoy looking at porn for its comedy value or for new ideas to try out.

      This is serious comment by the way, not a joke one.

  2. Hud Dunlap

    I read what I want

    You don't have the right to decide what I read. What is so hard to understand about that?

  3. Anonymous Coward


    Quick, someone tell Jacqui Smith about it, and make sure she's told the results so she can be thoroughly shocked that we're far more liberally minded than she believes!

    1. Rattus Rattus
      Thumb Up


      maybe it'll give the cow a heart attack.

  4. serviceWithASmile


    someone's grown the balls to stand erect and engage in intercourse, challenging the uninformed assumptions of people in the dominant position.

    phew that took some thought :D

    seriously though, i approve.

    I'll get my coat.

    1. E 2

      Well said

      Good work.

  5. Tim Worstal

    From Smith, J

    The use of porn?

    Well, personally, I leave all that sort of stuff to my husband.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    No need to research the obvious?

    So then, no need to check if the earth is flat, as that's obvious.

    No need to research a lot of things, when you take 3 seconds to think about how obvious they are.

    But most of all, it's obvious the obvious isn't always how things work in reality. Now THAT is obvious and doesn't require research.

    Paris ... why should be obvious

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Quite correct, AC...

      ... any sentence that begins "Everyone knows ..." is automatically suspect, and often wrong. I once read a suggestion that researchers looking for funding should specifically search out instances of "everyone knows", because no-one actually does, and a grant application can therefore be built.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    you can get a job studying porn?

    did my careers teacher ever lie to me

    1. chr0m4t1c


      The job is studying people who study porn.

      I would say that's a good deal less stimulating, but that's probably a matter of personal taste.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    It'll never work,....

    those who hold forth on the evils of pr0n are not interested in facts, only in feeling superior and judgemental. (Because if they are repressed then everyone else should be too)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to use porn?

    Type in to your browser, select appropriate content, unzip, grab tissue.

    See, no need for a survey.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      That's not right

      If the porn needs to be unzipped, don't download it - it might be infected with a virus.

  10. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Kinsey v2.0

    This could be a valuable study. If the data is suitably anonymized*, it could show the extent of pornography use by "normal" people who do not subsequently become the subject of law enforcement or mental health intervention. So far, we've got a pretty good idea about porn use among various classes of offenders. And this has led (through faulty logic) to linking porn with the propensity to commit such offenses. A good baseline or control group will go a long way to possibly disproving such links.

    *Both the survey participant and the sources (URLs, newsgroups, etc.) need to be kept confidential so that this study can't be used to "clean house" or generate blacklists.

    1. E 2

      Yes, research is valuable

      However way back in the 1990s when e-commerce first showed up it was clearly understood from traffic analysis that the only companies that made money via e-commerce were porn sites.

      Would you believe that all of the 'deviants' managed to jump on the Internet e-commerce bandwagon before the entire world figured it out, just to get their porn fix?

      Lots of people like porn. Porn is a bigger movie industry in California than Hollywood is by a factor of approx 10. I suggest that researchers who want to demonstrate this are probably wanking.

  11. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    I love

    How the research is being criticised "in some circles" before it is even completed.

  12. Chris Miller
    Thumb Down

    Belle de Jour?

    Let me see, pornographer argues that there are no harmful effects of pornography. Well, colour me unsurprised.

    1. Graham Marsden

      @Chris Miller

      Belle de Jour was an *escort* not a pornographer and she's a Research Scientist with specialisations in developmental neurotoxicology and cancer epidemiology, she has a PhD in informatics, epidemiology and forensic science.

      Let me see: ignorant person makes Straw Man argument based on their own lack of knowledge. Colour me unsurprised...!

      1. Chris Miller

        Try reading a dictionary, you cretin

        Pornography: from Greek porne=prostitute, graphein=writing. So someone who claims to have been a prostitute* and then writes about it, isn't a pornographer (according to you). And I can't see that the number of irrelevant qualifications she holds have any bearing on the matter.

        Utterly epic fail.

        * You may want to look that up in a dictionary, too.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          That argument is a tragedy ...

          ... by which, of course, I must mean that it is a song about a goat.

          1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

            @Chris Miller

            Presumably, you argue that pornography does have a harmful effect. Can you elaborate, please?

            1. Chris Miller


              Your presumption is wrong, I have made no claim about harmful or beneficial effects of pornography. What I have said, although many seem incapable of reading or comprehension, is that I am not surprised that someone who makes a living from prostitution and pornographic writing would claim that pornography is not harmful. No doubt Richard Desmond could be called upon to second the motion.

      2. The elephant in the room

        To paraphrase cartoon spy Archer

        They are "escorts" when they are alive. But if they are a corpse in the trunk of your car you refer to them as a "dead hooker".

    2. Rattus Rattus

      @ Chris Miller

      Moron talks bollocks. I, too, am unsurprised.

  13. Wommit


    completed the survey.

    Perhaps the only way to stop ridiculous laws being enacted and enforced is to have a body of research like this.

    Asking pressure groups what their opinion is will only get you their narrow, and biased, viewpoint. This is dangerous as it warps the viewpoint of our lawmakers (as if those viewpoints weren't warped enough already.) And this leads to very bad laws being enacted, i.e. the extreme cartoon laws.

    A lot of the pressure groups, who are trying to force these limitations upon us, are just trying to make us conform to a set of rules which are basically unnatural and unworkable. These laws are criminalising people just for the sake of criminalising them.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    art ?

    i don't ... ahem....use porn myself but didn't the French and Germans have some god-awful wallpaper in the late 70's early 80's?

    and yes, limited vocabulary maybe, but it does improve my French, German and Swedish.

    One of life's mysteries? Why so little Dutch made porn?

  15. A B 3

    Not a pervert

    I think they are intend to prove that porn does not fuel devious behaviour and cause relationships to end.

    At first I would have said "another waste of money," but if they come up with a good study it might be ok.

  16. Graham Marsden

    "everyone knows how porn is used"

    "If “everybody knows” such-and-such, then it ain’t so, by at least ten thousand to one." - Lazarus Long (via Robert A Heinlein).

    Once again I mention that I make leather bondage gear. There are times when I've seen something on a website etc that has made me go "Damn, I never thought of that, what a great idea for a new product...!"

    Who says you can't enjoy Business Research? :-)

  17. Anonymous Coward

    I'm surprised

    Not by the general stupidity of some people, but by the fact that the survey didn't ask if you were in any kind of relationship (besides with your hand).

  18. Dick_Deleq

    Oi! No!

    Surely only an American woman could have written this bunk:

    1) "how porn fits into their sense of self" - come again??

    2) "their relationships" - oh yes, all my years in the real world lead me to gullibly believe that all women are gagging for it and just need to be revved up like a child's toy car.

    3) "and their everyday lives" - Oi! Do you mind! Maybe everyday for you, you sex-crazed neurotic. Sometimes we members of the rest of the human race manage to fit in something else- do you mind??

    4) "is to simply waste energy on measuring the obvious". - you might have some paper degree but apparently you didn't go to the University Of The Bleedin' Obvious.

    But yeah, like P.H. says, studies have been skewed by being conducted on offenders. Perhaps porn make bad people just a little worse sometimes, eh?

  19. BristolBachelor Gold badge


    "society is attempting to legislate"

    WHY? Is it because some people enjoy it, and we can't have that. What about train spotting? How about people that like sport? Hell make everything illegal.

    "in order to 'protect children'"

    Here we go again. Little people should not know what people look like without clothes on. They should not know what a breast looks like, despite sucking on one continually for the first part of their lives. They should not know where people come from, or how. Perhaps we can also protect the children by preventing them from ever seeing someone over 30, or ill so that they don't know that people get old, ill and die*. (*Stolen from a story about a stupid King trying to prevent people knowing the truth)

    1. asiaseen

      What about train spotting?

      Probably is already. Trainspotters are terrrreerists dontcha kno

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge


        "Trainspotters are terrrreerists dontcha kno"

        Only if they have a camera.

        Oh or a timetable (Exact offence is to poses something likely to be useful to a terrorist).

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it isn't

    It isn't just about how porn is "used" they seem to be building a profile of long term interest and activity from when you find your first dirty mag in a bin to right now. How this influences your thoughts on sex and relationships and how you would cope without porn.

  21. bugalugs

    The survey looks quite worthwhile simply from sexological pov

    Unfortunately I, um, broke it on page 3 or so. Just when it was getting interesting.

  22. Nick Pettefar

    Use of Pr0n

    I considered sexual harassment and rape but looking at pr0n was much easier, less messy and didn't depend on the weather; besides, I'm getting old.

    Simple really.

    What's that I hear you say, they want to ban it?

  23. Heff

    I think

    the only erroneous assumption here is that the results of this survey will be listened to. 'legislating in a vacuum' is entirely the intent. Its not about whether or not porn is good, bad, or indifferent to you, or if individual types or usage habits affect you as a human being. Legislating against porn in the UK is a distant, muted echo of individual states legislating against abortion. its the perceived need to be doing something about _an issue perceived as harmful by the mainstream voter_.

    the legislating thats in place now for violent pornography has nothing to do with the actualities involved with either commercial or underground pornography or its consumer, and everything to do with appeasing squeaky wheels and interest groups.

    far too much government effort these days seems to be expended on either working to appear busy, or being busy and loud on a public project to detract notice from other affairs (we've flipped on selling off the national forests versus 'just a little change to corporation and business tax re; foreign offices' anyone?)

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