You could probably guess that half of all Internet users log in daily to porn websites. You might also figure that the porn industry is worth more than Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Apple combined. But what are all those customers fantasizing about?

The answer: regular people.

At Metro’s request, YouPorn—one of the most prominent porn portals on the web, with 12 million hits and 2.5 million searches per day—studied the habits of 18 countries. The most clicked on worldwide: Amateurs.

In 16 of the countries, it came up in the top five, beating other categories like hairy (big in Portugal and Russia), young/old (number one in Greece) and mature (number one in Sweden, among others). Meanwhile, the most popular search term in the U.S. and Portugal is “Backroom Casting Couch,” a real-life series where aspiring models have sex with faux producers.

 

“The uptake in popularity of amateur pornography has changed the way the industry works as a whole,” says Jude Mahoney, the marketing manager at YouPorn. “Easy access to cameras and quality video editing software has led to more users creating and uploading their own content.”

Tau Morena knows. A South African porn producer, he launched the most successful all-black amateur pornographic website in Africa, Sondeza. The portal also promotes awareness against HIV and stars local black talent.

“People are now interested in seeing the real stuff about other people,” he says. “They are tired of the same old material made by professionals, it all looks the same. But when it comes of amateur, it is different at all times.”

Big studios and old-fashioned mainstream porn giants are struggling to cope with the novelty.

“It’s simply not possible for any studio to match the volume of content uploaded by users on a daily basis, which is what has made sites that host user-submitted videos so popular,” Mahoney added.

YouPorn’s data also indicates people search for those of a similar ethnicity.

“For some,” says Mahoney, “it could be a turn-on to think that the person in the video they are watching could be from their city, or could even be their neighbour.”

Daisy Rock, a British porn actress, owes most of the success to her fan-based amateur website.

“We are hitting a niche, building a successful micro-world apart from mainstream industry,” she points out. “My fans can live a life with me. I talk to them personally and they know what I do and where I go. I build a relationship with my audience: ‘amateur’ has a lot more to offer.”

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