A study of online pornography
Photo: © 2009 Jupiterimages Corporation
My online research career has taken some interesting turns, like my fascination with our visits to porn sites and what those visits tell us about ourselves. Temperature, time of year, political affiliation, day of the week and your gender are but a few of the factors that influence how often and what type of online adult entertainment you're most likely to gravitate toward.

Based on the Experian Hitwise sample of 10 million U.S. Internet visitors, porn ranks as one of the most popular categories of online content. As of last week, the porn category accounted for 7 percent of all online traffic. To put that in perspective, online porn sites two times as popular as educational sites, three times as popular as sports content and six times as popular as health and medical content.

While the volume of online adult entertainment is impressive, the category is steadily declining, down from 10 percent of all visits in November 2008. While the volume of visits are down, the amount of time we spend on those sites is steadily increasing, averaging seven minutes and 35 seconds as of the first week of November 2009, compared to seven minutes and six seconds a year ago. The advent of free online adult videos is most likely responsible for this trend.