What is the extent of Parliament’s pornography problem? How regularly are our MPs trying to view this sort of stuff? And, most importantly, what kind of thing are they into? As the government is being so slow to release its report, we’ve taken matters into our own hands. Cross-referencing PornHub’s data with Parliament’s – we’ve come to some strange conclusions…
There’s been a lot of speculation and discussion in recent weeks about the contents of Damian Green’s laptop. We don’t really seem to be getting any closer to the truth of the matter, but if there’s one thing we do know for sure (possibly the only thing we know for sure) it’s this:
If Damian Green was perving off in the House Of Commons, there is not a chance in hell that he was the only one. Absolutely no way.
We don’t say that because the vast majority of politicians are obviously horny deviants (although they definitely are). We say it because Parliament keeps a publicly available record of all the times that attempts are made to access pornographic material on the Westminster network.
You can find the number on Parliament’s own website, here.
Or you can just look at the numbers we pulled out for the last full year on record – 2016.
If you’re anything like us, your eyes probably will have been drawn towards two months in particular: February and September.
What was going on there, then?
Sadly, Parliament’s figures are just that. Figures. They don’t come with much in the way of context. However, thanks to the tireless data crunching done by the internet’s most prolific jazzmongers, PornHub, we can probably make an educated guess.
Let’s start by looking at the glut of smut in September.
32,164 attempts to access pornography from Parliamentary computers. Now, it’s worth pointing out that Parliament says all of these attempts were blocked – but that is still some incredible persistence.
How does this break down?
According to Parliament’s figures, 2,040 individuals work at the House Of Commons (in both full and part-time capacities) – so that’s roughly 16 attempts per person to access pornography in September. Or, to put it another way, every single employee in the HoC trying to peek at porn every other day.
However, this makes the assumption that everyone working in the House Of Commons is equally horny – and we know from the volume of pornography allegedly on Damian Green’s computer that that simply cannot be possible. If everyone was perpetually as horny as Damian Green, even less would get done in Parliament.
So perhaps it’s more useful to divorce these numbers from people, and look at it in terms of time.
There are (famously) 30 days in September. 32,164 attempts to access of porngraphy across 30 days works out at an average of 1,072 attempts a day.
That’s 45 attempts an hour, or, if you prefer, one attempt made every 80 seconds.
It’s worth remembering that the House of Commons isn’t a thriving hub of bustling activity 24 hours a day though. It’s unlikely that people are still there at 4am, thrashing around to adult content. These people have families. They have homes to go to. So there’s going to be peak and off-peak hours.
This would also be consistent with PornHub’s findings on their user habits. There’s a definite lull in the wee small hours…
…therefore, it’s probably more reasonable that we work with an 18 hour day.
That being so, 32,164 attempts in September works out at one attempt to access pornography every working minute. Which seems like a lot of attempts to access pornography – but what does that figure actually mean in practice?
It could be that there’s one person in Westminster who sits at a computer, day after day, fruitlessly trying to search for pornography, once a minute, every minute. That seems unlikely though. Even Damian Green would struggle to keep that level of activity up.
On the opposite end of that spectrum, if people in Westminster only need the briefest of looks at pornography to satiate their swelling lust, as many as 1,080 employees could be getting their rocks off each and every day in September.
(If that’s true though, it would require nearly eleven boxes of Kleenex a day to clean up the mess – and you can’t get rid of that many crunchy tissues discreetly.)
The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle. That there are a handful of serious horndogs trying to find gaps in the firewalls at every turn; and a bunch of other occasional dabblers who like to treat themselves to a little bonus bash behind the desk every now and then.
But if that’s the case, how do we explain such a (literal and proverbial) dry spell in February?
We can dispel the everyone’s first thought (“Maybe the MPs gave up wanking at work for Lent?”) because Lent traditionally doesn’t start until mid-February and it lasts for 40 days and 40 nights. As such, we’d expect to see March to take the biggest hit on numbers – which, clearly, it hasn’t.
If they didn’t give it up for good, wholesome, Christian reasons then, there has to be another explanation.
The next logical thought is that February is a shorter month than September, so maybe that accounts for some of the difference?
In an ordinary February, yes. There might be something to that. However, we’d be wise not to forget that 2016 was a leap year, meaning that the February under discussion here had 29 days – just one fewer than September’s 30. So unless 32,119 attempts to access porn were made on a single day in September (which would mean one attempt every three seconds for a full 24 hours) there has to be something else at play.
Let’s open the number out a little bit.
45 attempts in 29 days means a rough average of 1.6 attempts a day – or one attempt every 15 hours. It’s not as if they gorged so heavily on pornography in January that they had plenty in their imagination to tide themselves over – so could it be that everyone at the House of Commons simultaneously got into tantric masturbation?
Or possibly their annual February recess had something to do with it? Between February 9th and February 20th, the House of Commons wasn’t sitting (so presumably to get the fuller picture of their pornography consumption during this time we’d need data from their individual constituency offices). But even then, it’s still disproportionately modest.
So what was it?
One thing that PornHub’s data shows is that pornography traffic tends to dip on important nights in the entertainment calendar. For example, they saw a 33% drop on the night of the SuperBowl shortly after kick-off.
It wasn’t an isolated incident either. The Golden Globes caused a notable 5% drop. The Oscars caused another 4% drop.
What links all these events? They all took place in February.
Obviously, the SuperBowl, the Oscars and the Golden Globes are all American events (and therefore of limited interest to the British Government) but there are a number of equivalent events on the UK calendar.
For example: in 2016, the BAFTAs were on February 14th. The BRITs were on February 24th. The League Cup final was on February 28th. The Six Nations was on throughout February.
Individually, none of these events is probably enough to turn Parliament celibate – but it’s perfectly plausible that, cumulatively, they helped chip away at their attention.
Still, the frequency at which Westminster employees are perusing pornography is all very interesting – but it’s not nearly so interesting as the type of pornography they’re most likely to be looking at.
What sort of stuff are these people into? Thankfully, PornHub can give us a clue.
What’s Your Flava?
650 MPs sit in the House Of Commons. Though they only make up a fraction of the number of people using the wider Parliamentary network, we’re going to focus on them because – as public servants – we have more easily accessible data on them than we do on the HoC’s other employees.
Plus, they’re undeniably juicier.
So, taking the 650 MPs as our sample – what can we extrapolate about their likely pornography preferences?
We know, thanks to Parliament’s own figures, that the average age of a British MP in 2015 was 50. This comfortably lumps them right into the middle of the 45-55 age bracket that PornHub has some data on.
What sort of porn will 45-55 year olds (and therefore, by extension, British MPs) likely be searching for?
Certain MPs have shown a shocking lack of understanding about digital information security in recent weeks (some trying to imply that someone else may have used Damian Green’s log-in), but it’s encouraging to see that most people in this age range are trying their hardest to keep up to date with technology – if only by getting into Virtual Reality pornography.
If that’s what it takes to keep their generation in touch with our increasingly digital culture, we suppose that can only be good.
(Also: “robber” porn up 466%? Someone might want to check the laptops at the Ministry of Justice…)
In the 2015-2017 Government, 196 of the 650 MPs were female, 454 of them were male: roughly a 30/70 split.
In 2016, UK traffic to PornHub was 24% female driven, 76% male driven.
This being so, the House Of Commons actually has the potential to make a decent strides towards gender equality in pornography consumption – provided that female MPs try to watch it at work as frequently as their male counterparts clearly do.
They also appear to be taking much more of an interest in LGBT matters than previous generations. Specifically they seem to be concerned with L matters. A little bit of B matters too. But mainly L matters.
As you’d expect from a country that is currently in the throes of a bit of an identity crisis, it seems that there is an above-average interest from Britons in our own, homegrown pornography.
Whether that’s a result of the brash streak of patriotism that seems to have been stirred in the country recently; whether it’s a result of the spike in xenophobic sentiment since the EU referendum; or whether it’s simply people preparing for Brexit by developing a taste for good old British pornography (in the event that it’s the only stuff we’ll be able to get our hands on once we leave Europe) – who knows?
Whatever the case, it’s reassuring to know that our MPs aren’t squandering their taxpayer-funded salaries on foreign-made muck.
There’s also one other element our research threw up which is worth noting.
It may make you a little uncomfortable to think about our MPs living active sexual lives and having thick, shuddering orgasms between rounds of case work, but that’s not a patch on what’s coming.
The cold, hard truth of it is that people around the world find our MPs attractive. Not just “pleasant to look at”. Not just “objectively handsome”. They want to see our elected officials at it. They want to see our politicians fuck.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at PornHub’s celebrity searches for 2016. In among the Kardashians and the Trumps – look who’s there…
And Boris Johnson.
The good news is, looks like Meghan Markle is going to fit right in here…