No Nut November doesnt actually affect porn traffic

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No Nut November is, um, cumming to an end. 

For those who aren’t familiar, No Nut November (NNN) is not a month-long movement devoted to an anti-nut diet. NNN is a time when people across social media take a vow of abstinence from sexual activity. No sex. No masturbation. 

Although technically (depending on who you ask), those things might just be OK as long as you don’t orgasm. That’s the NNN golden rule. Treat your meat the way you’d want to be treated. Don’t beat it.

The struggle appears to be very real for many horny people who claim to be participants, and of course, there are loads of memes on Twitter.

Over the past few years, NNN has gained traction on social media and is now something of a cultural staple. But seeing all of these sometimes-glorious-sometimes-eye-acid memes got us wondering: Are people actually doing this thing? Or is this just one gigantic meme?

We don’t have any “proof” per se, but we did gather some facts to help us crack this nut. Porn site traffic may not be the perfect metric for gauging NNN participation. Just because people are watching porn, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re masturbating, or orgasming for that matter. And it’s entirely possible to nut without the aid of porn. However, for the sake of this conversation, let’s assume that most people watching porn are doing so in order to get their nut on.

We reached out to Pornhub concerning their traffic during No Nut November, and their Vice President Corey Price gave us this statement:

“No Nut November isn’t a new trend for us – 2019 is the third year we’ve noticed people talking about and posting memes around No Nut November. It has no tangible effect on Pornhub traffic.”

That doesn’t stop them from hopping on the NNN Twitter bandwagon, though. On the first day of the month, roughly two hours past midnight, the official Pornhub Twitter account tweeted that 20 million people failed NNN.

About 17 hours later, that number jumped to 100 million. (That doesn’t account for repeat visitors, but still.)

Fast forward to November 7 when Pornhub’s twitter reported 500 million people had failed the challenge. 

It’s funny, but of course it doesn’t tell us much. We checked in with xHamster, another porn site, whose Vice President Alex Hawkins also gave us a statement about their site traffic during No Nut November.

“While the original #NoNutNovember campaign in 2017 resulted in a slight dip in traffic, we saw increases in both November 2018 and 2019,” the statement read. “This year, traffic is actually up 10% over last month.”

Ouch. A sharp kick in the nuts to No Nut November. Hawkins suggested that we might be seeing the Streisand effect on sexuality. 

“Trying to energize a whole population to not masturbate only results in them thinking about masturbating more,” Hawkins said. This graph comparing year-over-year xHamster site traffic does somewhat support that statement, but there’s no particular pattern that emerges.

Year-on-year xHamster site traffic

Year-on-year xHamster site traffic

One last place we checked was Google Trends to determine the relative popularity of “porn” searches over a period of time. (Of course that’s also an imperfect measure because people are often searching for a specific term rather than the generic “porn.”) Using data from October 2017 to now, we analyzed the graph for any unusual spikes or dips occurring in the transition from October to November of each year.

Relative popularity of "porn" searches from October 2017 to November 2019

Relative popularity of “porn” searches from October 2017 to November 2019

A value of 100 indicates the periods of time where the search term was the most popular. In 2017, there was the slightest decrease in interest (97 to 95) from late October to early November. That’s not enough of a decline to say anything of value, but it does line up with xHamster’s report of a small dip in traffic during the same period.

Search popularity of "porn" from late October to early November 2017.

Search popularity of “porn” from late October to early November 2017.

The following year, porn search popularity actually increased (77 to 81) from late October to early November. That value of 81 is down from 95 the previous year, but the October-to-November increase suggests No Nut November isn’t at play here.

"porn" search popularity slightly increased from late October 2018 to early November that same year

“porn” search popularity slightly increased from late October 2018 to early November that same year

And now, we come to 2019, where porn search popularity held steady at 87 from late October into early November. 

"porn" search popularity experienced no change from late October to early November this year

“porn” search popularity experienced no change from late October to early November this year

So, in the end, there’s really nothing significant to suggest that No Nut November is anything more than a very horny meme. The internet may be publicly pledging a vow not to nut, but most of the internet is probably lying. 

And if you’re one of the few who has actually stuck to your pledge not to nut, hang in there, you’re almost to the finish line. 

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