Calm down, regular reader and a hearty "Rack Off" to any unfulfilled virgins/perves out there - this article is not about PORN!
Well, sort of not. The Melbourne Age reports that sex and pornography have now been thrashed and dominated (see what I did there - inserted some subtle S&M descriptors?) by business and e-commerce as the most popular internet search topics.
In their mid-90s heyday, sex-related topics accounted for the largest slice of the web searching pie, but that figure has shrunk to a few unsexy crumbs, Queensland University of Technology's Professor Amanda Spinks told a gaggle of nerdy reporters a few days ago.
"Come and get me baby....I'm all yours. Click *here*"
Her research, in collaboration with Pennsylvania State University analysed up to 30 million search sessions from the most commonly-used search engines and focused predominantly on web searching in the US and Europe (where the majority of the world's geeks reside).
Prof Spinks said there were multiple reasons behind the fall of sex-related topics from the top spot. "It could be the favourites are bookmarked or an overwhelming increase in people looking for information," Prof Spinks said. "More women are searching the web. Back in the 90s, it was probably young male geeks, but now the demographics are changing with mums and dads, kids, grandmas and business people all searching the web......The general population is searching now compared to the male set in the 90s."
Well isn't that interesting? Are we all Boobs and Bummed out and porkin' our piggy banks instead? Checking our share portfolio instead of Nymphos on their Knees.com?
Spinksy-babes has a point about more than mere geeks being online these days. Hell, even my parents are dipping their toes into cyberspace, looking up Grey Nomads In Caravans.com; Arthritis Overload and Making The Most Of the $9.95 Smorgasbord. My darling seven year old Sapphire is currently addicted to Barbie.com, ArthuratPBS.com and Planet Cook. However, surely it is not just the sole domain of the geeks to access porn?
Who didn't get emailed those website links to fetish sites that featured women in stilettos standing on men's delicate squishy bits, or the poor over-pierced willy that looked more like a colander than an organ capable of providing great pleasure. Like dry chocolate chip muffins, you can only have so much before it starts to get boring. How many more fat chicks' wobbly bits did we need to see or blokes with too much gymnastic ability and free time on their hands?
The reduction can also be explained by much tougher work email restrictions and the steady increase in staff being marched off the premises for leaving their browser on www.HotLiveLesbianGroupSexWithDonkeys.com instead of checking that their company's stationery account had been paid. Fewer and fewer nudey rudey jokey pictures were being sent around due to the fear of job losses and I didn't exactly hear a cry of outrage about that particular loss. If anything, most of us breathed a sigh of relief that we no longer had to take a furtive glance over our shoulders before opening the 'Hey, Open this, it's hilarious!' email from our unemployed third cousin.
As the nineties faded into the Vanilla Ice/My Bodyguard/Fitted bodysuit mists of time, our interests changed from the fleshy to the financial. Telstra sale number one and number two, online banking, share portfolios, lunchtime trading, website cash competitions and mortgage sales dominated our hearts and our wallets. More interest was shown in Brad Pitt's $20M paychecks than his abs and pecs.
And what of web searches in the future, in the teens of the twenty first century? It's sure to be stuff like:
- Peas Cause Cancer (fingers crossed!)
- Nineties Grunge Music and Fashion is Back!
- George W Bush donates brain to science - they politely refuse the offer
- Fresh water - on sale at only four times the price of petrol
- Three time Oscar winner Fabio, now voted Governor of Arkansas
- Global Warming a boon for bikini sales
- Paris Hilton's fourth vaginal reconstruction declared a success: big surge seen in female sideburn sales
- Where are they now? This week - Saddam Hussein.
- Next week - Osama Bin Laden