Article Thumbnail

You’re Not the Only One Worried About Porn Showers Wasting Water

What’s the environmental cost of all those soapy sex scenes?

Pornography, in its sheer abundance and familiar tropes, has created all kinds of unrealistic expectations around sex. One I can’t help but notice is the premise that couples are often fucking in the shower. To be sure, this happens in real life as well, but not everyone has the grand, luxurious accommodations and specialty fixtures that elevate the fantasy the actors are constructing for the viewer — or that make it a comfortable place to get down to business. In fact, we may be drawn to these scenes in part because they allow us to feel temporarily rich.

But there’s a price to be paid for this escape: You have to see gallons of water wasted.

Yes, it’s a conundrum all right. How can you nut in peace to soaped-up studs or babes while seeing all that precious water trickle down the drain? And it’s not just water being used — the energy needed to treat and supply the H2O that comes out of our faucets is also significant. On any explicit clip of people going at it in the shower, you’re likely to find a commenter concerned about the environmental impact, or at least what kind of a bill the performers are running up. 

Then you have the guy who actually crunched the numbers to assess a carbon footprint.

While another Pornhub commenter argues that ReicherLuchs has forgotten to account for lost heat, and a redditor notes that he misplaced a decimal point to arrive at 1.06 tons of carbon instead of a far less alarming 1.06 kilograms, we’ll set that nitpicking aside and rely on what’s otherwise a reasonably solid calculation for some. Pornhub returns 49,000 results for “shower,” and the three other top tube sites — Xnxx, XVideos and xHamster — boast about 50K, 31K and 15K hits, respectively, for a total of 142,000 shower scenes. There’s probably tons of content overlap, so let’s round it off at a clean 100K. It’s tough to estimate the average length of a video, but most in the industry put it somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes, and with the average Pornhub visitor spending nine minutes and 20 seconds on the site, I say we err on the shorter side. 

From that 10-minute mean, we’ll deduct one more minute, since there’s usually a bit of plot or setup before the shower is turned on. That gives us 900,000 minutes, or 625 days, of a shower going full blast, and 9 million liters of water used, or 60,000 times as much as in ReicherLuchs’ example. The aggregate carbon released would then be 63,600 kilograms, or 63.6 metric tons. Not nothing, although with U.S. energy consumption producing 5.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in a year, it’s basically a drop in the bucket, which makes sense when you consider that porn aside, the county uses 1.7 trillion gallons of shower water annually. 

And there’s more good news for eco-conscious masturbators. With two (or more) people, uh, “washing up” at the same time, you’re actually saving water, as long as this encounter is replacing separate showers the participants would have otherwise taken. I realized this when I came across a video titled, “Water Shortage Means I Have to Shower with My Busty Stepmom,” which led me to discover an entire micro-genre in this vein. Indeed, even if these showers last 16 minutes, twice as long as the national average of eight minutes, the additional energy cost is offset by doubling your occupancy. Of course, some people will never be entirely satisfied…

You know what? I’ve changed my mind. This guy is actually making sense. What with all the extra footage they must have shot before cutting it down to a finished product, I bet that shower was on for like half an hour. Definitely wasteful. The industry must answer for this, and until they do, I’m taking the ethical approach of never watching professionals do the nasty as water pours onto their hot bodies. Next time I pull up Pornhub, I’m searching “dry sex.” It’s only right.  

Do Not Sell My Personal Information