The 5-Year Sexual Search History of the UK and US Revealed

Whenever we run into something we’re not sure on, we usually rush to Google to give us the answers. From serious enquiries to silly one- off questions, we rely on the search engine for everything.

And when it comes to sex education, we’re no different.

There’s nothing more attractive than a person who really knows what they’re doing in the bedroom. But we’re not born with knowledge on things such as ‘how to find the g spot’ or ‘how to use a vibrator’.

But, whether you’re trying to flirt with a new crush or impressing your long term partner, having the answers to these questions will let them know they’re in safe hands.

So, with many of us wanting to be able to properly pleasure our partners, we turn to Google to give us the answers we need. 

We might not be too willing to share exactly what we’re Googling at 2am, but we’ve got our hands on some spicy data that reveals all.

Asking the internet to guide us on things such as how to use a vibrator or even just the basics of how to have sex, our search histories are looking pretty steamy!

But as discussions change focus from what a female orgasm looks like, to deeper conversations about consent – we wanted to see if our searches have changed too.

We looked at a number of the most popular sex-related questions across the UK and the US, to see how searches for them have changed through the years, and what people are searching for the most.

To do this we looked up the search terms on AHrefs, and made note of how many searches were made, as well as the month with the highest search volume for each year between 2017 – 2021. We then used Google Trends to find out which area the term was being searched in the most. 

We wanted to take a look at the UK and the US separately, to see how each country uses Google to find out more about sex, and then broke down the results down by year to reveal all…

Searches in the UK

2017

In the UK, the term ‘orgy’ was searched most throughout the last five years.

The most searches of the phrase occurred in 2017, totalling at a massive 17k! In fact, Wales was seen to be where the most of these questions were being searched, followed by England.

‘Sex in public’ was the second most searched term in 2017 with 8.8k, followed by ‘sex toys for men’ with 7.9k searches.

2018

Sex toys for men’ was also a popular search term for the UK in the following year. It’s clear that they’re popular no matter what year, with 9.5k searches, making it the second most searched term. 

It had increased by 1.6k searches when compared to 2017. The highest volume of searches occurred in November, and Wales was most interested in the topic.

The third most searched question in 2018 was ‘what is consent?’, with 4.3k searches, following the #MeToo movement in the year prior. In fact, 2018 had the highest number of searches for this question in the last five years.

2019

In 2019, our analysis showed that searches for ‘sex in public’ increased to 7.2k, compared to just 1.1k searches the year prior.

Looking further, we found that searches for the question ‘what is consent?’ had dropped by over half from 4.2k to 2k searches. However, for those still searching it, Northern Ireland was most interested in the topic, and the highest volume of searches occurred in September.

However, searches in the UK for ‘what is BDSM’ increased over the last year by 5.3k searches to 9.4k. People in Northern Ireland searched for this phrase the most, and the highest volume of searches occurred in November.

Our analysis also highlighted that ‘role play ideas’ were consistently searched, as numbers stayed high at 1.3k searches in 2018 and 2019.

2020

With the pandemic taking hold in 2020, many of us were left to our own devices for entertainment. ‘How to use a fleshlight’ was searched 1.1k times, compared to the 809 searches the year prior.

That may explain why ‘sex toys for men’ was the second most searched question in 2020. December had the highest volume of searches, with Wales residents taking the most interest.

For those who could quarantine together, there was suddenly plenty more time for exploring each other’s bodies in all sorts of environments.

6.7k searches were made for the question ‘sex in public’ in 2020, making it the third most searched term in 2020. April had the highest search volume and it was England’s residents who wanted the answer the most.

2021

Kink took over Google searches in 2021, showing a clear interest in broadening the sexual scope. 

What is BDSM’ was searched more in 2021, than any other year. 21k searches occurred, compared to the average 6,325 searches from 2017 to 2020 – making it the most searched question of 2021.

This was followed by searches for ‘orgy’ and ‘sex toys for men’ with both having a total number of 12k searches.

Our research also showed that searches for ‘where is the g-spot’ dropped to their lowest in 2021, down to 881. This is in comparison to an average of 1.3k searches over the last five years – perhaps the pandemic gave us the time to finally find the answer?

Searches in the US

To keep things consistent, when researching the questions searched by people living in the US, we kept the phrases the same.

Overall, the most popular phrase searched by people in the US over the last five years was ‘orgy’. Our research showed that the term was searched 158.8k times on average since 2017.

2017

In 2017, the second most searched phrase after ‘orgy’, was ‘how to use a fleshlight’. The question was searched 97k times, and California was the most interested in the answer. In fact, whilst this phrase was a very popular search term, we found that it was the most popular in 2017.

This was followed by ‘how to squirt’ with 94k searches. May saw the highest search volume for this search, and Mississippi sought answers to this the most.

‘Sex in public’ and ‘what is BDSM’ were the other most popular search terms in 2017, with 52k and 37k searches, respectively.

2018

‘How to squirt’ was also the second most searched term in 2018, however our analysis revealed a 32k drop in these searches in comparison to 2017.

Whilst search trends remained similar to the previous year, searches for ‘role play ideas’ dropped by 4.2k in 2018. Those in Indiana were the most interested in role play that year though, and March had the highest search volume.

‘Strap on sex’ was searched more in 2018 than in 2017 – rising from 5.6k searches to 6.3k.

2019

On the craftier side of things, searches for ‘DIY sex toys’ were at 3.6k in 2019, similar to other years, showing a consistent number of people who are interested.

There were three thousand more people looking for ‘role play costumes’ in 2019 in comparison to 2018 in which 1.2k were interested. Meanwhile, our research highlighted that ‘sex in public’ searches decreased by four thousand.

Unknowingly preparing for the pandemic, we found that searches for ‘the best sex toy’ increased by 2k searches in 2019, in comparison to 2018. 

Looking deeper, we found that people in Maine asked Google this question the most, with March having the highest search volume.

2020

As conversations change focus, we found that ‘sex toys for men’ was searched 36k times in 2020 – more than any other year previously.

However, searches for ‘sex in public’ have decreased in comparison to previous years, dropping down to 21k searches in 2020 – 7k less than 2019. However, for those still searching for the answer to this question, Louisiana residents are leading the way.

Our research showed that there was increase in people who were finding themselves bored by the pandemic, and ready to invest in a new sex toy. 

Searches for ‘best sex toy’ had increased in 2020, and was the most popular year for the search term. Just in time for Christmas, November had the highest search volume for this term, and those in Kentucky were Googling this the most.

2021

Whilst our research didn’t reveal any drastic changes in the way the US was searching for answers to their sex lives – some topics remained just as important to Americans.

‘How to be good at sex’ was searched 1.1k times in 2021, the same as 2020 and just 200 less times than 2019. Similarly, ‘how to make a woman orgasm’ was searched 2.2k times in 2021, compared to the 2.5k times in 2020.

However we did notice one significant change in searches in 2021. People wanted answers to ‘how to increase sex drive’ much more, with searches increasing by four thousand in 2021, compared with 2020.

UK vs US Google searches

Of course, on either side of the pond we’re all still after the main goal of having better and more satisfying sex.

But we wanted to take a closer look at how searches across the UK and the US differ. We found that overall:

  • Half the amount of UK searches to US searches for 2021 consent-related questions
  • The US was much more interested in getting a sex toy
  • More Americans were asking about where the G-spot is

However, it seems that searching the word ‘orgy’ was the most popular term for both countries.

With so many of us learning all about many different aspects of sex, how to have better sex, and the moral elements of sex – we’re broadening our minds no matter what country we’re in.

Knowledge is power. When you’re involving another person in your bedroom antics, being in the know can enhance both participants’ experiences. But even more importantly, it can inform you on how to be safe.

From consent, to kink – having a strong idea of how the human body and mind responds to sex and erotic play can ensure that you and your partner are having memorable sex, for all the right reasons!

Perhaps we’ll see a change in Google searches in the future, as people explore more unique ways to have sex. 

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