opinion

Utah Gets its Freak On

Diane Duke
My boss, Diane Duke, loves numbers and statistics. So it wasn’t too unusual to find her giggling over the results of a recent Gallup poll http://people.hbs.edu/bedelman/papers/redlightstates.pdf indicating that citizens of the state of Utah are the happiest bunch of folks in the United States. She’s just weird like that. “I think it’s funny because of the other survey http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16680-porn-in-the-usa-conservatives-are-biggest-consumers.html that said people in Utah watch the most online porn,” she explained.

Indeed – just last month, survey results http://www.ahiphiwire.org/WellBeing/Tools/Map.aspx were published by a researcher from Harvard Business School indicating that “red” (or conservative) states were the largest consumers of online adult content. Add to that the numbers from the Gallup poll measuring overall levels of “wellbeing” for the 50 states and you could draw some interesting conclusions.

Diane and I decided that the data deserved further scrutiny. What is it that makes those Utah-ians so damned happy? The state was No. 1 on the Top Ten of adult online consumers, with 5.47 customers per 1,000 households with broadband access, and the Gallup poll ranked Utah at the top of its happiness list. http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/S/STATES_OF_HAPPINESS?SITE=AP The Gallup survey asked questions like “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?” and “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your job or the work you do?” Also, “Did you eat healthy all day yesterday?” and “Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?” There was no query as to “Did you achieve orgasm while watching adult material online this week?” but I guess we already have that answer from the Harvard report.

Some other interesting facts about Utah: The state has the highest literacy rate in the nation, at 94 percent able to read and write. According to the 2000 census, it has the highest number of individuals per household, at an average of 3.13. Residents of Utah have the third longest life expectancy at 77.7 years – but Utah also boasts the youngest median age for its citizens, at 26.7 years. The Harvard study also noted that most of the conservative states ranked highly among consumers of online adult material also had larger church-going populations. Consequently, online porn-viewing in those states would drop off a bit on Sunday.

So, it could be argued that the well-educated, faithful folks in Utah have found that online adult entertainment enhances their lifestyles and may even add zest to their years. Time spent at church and with family are important factors in overall well-being, but perhaps the young, lusty citizens of Utah find that a little online erotic excitement does a body and soul some good.

And maybe some enterprising adult producer should be thinking about doing an online XXX-rated version of “Big Love.” Other completely unscientific conclusions that we drew from the studies: Non-conservative Hawaii also figured into the Top Ten for both surveys, indicating that citizens of the home state of Barack Obama like to get a little freaky online, in between surfing the North Shore and snacking on Spam musubi. It only seems natural, though, that Hawaiians would be hanging loose and enjoying the exotic pleasures of erotic entertainment. The tropical weather, sensual surroundings and bikini-clad wahinis would be enough to keep anyone in a constant state of happy horniness, I think.

Strangely enough, the Harvard study of online adult viewing habits also indicated that half of the Top Ten states in the survey were among the unhappiest in the Gallup poll. These included Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia, Arkansas and Oklahoma. With an obvious trend toward the Deep South, it should be noted that these states are suffering from high unemployment rates and poor economic conditions. When you aren’t feeling so happy, adult entertainment might provide a diversion from everyday worries and concerns. As long as you can afford a monthly membership or a little pay-per-view, there’s nothing wrong with that – especially now, when the financial news seems to be a continuous loop of doom and gloom, who wouldn’t want a little stress relief?

Finally, Alaska came in No. 2 on the adult online consumer survey and above average on the Gallup happiness scale. Somehow, those frisky Alaskans are managing to keep a sunny outlook during those long, cold, dark winters. And while I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was elected on her looks, being the hot “Caribou Barbie” probably didn’t hurt either. If that presidential bid in 2012 doesn’t work out for her, then I humbly suggest she consider launching an affiliate program. She can call it Caribou Cash; with paysites like TheOralOffice.com, GOPGoneWild.com or AnalAdministration.com, it would be a surefire way to keep her constituents happy. Seriously, though, happiness is really a state of mind, and if adult entertainment helps you get there, then I’m glad that we live in a country where you have the right to access that material. And to all the Americans that exercise that right, whether you’re conservative, liberal or somewhere in between – the FSC salutes you. Keep up the good, happy work and thanks for filling out those surveys.

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