Web porn trends during the Super Bowl may be evidence that pornography is actually not about sex at all.
Something very interesting was revealed about porn consumption during the American football game, last weekend.
Rather than turning to porn while in the flames of an all-consuming passion, it seems viewers in Denver logged on to the XXX site when they felt all fragile and delicate over the Broncos' woeful performance in USA's biggest game.
Demand for PornHub's collection of dirty videos shot up in Denver, Colorado as the Broncos take a drubbing from the Seattle Seahawks.
This little nugget came from PornHub – the internet's current go-to site for web sex videos in all its varieties.
It seems that being wiped out by the Seahawks made many wounded Broncos fans want nothing more than to log onto PornHub and forget about all the pain unfolding on TV.
The figures definitely show a correlation between the progress of the game and web porn usage in Denver.
PornHub usage in Denver climbed up a whopping 70% as the whitewash unfolded against the Broncos. At kick-off, PornHub use was down 51% on the national average - fans focused on the game. But by the time the Broncos were put out of their misery, visits to Pornhub from Denver had shot up nearly 11% above the national average.
It seems there is a correlation between wounding sporting failure and getting one's rocks off online. Web smut was a kind of comfort blanket for feelings of pain and hurt.
Sex therapist Paula Hall told IBTimes UK: "The thing which defines pornography is that it's a coping mechanism for difficult emotions and for making time go fast. It is used to manage anxiety. One of the myths about porn is that it's about sex – it's about lots of other things. It can be totally absorbing because it's a very powerful stimuli. It gets rid of a negative emotion and enables the viewer to enjoy arousal."
This must make web pornography the most sprawling – and filthiest blanket ever devised by humanity, which is quite an achievement. So vast is the supply of content depicting people doing the most natural thing in the most unnatural ways, that it sometimes seems as if every member of the planet must be starring at porn, all the time."
Potentially a more apposite metaphor for web porn is a fattening and sweet doughnut, said Hall.
"It has endless variety and novelty, which is constant and technicolour. Web porn is known as a super-normal stimuli. It's like a doughnut combining the stimulants of sugar and fat. We've never before had this constant variety. It's like living in a sweet shop."
So the Denver fans who turned to XXX entertainment for an escape from their Super Bowl nightmare were like school kids who pig out on sweets to get over a playground dumping. A normal response, in moderation.
"There's nothing wrong with using porn as long as it's not getting out of hand," said Hall. "The problem is when people do not develop healthy ways of managing vulnerable emotions. When you are turning to something in a time of need and not somebody, is the start of a problem."