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Alien porn is trending. A non-judgmental investigation into why

Fact is always stranger than fiction. This is especially true when it comes to sex. As far as sexual fantasies go, the fact is that a lot of them center around fiction, or at least science fiction. Pornhub released their 2019 insights last week, revealing that the number two search term was, “alien.” People seem to really dig alien porn these days. Before you start getting all judgey about it, here’s what experts think underlies this cosmic craze.

“Getting turned on by aliens falls under ‘Exophilia,’ which means that a person is aroused by supernatural, extraterrestrial, mystical, robotic, or any other type of non-human being,” says Carlos Cavazos, a psychotherapist who specializes in working with sexual minorities and host of AskCarlos, a YouTube channel that offers psychology-based sex advice. Cavazos explains that while some people might just fantasize about things that are taboo in general, others have more specific E.T.-related kinks. “Some people like the thought of being abducted, probed, or of being treated as a sexual guinea pig by extraterrestrials,” he says. Others just might be that into sci-fi.

Why the recent uptick in interest now, though? It may have something to do with our current fascination with Area 51. “Searches for ‘Area 51’ went from zero to 160,000 over a four-day period in July, when the Area 51 event was making headlines,” PornHub reported. “Our interests and fantasies are guided by things that are topical,” Cavazos says. “So while people were getting all excited over the Storm area 51 craze, it makes sense that they would hop on over to pornhub and search for alien related porn to go with the theme.” So, it’s not just that aliens are trending in porn, it’s that aliens are #trending.

The truth is, though it may seem novel, exophilia is nothing new or particularly bizarre. There are early 19th century, woodblock prints from Japan that depict women being ravished by tentacled creatures and Octavia Butler’s book from 2000, Lilith’s Brood, has some famously titillating alien sex scenes. Also, folks have been getting off on Jane Fonda’s portrayal of super hot cosmic babe Barbarella since 1968. “Intergalactic sex is a legitimate kink,” Cavazos says. We’ve always been into aliens, or at least otherworldly sexual delights, it’s just that now we are more able to access these desires with a simple search.

I am not here to judge anyone’s kinks, but I watched some of the top hit alien porn movies, and they scared me a little. Think giant monsters, “barely legal babes,” and no signs of enthusiastic consent. Cavazos says that I was experiencing a natural reaction to such a unique type of content. “It can be weird to think that there are people who enjoy certain things, especially if it goes against our beliefs or comfort,” he adds.

A lot of people have fantasies that they are not comfortable with, and alien porn may give them guilt-free outlet.

“There is so much going on in alien porn to begin with. When you add a helpless victim and violent themes, it can be way too much. But remove the alien themes, costumes and bizarre sets, and you are left with a typical rape fantasy scene,” Cavazos explains. “The rape fantasy, which is surprisingly popular among women, is in a way, at the core of many alien sex fantasies due to the very nature of alien ‘abductions.’ It’s something done against your will,” Cavavos says. Although it may seem distasteful to some, recent research found that 62% of women self report as having rape fantasies.

A lot of people have fantasies that they are not comfortable with, and alien porn may give them guilt-free outlet. “People who fantasize about sex with aliens might feel like it’s more acceptable to have sex with an 8 tentacled, 3-eyed alien if they are being forced to do it,” he says. “Think of it like any other of the ‘forced’ kinks. Some people may use this type of porn and fantasy as a way to take part in something they desire but are not ready to come to terms with.” Ultimately, while alien porn may seem a little scary, it also might be helping people get in touch with their fantasies by watching them get played out in over-the-top sci-fi landscapes.

The popularity of alien porn, then, doesn’t have a simple explanation. It may be about Area 51, it may be about being ravished (which is the term that some experts prefer to use when talking about sexual fantasies), or it may be a sexual extension of cosplay. If you’re curious about it, but feel uncomfortable watching violent fantasy play, alien porn may not be for you. But if you want to get your sci-fi kink on, have no fear, there is feminist alien porn out there. You are not alone.