xHamster is a pornographic and social networking site that provides pornographic photos and videos, webcam models, and erotic literature.
xHamster is a pornographic media and social networking site that provides pornographic photos and videos, webcam models, and erotic literature. The site produces The Sex Factor, a reality series where men and women compete to become porn stars.
XHamster Photos isn’t the most popular porn website in the world. It doesn’t have nearly as many daily users as Pornhub, and if you’re searching for porn, the xHamster URL or brand name isn’t necessarily going to be the first one to pop into your head.
But according to xHamster’s estimates, more than 30 million people visit the site every day, making it one of the most-trafficked adult sites in the world. As it becomes more mainstream, there are plenty of interesting stories behind xHamster Stories and how the site is pushing itself to be culturally relevant. Here are just a few facts about one of the premier places to watch free porn on the internet.
You might mistake this name for a lovable rodent place. The reality is that xHamster is a tube website dedicated solely to hardcore videos from hundreds of studios and loads of independent amateurs.
Most of you. I am willing to bet, have visited this tube website on more than one occasion. For some of you. It might even be your favorite porn tube site. And, if that’s the case, you’re certainly not alone. There are another 10 million who access xHamster frequently enough to be registered users.
After XVideos and Pornhub, it is the third most popular porn site on the internet today. My research seems to suggest that in traffic. xHamster Pics is one of the most popular porn websites out there; According to Alexa. Currently ranked 59th in the world for overall visitors. PornHub is 27th. Suffice it to say, you should expect great things from this popular adult streaming platform. Lots of visitors and a history dating back over a decade. it is a recipe for pornographic perfection. Now, let’s talk about the good and the bad when it comes to xHamster.
Based in Limassol. Cyprus, xHamster was founded in 2007 by Alex Hawkings. The minds behind the site wanted to do something different than what they saw most porn sites doing at the time. As a result of the peak popularity of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. The founders of xHamster set out to create a website that was equal parts porn tube and xxx social media site.
Overall. xHamster does a stellar job of offering excellent initial navigation. First, it shows 10 “hot porn videos”. That you can instantly switch with other recommendations using the “update” function. These are changed without the entire page reloading and literally take milliseconds to finish. Below that, the newest scenes were added. and according to xHamster, roughly 3,000 new videos are added daily.
Of course you do. Overall, this place offers a great end-user experience and doesn’t promise anything that it can’t. If you are into BDSM material. you may want to find a tube that is better suited to your interests, but for a general smut consumer. This place is the gold standard when it comes to live streaming platforms.
And if you write it as often misspelled as “hamster xxx”, “xhanster”, “xhamster”, “exhamster”, xhamsters “,” xhams “,” xhmaster “,” x-hamster “,” xhamter “or” hamsterx. “You can still find it. it’s a well-designed site with tons of content that allows you to interact with the world of porn like never before. Chances are, you can spend hours on xhamster and not even notice that time goes by. do there.
1) xHamster was initially designed to be more like MySpace and Facebook
In 2007, a group of friends, noting the rising popularity of social media, thought that creating a community of those who like to watch porn online was a good idea. The names of the site’s creators are unknown, but their original goal reportedly was to allow users to share photos and videos with each other with the ability to search for specific topics they wanted. Like social media, xHamster connections have even led to nuptials.
“One of the things I am proudest about, during all my time with xHamster, [is] the number of people who have met each other, gotten married, and become life partners after meeting each other originally via our website,” a spokesperson told the Next Web. “The fact that xHamster was created organically by the users themselves to fit their own desires, rather than artificially through some kind of top-down commercial structure is one of the key reasons that the site became so popular originally and remains so popular today.”
2) It’s headquartered in Cyprus, and that helps with a very specific reason
xHamster’s main office is in Limassol, Cyprus—an island off the coast of Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea—and there are a few advantages to being headquartered there. It has low tax rates, and it’s tough for a lawsuit filed in the U.S. to have an impact on a company that’s headquartered in another country. For instance, the company’s remote location was helpful when an Iowa-based adult film producer, Fraserside Holdings, Ltd., sued xHamster for copyright infringement in 2011.
The presiding judge, however, ruled that the U.S. court system had no jurisdiction over xHamster, writing, “xHamster is a Cyprus-based company. xHamster Camarads has no offices in Iowa, no employees in Iowa, no telephone number in Iowa, and no agent for service of process in xHamster does not advertise in Iowa. No xHamster officer or director has ever visited Iowa. xHamster does not maintain any of its servers within Iowa. XHamster’s total absence of contacts with the State of Iowa is the antithesis of the type of continuous and systematic contacts necessary for exercising general personal jurisdiction over xHamster.”
3) xHamster’s logo has evolved throughout the years
In 2016, the website redesigned its logo because, as one xHamster product manager wrote, the audience wanted to see it evolve. “We never want to become too comfortable with something we did well long ago,” he wrote in a Medium post. According to the Drum, 190 new logo entries were submitted from a variety of designers and artists.
4) xHamster offered to produce a popular Netflix series after its cancellation
After Netflix canceled Sense8, xHamster sent an open letter to the series creators and offered a home for a third season of the show, writing, “We know that a series about polymorphous perversity is a hard sell for a mainstream network like Netflix. We have no such limitations, and also understand implicitly the interconnectedness of sexualities across boundaries. In short, we are a we.” According to the Wrap, the series creators reached out to xHamster and that the discussions went well. “It turned out that Lana loved our letter and thought it made a certain amount of sense—as crazy as it is,” xHamster Vice President Alex Hawkins told the Wrap. As of this writing, though, nothing more has been announced.
5) A Netflix series wouldn’t be the first time xHamster helped create original content
In 2016, xHamster began airing The Sex Factor, a 10-episode reality series that featured 16 potential porn stars vying for “instant porn superstardom” and a share of a $1 million prize. As the Independent wrote, some of the challenges on the show were competitive blowjobs and fake orgasms.
6) xHamster does not mind getting political
As one could expect, xHamster leans progressive on the political spectrum. The website has no problem scoring publicity points by punishing the conservative viewpoints it considers to be tasteless. For example, when Utah’s state legislature in February rejected a bill that would have given parents the choice to have their kids participate in sex education, xHamster directed incoming traffic from Utah to a PG-13 sex education video.
7) If you’re a politician—or somebody who looks like a politician—you might get a job offer
After 21-year-old Searcy Hayes appeared on Maury Povich’s TV show, xHamster came calling. That’s because Hayes bears an uncanny resemblance to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). After offering her $10,000 to star in an amateur porn film called “PenatraTED,” she accepted. To make matters worse for Cruz, Hayes said she had no idea who the Texas senator was.
xHamster also has offered former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz $50,000 to star in a video after she left her DNC role. Former Press Secretary Sean Spicer was offered $180,000 per year—the same as his salary in the White House—for a recurring role.
8) People love watching porn featuring political figures
On the first night of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the numbers for porn searches involving Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama skyrocketed, and xHamster got record-high viewership in the city of Cleveland during the Republican National Convention. During the DNC, searches for “Michelle Obama” increased by 1,428 percent, while the searches for Hillary Clinton rose 437 percent.
9) xHamster has a Brock Turner rule
Named after the former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner, who served just three months of a six-month jail sentence for rape, xHamster declared in 2016 that it would ban rape scenes from being uploaded to the website.
Originally, the website also sent this message to users who violated the Brock Turner rule: “If you are searching for this category, probably it’s time you consulted with a professional psychologist.”
10) If you’re thirsty—literally thirsty—xHamster has a solution
Consisting of five malt varieties, two hop varieties, and organic honey, xHamster has a beer that, according to the website, is “very full-bodied, slightly sweet and yet spicy and has a] unique and rich taste giving an aromatic satisfaction after the first sip.” The two reviewers on this Urban Drinks website gave it five stars, but it doesn’t appear to be available currently in the U.S.
11) xHamster bought Alexis Arquette’s sex tape—and then destroyed it
When Alexis Arquette died at the age of 47 in 2016, xHamster bought an alleged sex tape of the actress and trans activist. And promptly destroyed it so nobody could watch. Arquette’s former lover sold the tape to xHamster for $25,000, according to the Daily Mail. xHamster purchased it for one sole purpose. “Ms. Arquette was an icon and activist in the trans community and we could not see someone smear her memory the way the selling party was trying to do,” xHamster spokesman Alex Hawkins told the paper. “We acquired the tape and subsequently destroyed all copies of it.”
12) xHamster suffered an embarrassing hack (maybe)
In November 2016, hackers exposed the usernames and email addresses of nearly 380,000 xHamster users. A xHamster spokesperson told Motherboard that nobody’s passwords had been obtained. A day later, xHamster walked back its findings, according to Motherboard.
13) A few months later, xHamster made its site more secure
In October 2016, Wired published a story about the dangers of porn sites not using the “https” encrypted website connection, especially in the wake of the Ashley Madison hack. In January 2017, xHamster announced it was the first major free porn tube site to make the switch from “http” to “https.” As Hawkins wrote in January 2017 for the Huffington Post, “We operate in a lot of countries where porn is illegal. Where being gay is illegal. Where women learning about sex is illegal. Where women uploading naked photos can be punished by death. We realized that by operating a non-secure site, especially one that focuses in user uploaded ‘amateur’ content, that we were endangering users across the globe.”
Despite the fear from Hawkins and, probably, others that switching to “https” would hurt their Google rankings and/or cost too much money, Pornhub, YouPorn, and RedTube quickly followed suit.
14) xHamster is also concerned about physical intruders
The website help launched a crowdfunding campaign for a product with a built-in motion sensor that would alert you if somebody is nearby while you were looking at porn. Called Minimeyes, the device monitors for people who get within about 16 feet of your private space and then hides all open computer windows while muting the sound. If you have an Android device, the app you’re using will close, and if you’re on iOS, it’ll send you a sound alert. As of this writing, only 1 percent of the $96,000 goal on Indiegogo had been reached. It’s also unclear how the Minimeyes would help if somebody walks in the room while your pants are around your ankles.
15) xHamster invented another way to not disturb your neighbor
In July 2017, xHamster introduced a Night Mode feature that changes the background of the site from bright white to a low-light black. That means you can watch porn in the dark without displaying a bright light that could disturb anybody around you. “We know most of our users visit the site late at night, and too many porn sites light up the room when you log on,” Hawkins said in a statement. “We believe that if you’re watching a cuckold stepmom gangbang at 2am, it’s nobody’s business but your own!”
Plus, since we know looking at your phone late at night disturbs your sleep patterns, xHamster is just trying to help you get to bed. “Studies show that porn is good for you, but watching a bright screen at night is not!” Hawkins said. “We’re excited to be able to offer xHamster fans a way to watch their favorite Irish granny threesome or muscular babysitter pegging videos without lighting up the entire room.”
16) xHamster has penetrated the world of sports
Like Pornhub and its desire to sponsor low-level European soccer and basketball teams, xHamster also sees the value of sports, sponsoring an Italian cycling team for the 2016 season. The team, called Promosport Racing, has an Italian mountain biking championship and a regional cross country title, and it added xHamster because it wanted a “viable brand for a viable team.” Meanwhile, xHamster told the Drum that the site’s association with the team would bring adult entertainment into the mainstream and “eliminate the hypocritical label given by our society upon porn-related content.”
It’s no surprise to anyone to hear that there is a lot of porn on the Web. OK, perhaps not as much as some studies make out, but there’s still plenty of naked bodies out there if you want to find them.
By some estimates, this time last year around 4.5 percent of global Web traffic from desktops was to porn sites. That might not sound like a whole lot but if you dive into the figures of some of the most popular and highest trafficked adult sites, you start to see that it really is.
Behind those most popular sites are tough to track corporations – and behind most of them is just one.
Here are the companies and people behind some of the most biggest porn sites in the world.
How big is big?
Saying porn is big business is a truism that’s oft repeated and rarely clarified.
To go by SimilarWeb’s figures, the top 10 most popular sites are owned by just five companies – and several in the top 50 are owned by a company now called MindGeek.
XVideos alone had more than 580 million visits in December, 2015. On average a visitor stayed for just under 12 minutes and looked at an average of 12.5 pages.
Add in the totals from the other two sites in the top three and that’s over one billion visits per month just across the top three – and this is the kicker – on desktop only.
Add in mobile and it multiplies again – some of the most popular sites get as many as 100 million visits per day.
Online porn is big business, without a doubt.
Like many other online enterprises, it’s primarily funded by advertising but the monopolistic nature of the top 10 is harming the wider industry while boosting MindGeek’s dominance.
MindGeek might own some of the top 10 (by traffic) porn ‘tube’ sites on the Web, but it doesn’t own XVideos, which sits in the number one spot.
Instead, XVideos is registered to WGCZ Holding, a Polish company that you’ll only really find out if you trawl through the many legal cases the company is involved in, including against MindGeek.
WGCZ is also listed as the registrant of WebGroup-Limited.com, but there’s no website there or at WGCZ-sro.com.
XVideos isn’t the only top ranking adult site that this company seems to own though.
Court filings also indicate that the individuals behind WGCZ Holding, Stephane Michael Pacaud and Deborah Malorie Pacaud, are also responsible for XNXX – the number four spot, so it’s safe to say it’s no one-hit wonder, so to speak.
XNXX’s listed registrar is VLab Ltd, a company based in Hong Kong, which is also the listed registrar of some other businesses connected to the Pacauds.
To add to an already (likely deliberately) confusing picture, XNXX itself is listed as owned by NKL Associates, which is another of the companies cited in court filings.
There’s also no website at NKLAssociates.com. Shocker.
However, in a case brought by XNXX, WGCZ revealed itself as the owner of the site. It lost the case.
What the hell is the point of all this?
To illustrate just how tough it is to track down the owners of some of the world’s most popular websites.
In an article from last year, The Economist – citing an undisclosed source – said that:
“The French owner of XVideos is said to have turned down an offer of more than $120m with a scornful ‘Sorry, I have to go and play Diablo II.’
With the listed addresses of Stephane and Deborah both within France, it seems likely this would be the same French owner(s) cited.
My own attempts to contact either party haven’t yet been successful, and WGCZ has no public financial records available, so there’s no indication of exactly how much money either the subsidiary or parent companies are making.
Other people, who would rather remain anonymous, confirmed that the owner is indeed an incredibly private person, but assured me that my contact details have been passed along, should he/they wish to get in touch.
Whether you view it as impressive or disturbing – being the owner of the world’s highest traffic porn site and remaining all but invisible is no mean feat.
No doubt having millions of dollars helps in that regard though.
The ‘smaller’ most-popular porn sites in the world
In the top 10 there are five companies. WGCZ, Multi Media LLC, IG Media, Hammy Media and MindGeek – again, that varies depending on the figures you look at, but there’s some consensus that these companies own some of the highest traffic sites in the world, in some cases, not just measured against porn sites.
With MindGeek-owned PornHub in second spot, that leaves the number three position to xHamster, which is owned by Hammy Media, a company registered in Limassol, Cyprus – a country known to have low tax rates – and has another office in Barcelona, Spain.
What it isn’t, however, is invisible.
A spokesperson for the company was more than happy to get back to (some of) my queries about how the site started and who was behind it:
“In the early months of 2007, a small group of friends gathered to create a better way for fans of adult entertainment to enjoy video content online.
Initially xHamster was intended to have a design similar to what has become common among social network platforms. At the time sites like Facebook and MySpace were becoming wildly popular, so a similar community online for porn seemed to make sense.
The original goal was to enable people who wanted to chat, exchange erotic pics and share amateur videos to search by interest so that they could each vote for more content from the most popular sources. That approach lead people to find mutual friends online and maybe discover partners interested in intimate relationships.”
Indeed, citing the company’s unnamed founder, a spokesperson said:
“One of things I am proudest about, during all my time with xHamster, are the number of people who have met each other, gotten married and become life partners after meeting each other originally via our website.
The fact that xHamster was created organically by the users themselves to fit their own desires, rather than artificially through some kind of top-down commercial structure is one of the key reasons that the site became so popular originally and remains so popular today.”
I’ll be honest, it wouldn’t have even occurred to me that people that visit xHamster are going there with the intent of meeting someone or finding a partner to marry.
Hammy Media says that the site gets between 23 and 25 million unique users each day, with Mondays being the highest for traffic.
The unnamed founders didn’t feel like going on the record with their identities though, instead being described as “modest guys who like to stay behind the scenes.”
Again, that’s understandable – there are a whole lot of reasons you might run a porn site and not want people to know about it. Again though, as with XVideos, it’s not really very comforting to know that huge industry players are essentially invisible.
Moving down the top 10 you have Multi Media LLC, registered owner of the adult webcam website Chaturbate, which sits in seventh place and gets around 117 million visits each month, according to SimilarWeb.
An earlier owner of the Chaturbate trademark is listed as owned by ZMEDIANOW, LLC. When the logo updated last year, however, the registrant name listed was Multi Media LLC.
Chaturbate is based in Orange County, California, and while the company was happy to chat with me, I was informed that the founders do not participate in interviews.
Another holding company for a number of ‘top 50’ (rather than top 10) adult sites – like YouJizz – is IG Media.
In a now familiar fashion, IG Media is a ghost of a company but in some ways it’s even more tantalizing than some others on this list.
There are scant traces on the Web, but following a few threads lead to an ‘internet reputation specialist’ called Secret OPS.
Digging around the two companies reveals a whole load of pictures of a ridiculously lavish lifestyle.
Needless to say, all attempts to contact IG Media have been unsuccessful to date.
This appears to be the ‘corporate’ website of one of the most trafficked porn sites on the Web.
It’s also likely that IG Media owns the ninth most popular spot in this list – Beeg – as they share an administrator, but I couldn’t find definitive proof.
Back in 2011, LiveJasmin (owned by Docler Holding, owned by Hungarian György Gattyán) was the most popular cam – and porn – site in the world with a little over 31 million monthly visits.
It now gets around 140 million each month and sits in tenth place – SimilarWeb’s rankings look at more than just traffic to arrive at an overall position, hence the discrepancy in figures.
Gattyán is a less enigmatic porn site owner – his past and current businesses are well-documented, and in addition to owning LiveJasmin, his companies include Oranum.com, a fortune-telling site and in total once employed more than 1,000 employees.
In 2013, he built and opened a high-end fashion store called Il Bacio di Stile in Budapest, capital city of Hungary. In 2014, Gattyán’s estimated wealth in Forbes’ first Hungarian rich list put him right at the top for the country, with a net worth equivalent to around $635 million.
However, in 2015, Il Bacio di Stile was permanently closed with “billionaire” Gattyán reportedly having sunk just over $65 million into the project.
While MindGeek is the owner of a huge slice of the adult market online, you wouldn’t guess it from looking at the company’s corporate site.
MindGeek refused to provide comment or answers to my questions for this article.
Before becoming MindGeek, the company started life as Mansef – an amalgamation of its Canadian founders names Ouissam Youssef and Stephane Manos ,as well as Youssef’s brother, Matt Keezer and another unnamed friend. According to NY Mag it was a love of Foosball that brought the group together initially.
Mansef started in 2003 as the holding company for various TGP websites and an affiliate network. It quickly grew to launch the Brazzers site, and later a porn production company and various other pay sites.
In 2007, Keezer started PornHub under the auspices of another company called Interhub, which Mansef was also a partner in.
While this had been going on Fabian Thylmann, a German entrepreneur described by Spiegel Online as” a computer geek who knew his way around numbers and data”, had been building software for marketing porn ads. It wasn’t sexy in any sense, but it was incredibly successful.
After selling that business he bought the Privat Amateure website in 2006, and three more between 2007 and 2010.
In 2010, Thylmann bought Mansef and Interhub for an undisclosed amount in a deal that was incredibly unfavorable to the entrepreneur.
After failing to secure a loan for the full amount of the purchase, terms were agreed that included 16 monthly payments – if one of which was missed, the company immediately reverted back to its previous ownership.
Clearly not wanting to waste any time, Manwin went on a purchasing spree, securing deals to acquire or distribute some of the biggest brands in porn – both in terms of free and pay sites, and production companies.
As a result, it’s easily the largest porn company on the planet and has a grip on the industry that some – including performers – find detrimental.
After growing a porn empire, Thylmann sold his stake in the company to senior management – Feras Antoon and David Tassillo – in 2013 seeking ventures new. He’s now an investor in very early stage startups struggling against his past, he explained:
“For me, [there were] too many closed doors coming from that industry; still today I am faced with issues doing business now and then just because of the industry I was in a few years ago. Less and less though, so that’s good.
[There’s] also virtually no exit capabilities in the space, especially at the size of Manwin when I sold it. So when you are presented with a good option, take it.”
Although now an investor in companies like Frontback and Giant Swarm and getting less pressure about his past in his work life, there is still a shadow hanging over him.
“The tax investigation from Germany is still ongoing, so I can not comment on it.”
The case he’s referring to is a long-running affair dating back to 2012, in which he reportedly paid €10 million “deposit” to be released from pre-trial detention – despite this, he apparently runs the risk of a mandatory one-year sentence if found guilty of tax evasion during his time at Manwin.
According to Die Welt, when Thylmann exited the company’s revenue was around $500 million per year and it had around 450 million visitors each month across its sites.
He was formally indicted last year, following more than three years of checks on the network of more than 35 business Manwin owned under his reign.
After selling his share of the company, it was renamed MindGeek and continued on its purchasing spree to where it is today.
It still doesn’t have XVideos and Camarads xHamster though.
A porn industry death spiral?
With so much of the adult entertainment industry now owned by MindGeek – and really only a few other companies owning the largest porn properties on the Web, what has historically taken place is a game of cat-and-mouse.
Copyrighted material found its way onto tube sites, takedown notices are issued, the content comes down. The same content finds its way back onto the sites – and repeat.
It’s certainly not a situation unique to MindGeek sites either – I think if you were to open almost any porn tube site right now, you’d find pirated material.
The knock-on effect on the industry as a whole has been to drive down rates. Why bother spending all that money making a porn movie if it’s instantly going to be pirated and on the tube sites?
According to a 2014 Quora post from adult film star Siri:
“There is no such thing as a ‘mom and pop’ free porn site, I’m sorry. The largest, most popular tube sites are owned by large corporations (or simply extremely wealthy individuals) seeking to profit by stealing other people’s copyrighted material, and organizations that promote piracy of all online media.
So just know that every time you log on to a tube site, you’re definitely hurting performers like me, who work hard and pay out of my own pocket to produce original content for my own website.”
Hammy Media, for its part as one of the key players in this, says the situation is improving – that less pirated material is making its way onto its sites.
It’s of no doubt that we address this issue very seriously and it should be noted that nowadays we’ve remarkably succeeded in its solution.
One of the most efficient options for us is the software which creates a fingerprint of each video and compares them afterwards. This solution helps us compile the blacklist of videos which are banned from being published on our website.
Thus, we’ve observed a significant decrease in the number of DMCA forms filled in at our website and this tendency prevails.
In reality, what that means is that videos that have already been reported via a DMCA complaint can’t be re-uploaded, which does of course mean that they’ve been successfully uploaded once and then taken down. So not exactly ideal.
Perhaps more promisingly than that though, producers who upload short clips of their videos (making the full versions available at a price) protect any other uploads of that same movie, even a full length version by a different user.
Again, it’s a step, but it’s also another avenue of free and legal content for MindGeek’s sites, that also has the benefit of reducing the demand for DMCA takedowns.
It’s not necessarily steps that seem to see benefits trickling back down to performers or original content producers though. As a result, it’s likely that the potentially risky practice of porn stars becoming escorts will continue – or most will be forced out entirely.
It’s an industry that’s historically always been viewed as seedy and despite the obvious mainstream consumption of porn by hundreds of millions of people every day, it seems that the people at the helm and making most of the money still live in the shadows.