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Maybe you noticed, but porn is a pretty big deal on the Internet. Adult sites drive hundreds of millions of clicks per day and 13 percent of all searches are for erotic content.

But while the rest of the Web has taken advantage of social media to grow their audiences, it’s not so simple for porn sites. Facebook, the dominant traffic source for upstarts like ViralNova and Upworthy as well as many news organizations, has taken an extremely draconian approach toward banning porn. It won’t even let users post a link to a pornographic site, let alone a pornographic picture.

Twitter is a bit more lax, but there are still big sociological and psychological barriers to sharing porn: Sharing a good news article makes you look smart. Sharing a porn video, even though this content is enjoyed by millions of people every day, makes you look like a creep. This trend is more than anecdotal: Despite getting 70 million pageviews a day, Pornhub says it only sees “thousands” of daily shares on Twitter and Reddit.

Where some might see that as a challenge, the year-old site Pinsex (very NSFW) sees it as an opportunity. As its name suggests, it is literally Pinterest for porn, adopting that site’s design and functionalities.  And this week it’s launching Badges which will be awarded to users who pin the best content.

I know what you’re thinking: Badges? That’s so 2010. But for Pinsex, badges are designed less as “rewards” and more to signify expertise to other users. Who are you going to trust for the best, um, tentacle porn — the guy with the tentacle porn badge or the guy without?

“It can become too much,” Pinsex CEO Christian Thorn admits, referencing the badge overkill we saw with Foursquare a couple years ago. “For us, it’s a way for users who are new to find others with similar taste.”

With badges, Pinsex is going through the natural evolution of any social network: First you build a community, then you work on unearthing the best content for your users, like Twitter does with its @MagicRecs handle, or like Facebook does with its endless news feed tweaks. For Pinsex’s part, it’s taking the same route as Quora by highlighting experts. Pornhub, on the other hand, uses an algorithm to unearth content for users.

As we’ve written before, you can learn a lot about technology trends by looking at porn sites (as businesses!). What’s most interesting about Pinsex is how it’s part of a growing trend of social networks that use anonymity as an advantage. “You can say some forbidden thought you don’t want to tell everyone.”

Leading this movement is Whisper, the anonymous confessional app hugely popular among high school and college students: It claims more traffic than LinkedIn, Upworthy, and WordPress combined.

Pinsex has a long way to go to grab that kind of traffic, though it is growing: Last November, Thorn told the Daily Dot that Pinsex gets 120,000 to 150,000 unique visits a day. When we spoke on Monday he said the site had recently cracked 200,000.

There’s also the question of revenue — Even Pinterest, the site Pinsex looks to emulate, makes no money.

But Thorn is confident that his is an untapped market made available for the poaching by other social network’s puritanical porn attitudes.

“Human beings have always wanted to share and collect things, from stamps to cars to whatever. Why can’t you share your porn thoughts?”

[Image via Miel Van Opstal]