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What Kind of Porn Do Women Like the Most?

Online data reveals two fundamental--and surprising!--truths about women's tastes in visual pornography. Read More

The problem is in the definition

Why define porn as "visual porn" only? Men are much more visually stimulated than women, that's no secret, so if you reduce porn to the kind of porn that men like, it's no surprise at all that you're going to find out that women are not terribly interested in it. It's a given!

But extend the definition to the written word, for example, and the picture becomes infinitely different. From the more explicit Harlequin collections to "50 Shades of Grey", it's easy to see that women LOVE porn! Women consume MASSIVE amounts of porn - in written form.

And even in visual form, you just have to go look for it in the right places. Ever heard of "yaoi fangirls" and "fujoshi"? There are dozens of (mostly female) manga authors (and their publishing houses) who live just on drawing false-gay porn for a female public.

Anyone who thinks that women don't like porn is simply making the very basic mistake of assuming that all porn has to be like male porn. Women LOVE porn - just not the type of porn that men would like.

That was the point - are

That was the point - are women visually aroused? Nope. Certainly not enough to cater to them. Then again how fast would publishers go broke trying to sell erotic stories to men?

men read erotica

Actually, a lot of men enjoy erotic stories, from penthouse letters-styled personal accounts to femdom. The female market for written porn may be larger, but plenty of men buy it too.

The point?

It seems to me that the point of the article was that women don't like porn - which is simply flat-out wrong.

I want to know if site

I want to know if site traffic and demographic surveying is the only method of testing the response of women to visual pornography. If it is the only method that has been used, then I would point out that many women are a great deal more sexually repressed than men (in Western Culture, as well as a great many others, and I'd be surprised to hear about an extant culture where this was not the case) and feel that porn is a disrespectful, scummy pastime, because of societal conventions shaping them.

If, however, a more scientific study has been conducted, I would be interested to hear about it.

Personally, I feel that engaging someone for the express purpose of getting them off should probably involve a little objectification- though maybe the gender being objectified could be swapped around a little more often. I've actually heard that many women, including lesbians, find gay porn very satisfying because of the way it objectifies men. But it's much more than what they put on the screen- feminists object to the treatment of actors (particularly women and LGBT), poor working conditions, the social stigma that often means people who perform in pornography do so out of forced and desperate situations (not always the case), unfair payment, and on-set, real-life rape of actors.

Also, I think men don't enjoy erotics and stuff because it calls their heterosexuality and manliness into question. This is all about societal conventions.

But allow me to ask: remember Magic Mike? The advertising surrounding that movie? You know Ladies' Night at your local strip club, you know how heaps of women (well, okay, maybe that's just a certain kind of young, nerdy sort of woman) get demented pleasure out of watching Rocky Horror? Hell, the "beefcake" (muscled, sexually attractive, shirtless man) is an actual trope! What I'm getting at here is that women are very visually stimulated- when they're allowed to be.

I run For The Girls. Again with this nonsense?

I am one of the women who runs ForTheGirls.com. Ogi Ogas has no actual statistics to back up his assertions. He never spoke to us about our traffic or our membership numbers, he has no statistics to back up his assertions about our site. His research is based on the dodgy numbers at Alexa which does not represent how most people search.

Here is my blog post from 2011 regarding their assertions about For The Girls and porn for women.
http://msnaughty.com/blog/2011/06/24/a-billion-badly-researched-assertions/

For The Girls has been online since 2003, Sssh.com since 2002 (not 20 years as he says).

It is NOT a fact that "women aren't visual" - various research (e.g. Bailey, Northwestern University) reveals that women are just as turned on by visual material as men. The difference lies in what they're seeing and also in their learned cultural responses to porn. There's been a growth in feminist porn but it's still a minority part of the industry. You could also add that Google has done a great job of hiding porn recently, making it harder for women to find any different sorts porn beyond the free porn tube sites.

If you want ACTUAL research on women and porn, I recommend the work of Clarissa Smith and Feona Attwood. Their massive porn research project is ongoing. In 2011 it revealed that young women aged 18-25 are actually watching porn more than men their age.
http://msnaughty.com/blog/2011/10/19/porn-research-younger-women-more-li...

Personally I looove hot men.

Personally I looove hot men. I love the Chippendales :):) I hate that I live in a society that is oppressive sexually towards women where I can't express it. I like younger men, and I like porn that men are in to.

BTW, not to be mean towards

BTW, not to be mean towards this author, but this is poorly designed research.

Don't tell me that it's a

Don't tell me that it's a fact I don't like porn, or men are more visual. I am soooo sick of hearing that. That is what men want to believe to make them selves feel more secure. Great excuse to exploit women and tell men they do not need to be attractive!

I am woman. I love watching good porn, oddly prefer gay male porn. No stupid plastic women and the men are hot, hot, hot!! I like watching them masturbate or suck another man.

It seems to me that I have a much larger range of turn on's than men. I think they are limited and have a deep seated need to limit female sexuality.

The porn sites mentioned in the article are ones I never heard of and I search for female oriented porn, but I am always bombarded with typical male porn. I gave up, perhaps I will check out the sites. I won't be surprised if it is mostly women and stupid, fat, ugly men though that seems to be the norm!!

[quote]Don't tell me that

[quote]Don't tell me that it's a fact I don't like porn,...[\quote]

Nobody here would dream of saying such a thing.

[quote]...or men are more visual.[\quote]

More visual than you? Maybe not. Generally more visual than most women? Evidence points in that direction.

[quote]That is what men want to believe to make them selves feel more secure.[\quote]

This is a lie.

[quote]I think they are limited and have a deep seated need to limit female sexuality.[\quote]

And yet another lie.

[quote]I won't be surprised if it is mostly women and stupid, fat, ugly men though that seems to be the norm!![\quote]

*facepalm* Really?

A woman's place online is at the virtual mall.

Whereas porn for men is sexually explicit, porn for women is emotionally explicit. They don't necessarily need to go online because they're extravagantly catered to constantly in all the mainstream media.

You can tell from the ads what the targeted demographic is, and with women controlling ~85% of discretionary spending (the gap no one talks about), virtually everything outside sports is aimed at a female drama and romantic adventure loving audience. The womens talk and celebrity shows are practically nothing but sex, sex, and more sex; even Rachel Ray is doing underwear makeovers, and news stories get highly dramatized.

So I agree with the first comment about looking in the wrong place and missing what's in plain sight.

I always love when men tell

I always love when men tell me, as a woman, what it is that I like. Fuck off Martian Bachelor.

"with women controlling ~85%

"with women controlling ~85% of discretionary spending (the gap no one talks about)"

You do realise that this is only because men don't WANT to deal with the everyday shopping, right? Women don't "control" anything, because it's not control when you HAVE to do it.

"virtually everything outside sports is aimed at a female drama and romantic adventure loving audience. The womens talk and celebrity shows are practically nothing but sex, sex, and more sex; even Rachel Ray is doing underwear makeovers, and news stories get highly dramatized."

You're mistaking gossip for porn. Gossip isn't porn, for one simple and obvious reason: it doesn't sexually arouse anyone. So no, gossip doesn't count as 'porn for women'.

Poor poor Martian

Poor, poor Martian

Again suggesting the only reality you know is a teevee one. The only experience with women a virtual one. Peering from his martian land, at these alien beings he desires and yet cannot relate to.

And yet for all your judgement and ugliness, the very thing which may enable you to succeed socially, and thereby with women, are the very traits you so often seem to disdain in women. Intuition, empathy and social intelligence.

I suggest you work on them. A female therapist can work wonders. The therapeutic process is a very intimate one. And since there is NO (NO, NO, NO) therapist which can ethically engage in a sexual act with you, its a perfect opportunity to practice speaking to women, without your sexual frustration and ineptitude shining through like a goddamn beacon.

And wish you luck.

Here's an interesting article

Here's an interesting article on the increase in male objectification. Women have gained an incredible amount of sociopolitical power, and are now demanding that they get what they want. Kraft and Sauza are making millions off of their latest ads depicting hot, shirtless men. Turns out women are more visual than you idiots thought. Oh yea, and thanks for assuming for us, and not ASKING us ladies what it is that we like:

http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/hunkvertising-objectific...

Dr. Ginger, I agree that male

Dr. Ginger,

I agree that male objectification is increasing, and at a rapid pace. As a man in my 50s, I'll admit that I'm sometimes very uncomfortable seeing and hearing the various ways I'm not "ideal", and 20 yrs ago I was confronted less often by this type of discussion or the kinds of images you mention.

My discomfort is mine to address, and I'm not suggesting that women should refrain from anything because of how I feel. But where do you see this going? Do you think men will catch or surpass woman in terms of their body image issues? Will that be an improvement if it happens, if only because it levels things, or do you see it as collateral damage from women having more freedom?

Adrian, For years I've been

Adrian,

For years I've been told by men that they are attracted to what they are attracted to, and that's just the way that it is! Well, women are attracted to what we're attracted to, and that's just the way that it is!

Rather unfair, don't you think?

Men who now start having body image issues because of the increasing male objectification come from a place of privilege: they didn't use to feel this way, because only women were objectified.

On the contrary, women who start openly enjoying male objectification come from a place of oppression: they have always lived in a society rife with female objectification, and they have always been made to have body issues because of it (now just as much if not more than ever).

So formulating the questions as though women should even CARE that their increasing freedom might be hurting some men, when they are only doing what men have always done to them, strikes me as morally wrong. When oppressors suffer from the loss of their privilege because their victims start to fight back, it's just wrong to ask the victims to worry about the well-being of their oppressors.

Personally I don't see it as a good thing that even more people get to suffer from body image issues, but I certainly don't think that women's attention should be shifted onto men's body issues when so many women (all of them?) are still made to suffer from the very same problem. That would be making women cater to men's needs AGAIN; that would be supporting male privilege AGAIN.

Del, I don't think it's

Del,

I don't think it's unfair to ask a question of someone who is invested in the conversation. In looking at her earlier comments, Dr Ginger was the first person in this conversation to say that she was into images of men, she mentioned that men were being objectified and sexualized far more than in the past, and also complained pretty stoutly that she resents the way women's bodies are critiqued in various media. She seems to have thought a lot about this issue, so it seemed reaqsonable to ask her if she thought men's experience moving forward might mirror women's, and with what impact.

It's worth noting that she replied to my question, briefly, but she replied. It's also worth noting that in your first post you offered an opinion re women's interest in porn that supported the idea that women are not "visual". I don't know if you're male or not, but if you are then you may be one of the "idiots" Dr. Ginger referred two when offering an opposing view.

Male privilege

Adrian,

In a discussion about women's sexuality (whether women enjoy porn and what kind of porn they like), you asked a woman to take time and energy to think about how women's search for a non-repressed sexuality is making men (the people who repressed women's sexuality in the first place) feel. Worse: you couched your questions in such a way as to make it seem as though women should be worried or ashamed about reaching for full sexual freedom because it has the same negative impact on some men as men's free expression of their sexuality has always had on women. This is blatantly inappropriate and unfair.

When you wrote your comment expressing how male objectification makes you feel uneasy, when you used strong terms such as "collateral damage", you didn't take the time to acknowledge that you were speaking to someone who has been suffering from FAR MORE "damage" ever since she was born. Dr Ginger has had to grow up and live in a society which massively objectifies women, yet you still asked her to take time to think about what the emergent male objectification might be doing to men, without even acknowledging that she's had it and most likely always will have it much much worse. That's pretty much the definition of unfair.

"She seems to have thought a lot about this issue, so it seemed reaqsonable to ask her if she thought men's experience moving forward might mirror women's, and with what impact. "

The fact that it seemed reasonable is part and parcel of the problem. Would you ask a person of colour who is discussing the progressive empowerment of non-white communities, what they think of the negative effects this greater freedom is having on some white people? Would you ask a disabled person who is discussing the way society is getting better at integrating and accomodating handicapped people, what they think of the side-effects this has on able people?

My guess is that no, you wouldn't, because you would realise just how inapproriate it would be. But men asking women to please think about the men is STILL seen as appropriate, and this is wrong. It's male privilege at work: seeing nothing wrong with steering a discussion which is about women's expanding freedom, onto men and their feelings of loss.

" It's also worth noting that in your first post you offered an opinion re women's interest in porn that supported the idea that women are not "visual". I don't know if you're male or not, but if you are then you may be one of the "idiots" Dr. Ginger referred two when offering an opposing view."

Interesting... Why did you feel the need to point this out? The only reason I can see, from where I stand, is that you're trying to turn me against Dr Ginger, or at the very least to deflect my attention from you onto her, so I will stop examining your words and pull hers apart instead. If this is what you were trying to do, then you have to admit it's not a very honest tactic.

To address the issues you mentioned:
- Yes, I'm aware she disagrees with part of what I said, and potentially called me an idiot. I don't mind, because my initial comment was badly worded anyway: I should not have spoken about "men" and "women" in general when I only meant to talk about trends and tendencies; that was really a basic, indeed idiotic, mistake.
- I didn't completely disagree with her anyway, since I did mention that lots of women are interested in printed porn. Printed works are visual by nature, yet they don't seem to count as "visual porn" in the article (which seems to reduce "visual" to "video", which is really not the same thing).
- As for whether I'm a man or a woman: I'm a trans man. This means I was born and raised a girl, and I lived quite a few years as a woman, but I'm now living as much as possible as a man. So I know very intimately what it is to be a woman, even if I can no longer speak as one of them.

Del, I apologize for the

Del,

I apologize for the "idiot" reference. You're right about part of my motivation.

I too, could have been more clear and more thoughtful in my earlier comments to Dr. Ginger. You or she might have disagreed with my points, but we'd all know better where we stand. So to re-state.

I agree that women and girls are inundated with images and messages that imply or directly state that their bodies and appearance are flawed and inadequate. Men face similar messages, but considerably fewer. If someone said men face 50% of the negative static, or 25%, or maybe less than that, I wouldn't argue.

Although as a male I faced less of a challenge to develop a healthy body image, I wasn't able to do so. I know from experience that a man, as opposed to a woman, can still typically more easily avoid the messages that rub salt in that wound, but in my case I gravitate toward those images and messages. I think I do this first to reassure myself, and when that inevitably fails, I wallow in the gap between what I appear to be and those images and messages. I think that can be said of other men and many women.

The point being, an F'd up body image is a miserable thing to have, and I've got one. If two people have lung cancer, and one was exposed to carcinogens without knowing it, and the other was a chronic smoker, the disease course may be the same. I'm the chronic smoker in that analogy.

My initial response to Dr. Ginger was incomplete. I felt that she was not simply declaring her right to experience her sexuality freely, but she was doing it in a way that seemed to have an element of revenge to it. I think her response to me and another comment she made in general support this.

In her general comment Dr. Ginger expressed understandable pain over the way men talk about women and what they find attractive, as well as what they find unattractive. She would have rather not experienced that pain. In her response to me she said that men are attracted to what they're attracted to, and women are attracted to what they're attracted to, in her case very idealized and sexualized examples of men (chippendales) and younger men. I brought my own experience to those comments and and felt pretty humbled, and not in a good way. I'm sure I was also less objective than I might have been.

If women expressing their sexuality leads to men being damaged in ways that women have been, so be it. Maybe that has to happen before we can move forward, if we do. On a macro scale I can't object.

On a human scale where I live and feel, I'd hope that maybe we could also talk about this though, and find common ground.

Very fascinating

Very fascinating, insightful and humble comment.

Thanks Del!

Objectification

I'm a woman, I have five daughters, I can understand the apathy and "serves you right" attitude some women have toward the targeting of males for commercial objectification.

But, I hate to see it. Efforts toward equality should not be a race to the bottom.

I would like to suggest that

I would like to suggest that male body image issues (in general) largely stem from expectations placed upon them from other males.
I am a good deal younger than you, so I'll reference something that is relevant to my generation's take on the topic: comic books.
Discussion in relation to comic books often focuses on the way the female characters are drawn, with an intense disregard for, you know, realistic anatomy and an extreme focus on breasts and butts. Often, in a discussion on this topic, a man will say "but what about the unrealistically muscled and attractive physiques of the MALE characters? I'm being treated just as badly!"
Of course, the comparison does not hold up. While the female characters are afflicted with an emphasis on those body parts associated with sexual gratification, the male characters exhibit exaggerated signs of power, strength and masculinity- essentially, what I'm saying here is that both of these images are supposed to appeal more to a male audience. The women are there as masturbation fodder while the men are there to allow boys/men to slip into a skin more powerful than their own and escape to a fantasy where they save the world and get the girl. Sexuality plays a part in women's power/escapist fantasies, but I doubt many girls fantasise about a full-on sexual object for a man when they're feeling unsatisfied with their day-to-day life. While a man who can save the day, etc, etc may be attractive to many women, thinking about it doesn't really empower them, particularly as these characters are so often completely unattainable.

That was kind of long-winded, but I hope it conveys my point; men's insecurities are often based around wanting to look and feel stronger and more powerful, while women's insecurities are often based around a sickening desire to literally fade into the background and take up as little space as possible- so, no, it's not really fair to compare the two issues as they are right now.

[we could also get into whether or not this "male objectification" can even justifiably be called that, because what I've seen of that sort of thing still tends to be a lot more respectful to the men being objectified than objectification of women does, and also is still in line with the escapist fantasies of the male audiences, but I may not be necessarily qualified]

BTW, since we're on the

BTW, since we're on the topic, and this article is on psychology today, I contacted the vice president of Thunder from Down Under, and had her contact psychology today to encourage them to feature some of the male entertainers. For the GUYS commenting on this article; have you guys been to vegas recently?? It's where I live, and there are ads for male entertainers EVERYWHERE. If women aren't visual, why are these SO popular here?? The entire Rio casino is decorated in gorgeous half naked men for the Chippendales show.

Thank you Ginger! I too am

Thank you Ginger! I too am tired of men telling me how I feel and what I think as a woman.

We are visual. We like sex. I could care less about romance and emotions when it comes to porn!!!!

Forget the money show me the men baby!!

Thanks for the links, unfortunetley they never play the sexy man commercials. Even my husband wishes things would change and encourages me to look at sexy men, but he is one of the few that is secure enough with himself!

PS: Those Australian Boys are incredibley hot my eyeballs almost became fuse to the billboard at the airport in LV!

Oh, and to Mr. That's a lie, these are my opinions, I do not claim my opinions as facts like the author has.

Yes, I saw your post and I

Yes, I saw your post and I really appreciate it because I try to do a lot of work in this area in regards to social change. Like you, I am tired of being told by men what it is that I like. Also, something that I'm addressing in our society is psychological abuse towards women. There's no shortage of internet articles, articles in magazines, and abuse on social networking sites, attacking women's bodies saying they are too short, too tall, too old, too fat, too thin, too ugly etc etc. This a completely permissible behavior in our society, and needs to be addressed. Psychological abuse should be taken every bit as seriously as physical abuse. Women should be free of attacks against their bodies. Your body should feel safe. This so called research the author of this article talks about is so poorly designed, and they are making MASSIVE assumptions based on internet searches. Correlation doesn't imply causation. We don't actually KNOW why these individuals were doing these searches. I would LOVE to know how they claim to know it was men or women doing the searches.

some women like porn

8-20% according the article. your existence and experience hasn't been denied, you're just in the minority.

there is a problem with

there is a problem with suggesting that the statistics on porn websites speaks for what women biologically and psychologically are predisposed to liking
and if I need to tell you that many women have been taught that they should not indulge in sex for their own gratification, I would have to question what world you have been living in.

I think people need to accept

I think people need to accept that political and social dynamics are changing at a rapid pace. We live in a hypersexual culture, and women are bound to be affected and influenced by it as well. I live in vegas, and ten years ago the city only displayed signs of scantily clad women when it came to advertising erotic entertainers. Male entertainers were almost no where to be found except at one club, but you never saw advertisements for them. I would say at least 25% of the signs that depict exotic entertainers in vegas are of mew now.

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Ogi Ogas, Ph.D., studies computational neuroscience. He is co-author of A Billion Wicked Thoughts.

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