What Women Want From Porn

According to a 2007 Nielsen/NetRatings poll, about one in three porn viewers is female. The study also found that 13 million American women looked at online porn at least once a month. Another online survey conducted by Netmums revealed that 76 percent of women watch porn with their partners to get in the mood.

Despite these reports, female porn can’t seem to find its niche in the marketplace. Playgirl has never been as popular as its male counterpart. In fact, Playgirl appeals more to gay men than its market audience.

So what’s the problem with female porn? Petra Joy, a female porn director, told The Guardian:

Women enjoy seeing a curve of arousal and like to understand why these people are having sex and how they got turned on. Women want to see credible female performers, women of all sizes and looks who genuinely enjoy themselves rather than porn clones with fake nails, hairs and boobs faking it for the camera.

Erika Lust, another female porn director, added, “… women want to see independent women exploring their sexuality, who are not afraid, but are not sex heroines either. We want to see attractive men who share our lifestyles, our ideas.”

Based on these descriptions, women basically want porn soap operas—playing into the idea that women crave the emotional aspect more than the physical. It’s about love, not just sex. Right?

No. Sometimes we just want to see some action. I don’t need to see or understand the emotional underpinnings of the relationship. I just want something without all the cheese.

Violet Blue got it exactly right for CNN:

For me, the real problem with most porn is its hokeyness—the ridiculous costumes, the awful cinematography, the ludicrous story lines, the terrible acting (not to mention how scary the close-ups sometimes look, how fake the boobs are, how some starlets really sound like injured animals … ).

So, while a title like “The Devil Wears Nada” is pretty hilarious, there’s no way it’s gonna turn me on. And I’m not looking for an Oscar-worthy performance, either. I’m not even looking for girls with real breasts. I’m just looking for some attractive people (no Ron Jeremy, please) and a pizza-delivery boy who didn’t take an order for extra sausage.

—Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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About Zaneta Jung

Zaneta Jung is a self-proclaimed nerd who is fresh out of college and learning to navigate post-grad life (i.e. how to buy meat). Also she wants to ride an elephant one day.

Comments

  1. Ha! Yes, PLEASE NO RON JEREMY!

    I love so many different types of porn, I couldn’t even tell you a fave. Some work and some just don’t, ya know. And I’m with you, no cheese please.

    Amen.

  2. The Japanese animation variety has a larger female audience than male audience. If you watch any, you will know why. It has nothing to do with real people, real looks, or real body parts. It has nothing to do with good acting or story lines either.

    Japanese animation is attractive to women because the main male character demonstrates his dominance by brutalizing and subjugating other men. That is what gets the female characters in the mood, which in turn leads to the, er, “main event”.

    “It’s about love, not just sex” has nothing to do with it. When it comes to women, it is about POWER and VIOLENCE.

  3. I like your attitude, Zaneta! Have you seen any of Tristan Taormino’s stuff (she’s the director, not the performer)? It’s typically excellent, with an attractive variety of performers, great sex, and orgasms for everybody. It’s not warm and fuzzy, or soap-operatic in anyway, just a little more ethical and female-friendly. This review (NSFW) was what initially turned me on (heh) to her stuff: http://fleshbot.com/5737357/porn-for-straight-girls-watching-girls-have-orgasms-is-rad?skyline=true&s=i

  4. What I gather from this post is that women want tasteful porn. And guess what, men do, too! The mainstream stuff gets deadly dull after a while. Watching it is like having a conversation with someone who speaks–or rather shouts–strictly in hyperbole. “THE BIGGEST, HARDEST, FASTEST….” Etc.

    I recently started looking at porn again, and I stumbled across Camille Crimson. Check her out. I think she may even have won an award or two for best feminist porn.

    Thanks for the fun post!

  5. Women want their visual porn to be realistic.

    Meanwhile, their emotional porn remains the stuff of utter fantasy and does far more damage to relationships through unrealistic expectations as defined by emotional pornographers.

    Eat, Pray, Love anyone?

    • Have you actually watched EPL? I mean, or is that just ‘easy pickins’ as the latest chick flick. If you haven’t watched it… then don’t bring it up.

    • Or you could read feminist commentary as to why EPL is exploitative, cheesy, and emphatically *not* feminist? Jezebel and Shakesville discussed it when it first came out…

  6. Different women seem to like different porn. I would never suggest to a woman that she should watch one kind of porn over another or any porn at all. Some of the stuff they come up with can be pretty surprising. Some of the stuff they suggest that I might like, given that some other guy they went out with liked it, is liable to see them parked on the curb.

  7. Porn isn’t that healthy for anyone in the first place. People are saturated with enough sex in the advertisements, bill boards, tv commercials and by women walking the streets dressed in clothing that would have gotten them picked up by police vice cars 15 years ago, because only hookers used to dress like that.

    • Don’t tell me how I shouldn’t dress. If men can go in public shirtless without the slut shaming, then I should be able to go out in public in a belly top without the slut shaming.

    • That Girl says:

      Wow porn is part of masturbation which is very healthy. What women dont want to see in porn is pseudo rape, if a woman is making noises like a wounded animal and has a wincing expression that is enough to turn anyone off. But that is a good portion of how porn is. It is just funny that you speak about the modern sexualisation of media as a bad thing. To be open in your sexuality is a freedom for everyone. It is only bad if you cant take everything you see in with a grain of salt. If you have a good head on your shoulders than the sexuality of things is harmless. And women dont dress like “hookers” we dress how we want and it is a very freeing thing to dress sexually to express your confidence and women AND men should be allowed to do that without feeling bad or being shamed by people like you who think certain things are “unhealthy”.

      • Munkymunk says:

        I disagree. When I watch porn (I’m a girl… last I checked), it’s almost entirely about pseudo rape (believe me, it took me a long time to cope with this and make myself believe it was ok). Sometimes we just want to give up the control we spend so much of our daily lives trying to keep. Sometimes we have a lot of shame built up for so long that the idea of exploring our fantasies through rape gives us a guilt-free way of dealing with our desires while not conflicting with our scruples.

        • Hombre McMan says:

          Some people don’t seem to think there is a difference between being turned on by something and wanting to actually go out and do it. I agree with you that these things could not be more different, and wish that more women felt the same way.

    • I agree completely Harry.

  8. I watch porn to see women get off in a credible way. That’s about it. I don’t need to know the backstory, because what if it doesn’t relate to mine? Every relationship is different, and porn needs to be vague enough to interject into fantasies.

    Major issues with porn for women: the men aren’t attractive enough, and the emphasis is on the women and where the penis goes. James Deen is changing that around nicely, thank goodness. The scenes need to be produced the same way they are for men: don’t show the woman’s face when she’s into it, don’t show the vajayjay too much, and really, enough with the money shots.

  9. Roger Weekly says:

    Difficult to know whether this is the right place to raise this but here goes…

    I’m thinking of re-launching my web site at southern-gents.com. When I ran it in the past I had no problem getting gay subscribers I had very few women members. I never knew whether this was because I was just getting it all horribly wrong or that women didn’t like porn in general… I’m quite happy to accept that women are way more sensible than men in this area!

    I guess that what I’m asking for is some hints and tips regarding what women would like to see when it comes to photos of nude men. Any help and advice will be gratefully received.

    Thanks

  10. Appealing porn to me means no close-ups down there (got the idea, thanks), women who don’t look like plastic, a decent-looking guy, and no cheesy dialogue. It’s contradictory because porn is mainly about fantasy, but the more natural the people and the act, the better it is. Take James Deen: he genuinely looks like he’s into it and like he cares about pleasing the girl. And his whispered dirty talk and handholding is enough to make anyone swoon for days….the fact that he’s Jewish is just an added bonus :]

  11. One of the better quotes about women watching most male porn comes from a video “I like porn”:
    “Sperm belongs on the inside”

  12. It’s funny – I am not a lesbian but I really enjoy and get aroused watching lesbian porn movies! I don’t really care for “hardcore” stuff. http://www.goodgirlmovies.com has some great girl/girl movies!

  13. Women and Porn – check out http://www.wetkissme.com!

  14. I travel alot and will very often watch Porn while I am alone in my hotel room. I enjoy it and it gives me my own time to indulge myslef. I don’t watch it at home or with my hubby. I don’t think anyone would ever suspect me of watching porn including my hubby!

  15. Thank you! So I’m not alone.. I enjoy porn, unlike a lot of my friends (at least they don’t admit to it, or haven’t tried it), but really cant stand a lot of it. Contradiction I know, but who wants to watch someone who’s so obviously faking it? I’m not into the mills and boon type porn, that’s often geared toward women, I like watching two, or even three people genuinely having a good time, or even just convincing actors. I’m very curious to know why men enjoy the dogged, cum in your face, you piece of shit, treatment of women in porn. I get fantasy, sometimes maybe that’s just what you’re in the mood for, but it seems a common theme.

  16. What I like from porn:

    I want to know the backstory, how these two got together, the feelings behind it. Specifically, a power dynamic, usually with him in charge, either by being fully-dressed, older, in a limo, boss-secretary, being the single man with multiple women, a leash, a harem, a Viking marauder (there aren’t nearly enough Viking marauders, or historical scenes in general – I’d love to see some Napoleonic upperclassmen playing in the orchard with a couple of virgins :-)… It’s awful in real life but I like to imagine he has a wife at home he’s cheating on with a woman at work or the babysitter or the maid, who is available to him at his discretion. So, yes, very big on the power dynamic. I hate porn where you never see the guy’s face. I like great boobs, a beautiful rosy dick, fleshy testicles, natural hair, good skin, good skin tone, face shots as much as genital shots, his hands on her. I do like to see realistic body types from time to time. I like missionary position because it puts her face and torso in strong proximity to his, and he’s in control if he’s doing the pushing – and that’s hot. Therefore, I hate reverse cowgirl most of the time, which is almost all you see these days. Oh and blowjobs are hot but ass-to-mouth is nasty.

    There you have it, pornographers, satisfy me.

    By the way, I would not much approve of my porn proclivities in real life. It’s weird, but when I saw the guy I loved having sex with another woman I got real turned on sexually but real turned off in every other way. Female sexuality is just as weird as male sexuality.

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