The Real Reason Women Prefer Watching Same-Sex Porn

Man, I feel like a woman.

Ask most women what they think of porn and you’re bound to get mixed reactions.

It’s no surprise the majority of X-rated online viewing is produced and directed by men, for men – guys are outspoken about the fact they love a good flesh flick. But with most pornographic content focused largely on the pleasure of men, with women regularly depicted in submissive, demeaning scenarios; from semi-consensual anal sex to ejaculatory facials, there’s not a lot in heterosexual porn to appeal to a female market. Which is a terrible shame, because women watch a heck of a lot more porn than we’re led to believe.

According to Pornhub’s 2015 summary, 24 per cent of its viewers last year were female. That’s up from 23 per cent in 2014. This is a staggering statistic considering the shame surrounding female sexuality. I mean, how often do you and your girlfriends talk openly about masturbation, let alone your porn preferences? My guess is not too often. I know I certainly don’t.

Sex therapist and PhD Laurie Betito, who oversaw the Pornhub study, believes the reason so many women are now watching porn is because of changing attitudes to female sexuality (although it’s still somewhat a bit of a taboo).

“This number will likely keep increasing as more and more women are feeling empowered about their sexuality and experience less shame in liking sex,” says Betito.

“More and more women are also more open about masturbation; doing it and talking about it.”

Science also has a bit of a say in this. According to a 2006 study by McGill University in the US, in which researchers monitored genital temperature changes to measure sexual arousal, when shown porn clips, men and women alike began displaying arousal within 30 seconds. Men reached maximum arousal in about 11 minutes, women in about 12.

But why, if heterosexual porn is not really gonna take us to the Promised Land, are so many women keen on a bit of visual erotica? The answer is simple; we’re not watching hetero porn.

The top searched pornographic term by women of 2015 and 2014 who identified as straight was ‘lesbian’, followed by ‘threesome’ and ‘squirt’. ‘Milf’ and ‘step mom’ were also popular terms, along with ‘gay’ (guy-on-guy) porn. Cosmopolitan also conducted a similar survey, and discovered 21.3 per cent of women prefer same-sex porn, compared to the 1.8 per cent of men.

However, although increasingly progressive attitudes towards female sexuality and the odd scientific study might explain the surprisingly high number of female porn viewers, it doesn’t explain the gravitation of heterosexual women towards lesbian porn specifically.

According to sexual health therapist and relationship counsellor, Desiree Spierings, women tend to find female-centric porn more sensual, which resembles the kind of sex most of us are more interested in having.

“I have had women express that at least with lesbian porn, both people are attractive. Just looking at ‘big’ penises doesn’t do it for them, as penises don’t look as ‘beautiful’,” Spierings states.

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It’s no secret that objectively, a nice neat vagina is infinitely more attractive than the lumps and bumps of a guy’s bits and bobs. Plus, the female body is a little more, erm, proportionate when it comes to upstairs balancing out downstairs. Who wouldn’t want to look at all of that in action?

However, physical beauty and inherent sensuality aren’t the only reasons girl-on-girl porn is a goer for the ladies. According to Spierings, many of her clients state lesbian porn is an educational tool just as much as it is an erotic one.

Aside from the skill required to successfully sexually stimulate a woman, anxiety is a huge factor in preventing the big O. As such, watching girls touch other girls is a way for women to learn about their own anatomy, and what may flick that switch on a little better.

“Lesbian porn displays a clearer image of what is important to get a woman turned on. There seems to be more of a focus on the breasts and vagina, and also on ‘how to’ touch it,” says Spierings.

“Overall, lesbian porn depicts more foreplay-types of activities, and includes the use of sex toys. Toys are often a pleasure enhancer, and important to get a woman to higher levels of arousal.”

We all know simple P in V is usually not enough to bring us to peak. Whether because of discomfort, lack of lubrication, or chronic worrying, the majority of women claim vaginal intercourse alone is not the key to climax. After all, without greasing the wheels, the consequence is often painful sex. So who wants to watch women jumping straight into penetrative sex and pretending to love it, which is so often the case in hetero porn? If sensual sexuality, which is what, according to Spierings, most women seem to dig (with a few exceptions) is inherent to lesbian porn, I’m not surprised it’s such a popular niche.

Perhaps there’s another element to why we’re more likely to search for terms like ‘Milf’ or ‘lesbian’, too. Perhaps it’s that we identify with the women in those films; women who embody the qualities of nurturing, selflessness and sensuality. Perhaps it’s the lack of men hogging all the sexual attention (who hasn’t been with a guy who thinks sex is all about his orgasm?).

Or maybe we’re just bored with all the male-oriented sexuality in film and TV, pumped out by all-male writing teams. Either way, if female-centric pornography is a shortcut on the road to complete sexual gratification, then golly gee; sign me up.

Comment: Why do you think women are more drawn to female-centric pornography?