Society still can't wrap its head around how much porn women watch

Society still can't wrap its head around how much porn women watch

SexAugust 31, 2017 By Paul Hazelton

Women watch porn, and they watch it a lot.

One of them is Emily Huff, a 21-year-old student at CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado, who says she watches it around once a week. She also attended the Exxxotica convention last year. Emily argues the ongoing misconception and silence encapsulating erotica arises because of a, “cliche in our culture that ‘good girls’ don't sexualize themselves; and even though we demand sex in all ways in our society — even down to ads for food — the dainty good woman doesn't do things like watch porn.”

According to a recent study released by Marie Claire, one in three women like Huff watch porn on a weekly basis. A further 30 percent get their fix a few times every month, and another 10 click a link every day.

If you're female, the fact women view x-rated videos might not shock you. But if you’re like a lot of men, it probably does, and that's perhaps the most bizarre aspect of the narrative: Why don't we realize or acknowledge that women are watching pornography?

“I don't think women talk about it actually,” explains Dr. Jenni Skyler, a sexologist at The Intimacy Institute who councils couples and those facing sexual issues in Boulder, Colorado.

“Women will gossip about a variety of other things,” she adds, “like how their sex life is going, how many orgasms their having, or not having at all, and those types of things … but I find they tend not to talk about how they get aroused.”

Many guys might find the whole concept of women watching porn threatening, too. Or at least, that's what social worker Jamie Huxley thinks.  

“If a girl is being open with their sexuality, men might feel like they don't have as much … not necessarily as much control … but [they’re put] in a position where they're not the ones that are more sexually enlightened than the girls,” he says.

Huxley also suggests the mere notion “women can get laid more easily” leads directly to the assumption they don't need porn. Others like Emily Huff caution while that may have some basis in reality, porn is all about the fantasy and doesn't necessarily correlate with how much, or what type of, sex you're having.

Huff believes this double standard often forces women to keep their midnight-incognito-tab-escapades a secret for fear of being called or looked on as promiscuous and constantly judged.

“Oh, you watch porn? You're a slut,” she says. “Oh, you wear a tank top? You're a slut. Oh, you walk and breathe? You're a slut.”

Another possibility floated by Dr. Skyler and others is that many males can't get their heads around women watching porn. This has a lot to do with how much the industry caters to men and as a result, men’s desires. It's hard to picture, for example, women watching other women in pornos depicting blowjobs or FMM situations — or any of the other admittedly rough, weird or fairly disgusting things some men masturbate to online. And they're not entirely wrong.

Both Emily and Dr. Skyler, along with other specialists who spoke with us, state most women prefer porn with female pleasure as its core theme. Or barring that, videos with high production value that seem authentic and sensual. In fact, this was one reason given as to why women prefer lesbian and gay porn.

So not only are millions of women watching porn regularly, they're also not gazing at what one might imagine. That's not to say plenty of women don't watch traditional videos, but Pornhub’s analytics places lesbian genres as the most watched amongst ladies on the planet. In 2014, it had gay male porn as the second most attractive — more attractive even than the demographic it was meant for: gay men.

Still, it’s precisely because of misconceptions and prejudices men like Jamie Huxley welcome more conversations about the subject. According to him this silence is, “something that can lead to a lot of misunderstandings and could overall decrease the enjoyment of both [sexes].”

And if the conversations were to happen? Emily Huff believes it would enhance sex, sexual society, and might even improve sexual education in this country.

Unfortunately, the chances of both sexes setting up open and frank dialogues about the smut they watch tonight might be a longshot.

“I joke, but it’s true,” Dr. Skyler says, “it's so much easier to have sex than talk about sex, and certainly to talk about masturbation, and then porn when you're going down the taboo rabbit hole.”