(310) 600-9912 drmoali@oasis2care.com

Porn has always been a hot topic, but its never been as widespread as it is today.  Thanks to the internet, and in the last decade, smartphones – what we once had to buy in person, often at a creepy location where we wouldn’t want to be caught, now we have 24/7 access at our fingertips.

Whether it’s the ease of access or changing norms, more women are interested now than they ever have been.  As Gina Gutierrez, founder of erotica listening app Dipsea shared, in 2017 the number 1 search term on PornHub was “porn for women,” despite the fact that only 1 in 4 users are women!  

So with this greater interest, why isn’t there more porn that caters to women’s desires?  There are many reasons, but here are just a few:

  • Historically, the sex industry was founded by men, for men.  While some women have always taken a peek, studies from the 90s – back when porn was limited to magazines and VHS tapes(!) – the vast majority of viewers were male (see Sex in America: A Definitive Survey by Robert T. Michael, John H. Gagnon, Edward O. Laumann and Gina Kolata).  Times have changed!
  • On average, men DO tend to be more visual in their fantasies than women.  While women tend to focus on the situation or scenario, men are more interested in body parts and specific acts, in a more graphic sense.  But it is worth considering – if porn was filmed from a more feminine perspective, would more women want to watch?  Do we only consider men to be more visual, because there is content out there that caters for them?  Its sort of a “which comes first, the chicken or the egg” question. Likely men would still be more visual on average, but if porn catered more to women’s desires, its also likely more would want to watch.
  • Because women tend to be more focused on the chemistry, connection and scenario – porn as it currently exists is simply less likely to turn a woman on.  Most sex workers are not actors, and most scripts are, well, barely scripts. There are important exceptions, of course! But in general, even when acting is involved in porn, it is not typically as engaging as a Hollywood film, and meanwhile most Hollywood actors aren’t interested in having sex on screen.  The believability factor, or lack thereof, can be pretty distracting and take a more feminine brain out of the moment.
  • Further, since many women’s sexual desires are more “responsive” than “spontaneous,” its less likely that porn models are as sexually aroused on set as they might be at home with their partners.  Groundbreaking research on women’s sexuality by Emily Nagosaki finds that a majority of women’s desires arise in response to the situation, considering the context and chemistry, whereas more men on average get turned on spontaneously at the sight of someone or something they find sexy.  Simply put, the situation of the porn set – even if ethical – may not tap into that specific sex worker’s deepest personal desires. So its simply less likely that in that context we will see authentic women’s sexuality, though again there are major exceptions!
  • Finally, the ethics of the porn industry are often a question.  Women enter porn for a wide variety of reasons. The stereotype of the used and abused downtrodden woman certainly does not characterize the industry as a whole, yet to say that aspect does not exist would be equally false.  Further, consider the question of consent in work more generally. Think about your own experiences at work – have you ever agreed to do something you personally did NOT want to do, but felt you should? Worked extra hours when you preferred to be with your family?  Taken on projects you hated, to please your boss or in hopes it would lead to a promotion? To act as though we all choose our work freely and from the deep felt desire of our own hearts is simply nonsense (though it would be great if we did)! Sometimes in life, we consent to do things in any line of work for reasons other than our inherent wanting, and sex work is no different.  On the other hand, we can also engage in work-related activities and are surprised by the outcome. Someone with social anxiety may have to give a speech for their job, and shockingly discover they actually enjoy it! The same can go with the sex industry, models may take on jobs and leave pleased with their experience, going home with some new interests to explore.

What can you do if you’re a female, looking for visual erotica that speaks to your own fantasies?

  • Realize that while there IS feminist porn out there – a quick Googling will reveal articles and lists detailing where female-friendly content can be found online.
  • Many, many sex workers are creating their own content nowadays, and can easily be found on social media.  Those who create in the comfort of their own home may be more likely to film scenarios they themselves enjoy.  Take the time to “get to know them” through their Twitter or Instagram and you can feel more confident about watching their videos.
  • More and more porn directors these days are women themselves!  Even if made for a primarily male audience, it is still more likely to include more elements that women enjoy too.
  • Consider using your ears, instead!  Dipsea is an amazing app for erotic stories that is woman-centered and prioritizes women’s pleasure, sexual health, and diversity. You may be surprised how much you enjoy listening to a sexy story that includes a context, erotic build up and yet at the same time, lets your imagination go wild and imagine the characters in a way that’s most sexy to YOU.
  • Pay for porn you DO enjoy!  Contrary to stereotypes, the industry isn’t doing so hot thanks to piracy (many of those videos on tube sites are there illegally, others are intended as advertising).  So when you do financially support porn you love, it helps the producers create more! Plus, its the right thing to do – you wouldn’t steal a donut from your favorite coffee shop, would you? 

At this point, its hard to say whether and how an increasing female audience will affect the production of porn.  The majority of customers are still male, but with a growing number of woman-focused viewers, the business might find ways to cater to that side of the market.  And of course, there ARE men out there who would LOVE to see more female pleasure. A woman having an orgasm is a beautiful thing, and hopefully in time THAT will become equally widespread!

 

 

Bio: Dr. Nazanin Moali is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in the Los Angeles area. She works with various individuals to understand and improve their sexuality. Dr. Moali conducts personal consultation sessions in her Torrance and Hermosa Beach offices, or via a secure, online video-counseling platform.

Click here to download the 101 Ways to Keep Your Relationship Hot checklist.

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