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Why Don’t Women Watch Porn?

By January 13, 2016 April 2nd, 2016 Blog

Even with all the sex positive, alternative porn out there, men are still consuming porn at much higher rates than women. If this Danish Study is anything to go by, men are still the largest porn users.  According to the PornHub.com 2015 annual report, the amount of female visitors is only 24% of their traffic. Although that number is up 1% from last year.

So women do watch porn, but at nowhere near the rates that men do. What’s up, ladies?

When I draw porn it is mostly with women in mind (and open-minded, awesome men) so the idea that women don’t consume pornography concerns me greatly. Not only from a personal stand point, but from a business one. This inspired me to dive into the issue further (not to mention the fact that I love to use the term “consume pornography”).

As a woman who not only watches, but also draws porn, and has many friends who also consume porn, I have quite a few thoughts on the topic.

 

Women are told they don’t watch porn

The power of suggestion is a huge barrier. I strongly believe that a lot of our stereotypical gender norms are learned. A lot of the arguments are based on pop-evolutionary-psychological theories about how men are more visually stimulated than women, because they had to hunt for bison… or whatever.
Women are told they don’t like porn, which immediately creates a barrier to entry. They go into it expecting not to enjoy it, or they don’t bother exploring it at all. Once they are past the exploration stage of their sexual development, they’ve left the idea of enjoying porn far behind. Women have to get the idea that porn isn’t for them, out of their heads.

They have been made to feel ashamed

I remember the first time a friend in high school asked me if I masturbated. “You don’t masturbate, do you?” A bit of a loaded question, don’t you think? When young girls see masturbation as gross, they certainly don’t think about watching porn.

There stereotype that boys are sex crazed, and women aren’t interested in sexual pleasure starts at a young age. Boys are “supposed” to be horny and sexually active, on the other hand women suffer from the stereotype that they are not interested in sex, and need a male to introduce them to it. This means young girls aren’t encouraged to explore their own sexuality, and instead wait for a boy to educate them.
This has many repercussions for women outside of watching porn, including difficulty in climaxing and shame associated with having sexual desire. That shame can easily follow us into adulthood, and stop women from wanting to explore it even at a mature age.

It’s made for men

 

Although there are a plethora of alternative porn sources, most porn today is still made with men in mind. For young girls starting out on their porn journey, the first things they are likely to find are the same kinds of porn their brothers or male school mates are finding. Which is usually porn that’s full of girls who look nothing like them, getting fucked without any foreplay, and screaming like an anime school girl.

anime-girl

If the first porn they see is completely unappealing to them, do you really think they’ll be inclined to search for more?

The quality is low

When I watch porn I want to feel that the actors are enjoying themselves. I don’t want to watch something cheesy with bad acting and crappy sets. A lot of women can’t get past bad production quality and still enjoy what’s going on. I hope most men prefer higher production quality too, but I think that this is a greater barrier for young women watching porn than it is for young men.

I’m not sure why this is, I don’t think it’s because men are “more visual” but it might have to do with men’s ability to mentally let go when they are trying to orgasm. Women have more sexual baggage to let go of first.

bad production quality porn

 

Women do watch porn, they just don’t call it porn

The obvious answer is that women are watching porn, they’re just not talking about it. Either they are ashamed, or simply don’t want to share that part of their personal time. We even have to be wary of the information in studies, because humans are notoriously bad at self-reporting their habits.

I also wonder if women are consuming porn but not really thinking about it as porn. Especially if the goal is not about having an orgasm. Women will read erotic stories to unwind from their day, or watch videos and look at photos for enjoyment on a level that isn’t linked to cumming. They might not consider it watching porn in the same way men do.

I also think this point hearkens back to my idea about women being shamed out of watching porn. If they are told it’s not for them, or that it’s something shameful, they certainly aren’t going to share their experiences openly.

Final thoughts

Porn has gotten a lot better in the last decade. It’s certainly better than it was when I was growing up. But there is also a lot of bad quality stuff that’s really easy to find. You can find good porn, but the industry is still incredibly skewed towards a certain kind of imagery aimed at young men.

I really want to create porn that women will enjoy, with characters that look like them, who are enjoying themselves, with fun stories and beautiful drawings.

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