Mind Caviar
"The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting."

~ Gloria Leonard (1981)

Mind Caviar Issue 13, 2004-2005

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What Kind of Porn Do Women Like?

When women surf porn sites, do they mostly look for stories or pictures?

The answer is both. I think a lot of women love stories, and that's certainly something they're looking for. I suspect the story thing is because women are brought up to get their kicks through reading romance novels and Cosmopolitan, whereas men are initiated into the visual world of porn in their teen years. And stories offer so much scope for the imagination, as well as a way to include emotional contact with the sex.

At the same time - and this seems to surprise a lot of people - there are an awful lot of women out there keen to look at hardcore sex, plain and simple. There's also women who like fetish, group sex, bisexual stuff... women are quite a diverse group when it comes to looking at porn, just like men.

When it comes to hardcore, or at least depictions of M-F hetero sex, I make a distinction between "women's hardcore" and "mainstream hardcore." I define it as sex that depicts a female viewpoint of sex, or at least sex that's not all about the man's pleasure. It needs to have a focus on female orgasm, or female pleasure.

Women's hardcore is NOT sex where the woman is just a receptacle for sperm.

There's got to be some kind of spark, some intimacy and contact between the two people. Preferably no cumshots, or facials, or the woman looking at the camera as if the guy screwing her isn't there. And no talk of "anal destruction."

Speaking of language, I think women always prefer porn that treats them with respect. They don't want to deal with a guilt trip that labels them as a "slut" or "whore" because they enjoy sex. They want to see equals sharing sex together, not women being humiliated, laughed at or "owned". So women like porn that is pro-sex.

The standard assumption with women and porn is that it's all about naked men. This can be somewhat misleading. While plenty of women really enjoy looking at naked men (and especially naked men with erections), some women find the penis a turn-off. This could well be due to society's determination to keep the penis hidden, so women aren't "trained" to find nude men attractive.

Another problem with naked men is that often the photos are designed for gay male viewers, so women tend to encounter a lot of gay hardcore stuff when they're surfing for porn. This also leads to the idea that all solo naked men photos feature gay men, although there is no way of actually telling the sexual orientation of a man just by looking at him (although if he's spreading his butt cheeks and using a dildo anally that's sometimes a giveaway).

When it comes to porn movies, I think women like to see storylines, but not always. Perhaps more important is the idea that the couple onscreen are actually enjoying what they're doing, and not being too fake about it. It also helps if the guys in the movie aren't too Ron Jeremy-ish. If we're talking female fantasy, then women aren't likely to want to see guys who seem sleazy or seriously unattractive.

Of course, this article is still relying on generalisations. Women are hugely eclectic in their sexuality, and they may be turned on by all sorts of things. Hell, I don't doubt there are women out there who really love mainstream blokey porn, just as there are heaps of men who are downright sick of it. The point is that porn needs to broaden its horizon and embrace female sexuality so things can improve all round.

Visit Mind Caviar's to see Porn for Women Made by Women.

Photo Provided by For The Girls © copyright 2004. Article copyright © Porn for Women Biz 2004. Published with author's permission. All rights reserved. Do not copy or post.

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