How Women Feel About Porn

women-internet-pornograph-007[1]When it comes to women and porn, you’re going to get a lot of different reactions. Sometimes women’s feelings conflict with one another. Sometimes a woman’s feelings conflict within herself.

For some, it’s an acquired taste. A woman named Aaliyah was grossed out the first time she saw an explicit video at a high school homecoming party. Now she looks at porn about once a month, but she likes movies with a story. And she’s disgusted by the brutal stuff. Like Aaliyah, most female fans like a different type than men – less hard-core, more plot.

When it comes to strip clubs many women are tolerant or even enthusiastic. Forty-three percent of Cosmo’s readers and 51% of Elle’s had visited a strip club. And most didn’t mind if their partners indulged (52%). Of course, Cosmo and Elle fans aren’t your typical American woman.

Still, only one out of 50 site subscribers are women. Or apparently women. The main billing agent for these sites flag feminine names because the charges too often result in angry wives or moms refusing to pay.

Then there are women who want to like porn to be “cool” or to be a good girlfriend, but who actually don’t so much. A woman named Ashley says all her female friends act like they are good with porn, but she doesn’t buy it. She thinks they go along because, “Guys think it’s really uncool for women to get pissed off about it.” Another woman named Mia said that at first she wanted to be the cool girlfriend. But after a while it seemed her guy was more turned on by the TV than her.

At the other end, one third of women who are married to cybersex buffs consider it cheating and feel betrayed. As a woman named Ashley explained, “Because you’re getting off to other people, not the person you’re with. How is that supposed to make me feel?”

Or, women resent time not spent with families — and with them, in bed or otherwise. One said she felt thrown away.

Women may also worry that they aren’t enough, or aren’t good enough, or attractive enough. Their body image suffers. And then their sex life wanes.

Those who encountered porn when they were very young may like it more. In a book called “Pornified,” which tells of men’s and women’s experiences with pornography, the women who seemed to like it most had encountered it as young girls, liked it right away, and kept going with it. I’ve found similar instances among my students who say they discovered it young and found it arousing. I should add that girls who stumble upon it are more likely than boys to be upset, by a rate of 35% to 6%. About 40% of boys and girls felt their first encounter was no big deal.

Maybe young girls like it more because they aren’t concerned with how they look compared to other women, they have no boyfriends to feel jealous about, and they are less repressed. Repression can increase over time as women learn that sexually interested women are sluts, as they become distracted by their “imperfect” bodies, or suffer from sexual abuse.

When it comes to porn, women are of many minds.

Source: Pornified

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych, women's psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State University. And I have blogged for Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos.

Posted on December 10, 2012, in pornography, psychology, women. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I think if women outside porn weren’t already so beleaguered by objectification it might be different, but as it stands porn is only a sexual voice saying the same as the rest of culture. It sells sex as purely physical, women as having perfect bodies, men as utterly in control studs… It’s a very nasty drug – with some ‘highs’ but a huge cost.

  2. I was kind of surprised to read this because of my own feelings towards porn. I have no problem with it and found out, after talking to a friend about it, that she liked it just as much as I do. So I assumed the opposite of what you said; that women pretend not to like it when in actuality, it’s common they do enjoy it.

  3. Natthinee Sutjaitham

    Men and women have sex for different reasons. We could debate those reasons all day. Porn is made for men by men. It’s understandable to feel a bit insecure about your partner seeing images of other naked women. For me it is okay as long as a man does not like porn because it degrades women or enjoys seeing women humiliated. There are thousands of different kinds of porn. So logically, some porn is more or less degrading than other porn. I think porn is great in moderation and as long as it depicts healthy normal legal sexual activity. But pornography is wrong when it is because of what it does to others. It treats others not as people but as objects.

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