This Researcher Discovered Something Very Surprising About How Women Watch Porn

dean drobot/Shutterstock

Katie Spalding 19 Jul 2018, 14:28

It turns out women's porn habits are just as naughty as men's – but possibly not in the way you'd expect.

According to a recent study by Dr Lucy Neville from the University of Leicester, a surprising number of women are watching scenes aimed at gay men while they, uh, switch to one-player mode.

This shouldn't actually be a surprise to those paying attention. Last year, Pornhub (that's fairly SFW, unless your office has banned bar charts) dug a little deeper into their annual review and revealed that over a quarter of their users were women. What's more, when you look at the users watching gay male porn, the audience is 37 percent female. As Pornhub's report notes, that makes women proportionally more likely than men to watch gay male porn by 69 percent (nice.)

"There is growing acceptance that it is perhaps not quite as uncommon as first thought," explained Dr Neville in a statement about her research. "For example, m/m [gay male porn] was the second most popular choice for women visitors to Pornhub for the last two years of viewer data... women represent viable secondary consumers of m/m porn."

To find out why women seem to be such fans of man-on-man action, Dr Neville's study asked over 500 women, found via social media or porn sites, what it was that got them clicking those buttons. "Some of the reasons are pretty self-evident: it probably shouldn’t be surprising that a good number of women like looking at naked men," she says in an article for The Conversation. Unsurprisingly, it turns out porn designed for straight men doesn't tend to give opportunities to ogle much male eye candy.

But some respondents gave deeper reasons for the preference. Women reported feeling guilty about the female actors in straight porn – something they don't have to worry about for a scene starring only men. For some, this had a distressingly personal meaning – "For a subset of women who are rape and abuse survivors, m/m is one of the few types of sexually explicit media they can enjoy without feeling triggered or re-traumatised," Dr Neville explained. 

Perhaps one of the most surprising findings of the study was that over half of the women watching m/m porn also imagine themselves as a man while masturbating. Many described the experience as "empowering" and "exciting" – even feeling sorry for men, who they believed feel less freedom to experiment with their identity in this way.

No doubt some readers will find these results hard to swallow, but they only add to the mounting research challenging old gender stereotypes when it comes to sex. And let's face it: if men can watch lesbian porn – or Star Wars, World Cup, or Hawaii missile alert porn, for that matter – then we probably shouldn't think women watching gay male porn is so unusual.

Comments

If you liked this story, you'll love these

This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By continuing to use our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.