Women also watch porn movies – here’s why

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Women watch porn movies. We say it like this, without too many words, because too many have already been spent. Recent polls from popular porn websites like PornHub e xHamster they reveal it without too many preambles: almost one third of the audience who watches porn is made up of women and that share is increasing.

And the matter is not at all thorny, on the contrary it is scientifically proven and appreciable. Let’s start with an important premise: the neurons that cause arousal in humans after watching a porn movie are always them, the mirror neurons. Yes, those who if we see someone crying, make us cry too, or if we see someone smiling, we respond back with a smile. These neurons have been observed in humans and primates, but also in birds. Both women and men have them, even though they have not been analyzed up to now in the realm of sexuality, let alone in the female one.

Can porn improve women’s sex lives?

A recent study conducted by the psychologist Sean McNabney and his colleagues from the Valparaiso University, in the US state of Indiana, has provided more information on the connection between women’s sexuality and pornography. He conducted research involving more than 2,400 women in the United States and Hungary to examine the question of how pornography consumption is affecting women’s overall sexual satisfaction and their relationships.

The study found, among other things, that more frequent pornography use was related to less difficulty in getting aroused, fewer problems reaching orgasm and greater orgasmic pleasure, both alone and during relationships. And not only that, a profiling of the target: women who watch porn tend to be from generation Z or Millennials (therefore from about 18 to 40 years old) and with a level of medium-high education.

This figure is also confirmed by the survey by xHamster, published in February and based on a sample of 100,000 participants. In total, 33.8% of the pornography users surveyed said they were between the ages of 18 and 24. And 60% of the women in this survey said watching porn improved their sex life.

Female porn: the fight against stigmatized sexuality

A 2019 survey by Pornhub stated that the 32% of visitors to the site that year were women, a 3% increase over the previous year. But the teacher Madita Oeming, a cultural scholar at the German University of Paderborn specializing in the study of the phenomenon of pornography, points out that caution is needed when dealing with Pornhub’s gender statistics because they are mainly based on big data. This means, for example, that a man could use a woman’s computer to watch porn.

However, it is fair to say that there is a general trend of an increasing female audience when it comes to watching porn movies, even if they are always in the minority compared to the male one. The reason probably lies in the culture and society, says Oeming, with female sexuality still widely stigmatized.

“I’m not saying that men are sexually free, not at all – comments Oeming – But the idea that women are sexually active beings, that they have a sexual desire, that they seek sex not only for love, intimacy or procreation, but also just for pleasure, it is still something difficult to understand, even today ».

Just 15 or 20 years ago, it wouldn’t even have been imaginable to find an article on a site with a title like “The 10 best porn sites for women”, But fortunately today such topics are gaining visibility. “Public opinion is gradually normalizing the idea that women watch porn. A change is underway in Western culture that also includes sexuality and society is slowly moving away from gender stereotypes. We are increasingly challenging ideas about how men and women are supposedly inherently different. “

“The sexual liberation of women has not changed their behavior”

However, the evolutionary biologist Thomas Junker is of a different opinion. He is convinced that the reason for the smaller percentage of women in the porn audience lies not in society, but in biology. “The developments that have recently taken place within the company have not changed the reality in general. Oddly enough, with the emancipation and freer life of women in recent decades, there hasn’t been a radical change. One might think that sexually free women would have adopted masculine attitudes and behaviors towards pornography, but they did not. This is the truth, ”Junker said.

However, there was a change in the market of pornographic films: today there is more offer and even some porn are designed for a female audience, such as those shot by the director Erika Lust.

Female porn: liberating or sexist?

Junker, for his part, is convinced that «the attempt to make porn for women was not a great success. At least not in a mass market like male pornography ». Oeming, on the other hand, believes that what is labeled as feminist porn is having a mainstream moment and sees its potential to change the cultural status of porn.

However, he also has doubts about the label, fearing it will reinforce rather than break with stereotypes. It is often used as a synonym for “Porn for women”. I don’t like the idea that there are books, movies or porn specifically for women. This is, in effect, a sexist conceptHe said.

Oeming called a misconception that feminist porn and feminism are only for women: “What kind of porn do you like? it is a matter of personal taste, of sexual desires and fantasies, not of gender».

Different Approaches to Porn: “Part of Our Biology”

According to Thomas Junker, however, men and women are different and have different standards when it comes to partner selection – this is why they also different approaches to porn movies, he maintains.

He is of the opinion that the men respond more to visual stimuli such as body shape, face and good health. They want partners who are young and able to have children and are mainly focused on things that are clearly and easily visible. Women, on the other hand, seem more attracted to different stimuli, such as touching or speaking. Male partners must be responsible, have resources to take care of the offspring. The female criteria for choosing a partner are therefore not easily visible. This is why, Junker says, men watch more porn movies: “It’s part of our biology.”

We may never know for sure if the desire to watch porn is acquired or a product of evolution, but it appears that mirror neurons have certainly been more active in women lately – at least, more than ever.

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