Why Do Women Watch Porn?

February 3, 2010 at 5:00 pm

A few weeks ago, we looked at the question of why are men drawn to porn, and received quite a lively discussion, mostly from the vantage point of women who were hurt, confused, or disturbed. Today, we are going to look at it from a new perspective: women who actually enjoy pornography. While it is common knowledge that men respond quite positively to visual stimulation, would it surprise you if women elicited the same response?

In a 2006 study at McGill University, researchers took on the task of monitoring genital temperatures of men and women subjected to various forms of pornography. Nearly all men responded with arousal within the first 30 seconds of each clip, and the women … well, they responded in the same amount of time. Despite what we have heard about men being like a furnace (instant heat), and women an oven (gradual warming up), both men and women reached their maximum arousal somewhere between 11 to 12 minutes.

Yes, Women Watch Porn
Nielsen ratings have reported over the last decade that women are beginning to catch up to men in their frequency of porn use. In 2006, 1.4 million women were regularly downloading Internet porn. In 2007, nearly 13 million American women were viewing porn on a monthly basis (about 40 percent of all women). All in all, Nielson claimed about one out of every three adults browsing Internet porn sites are women. So are these women watching porn with their partners? You bet they are, but not as many as you would think.

It is interesting to think that a good portion of women find erotic visualization stimulating, yet only half choose to use it. Some are afraid of the stigma. Others consider it immoral. They feel that all pornography is degrading, overly aggressive, and humiliating. And make no mistake about it, there is plenty of porn that fits this description, but there is also a fair share that does not.

Many women describe watching porn as uncomfortable, which is likely because they are biologically aroused, but intellectually conflicted.

Is it Healthy?
So who are these women who watch porn with their partners? According to a 1992 study, they tend to be the ones who are particularly open to their own sexuality. Studies show that women who watch porn have sex more regularly than those who don’t. They report more orgasms, feel more attractive, believe sex to be a more important part of their relationships, and are more satisfied with their sex life.

Some of these women are using porn as a tool, a tool to help boost intimacy and arousal with their partner. How does this work? Well, we all have a natural curiosity about sex, and admit it or not, we also have a natural curiosity of other peoples’ sex lives. This is because sex itself is a turn-on. Watching sex elicits feelings of pleasure and can even be used to refresh a waning sexual relationship. And it is not me saying this, but sex therapists who use porn as a treatment for some sexless couples.

Pornography is often like politics when you run into someone with the complete opposing viewpoint. Yes, pornography is being used by an ever growing number of women, and can be a positive experience, but you have to break past the social barriers that say it is all bad before you can actually get to the good.

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One Response to “Why Do Women Watch Porn?”

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  1. Bob November 19, 2011 at 7:08 am

    Since orgasms cause a release of endorphins into one’s cerebral-spinal fluid and endorphins are also somewhat responsible for the emotion of happiness watching porn will help speed this process up regardless if it’s female or male. It isn’t considered harmful unless it interferes with other individuals. The word Porn originates from Gk. pornographos “, writing of prostitutes which was used to incite sexual emotions in the reader. So whether in books or movies, porn has been used to release endorphins and the human body knows when it’s needed.

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