I have a lot, and I mean A LOT of problems with this article, Is Porn for Women Pointless?, (including problems with my belief in Ogas and Gaddam as decent scientists of any kind) but I’m only going to address one of them today, and that problem lies in the space around these quotes:
1) Most women, says Ogas, are “not interested at all” in visual pornography, preferring erotic texts like stories and novels. But of the 10 to 30 percent of women in Ogas’ study who did prefer visual porn, most of them “tend to like the same kind of material men are interested in, which is more graphic and hardcore. There’s a clear contrast between what activists and women in the erotic industry talk about as women’s preferences, and what women are actually looking at,” he says.
[He then goes on to say that the 30% or so of women who enjoy visual porn are looking at the same hardcore stuff as men and DO NOT enjoy the so-called female-friendly porn. FWIW, I 100% concur with this, but still find his ultimate conclusion in 3 below to be complete bullcrap. He also says that of that 30% of women who enjoy visual porn, they test as more aggressive women both in life and in bed. Uh, okay, whatever the fuck that means. *eyeroll* We’ll go with it.]
2) Angie Rowntree, the creator of female-friendly adult site Sssh.com, believes the gap between male and female porn viewing patterns has less to do with innate differences between the two sexes, and more to do with the fact that most porn has been made “by and for men.” “Is it any wonder that a relatively small portion of women wants to watch it?” she recently told Alternet. “To me, that number just speaks to the opportunity on the market for porn made with a female viewership in mind. It’s just a function of the numbers and what has been available on the market, historically speaking,”
3) “I just don’t think visual porn will ever be something that a majority of women embrace,” Ogas says. “There’s plenty of female-friendly material out there, and there has been for a while. It’s not a question of changing people’s attitudes toward [women watching porn]. It’s something more fundamental than that.”
Okay, I’m having to actively resist my huge urge to explain why Ogas and Gaddam are shitty scientists and actually just focus on what’s being said here. So…*deep breaths, deep breaths*…okay. Let’s go.
For the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume that the women I’m talking about are straight or bisexual women because I really can’t speak at all to lesbian porn preferences, since 97% of my own sexuality is tied up in various respects with men’s bodies, and most of the women I’ve talked to about porn are either straight or bisexual, too.
So, first Ogas points out that research shows that of the women who do watch porn, they aren’t digging the so called “female friendly” stuff. Righto. I concur. Female friendly stuff is so yawn worthy and boring and blahhhhh. THERE MIGHT BE A REASON FOR THAT, YO. Could it possibly be that the people making the female friendly stuff don’t actually know what kind of porn women want to see?
I’ve watched a lot of porn. There. I’ve said it. Tar and feather me, baby. I’ve watched a lot of straight porn and a lot of gay porn, and I’ve realized something important over that time. Straight porn and gay porn are shot, for the most part, in entirely different ways. And, interestingly, a lot of non-homophobic straight women discover that, hey, they kind of like gay porn better. This straight-women-liking-gay-porn thing is something that Ogas and Gaddam have also tried exploring (BADLY) by the way, but the conclusions they drew were utterly absurd and biased, and, well, vaguely misogynistic. I won’t mention that again, because, ugh, these guys are assholes. BUT ANYWAY….
Here’s what I’ve discovered about porn:
When it comes to straight porn, women aren’t necessarily any more interested in the fuzzy, narrative-heavy, “love-making” of the so-called “female friendly” stuff, any more than straight guys are. Sure, sometimes a woman might like to get off to a scene of passionate, loving sex, but sometimes she might want to get off to a scene of rough, fast stuff, or BDSM, or something else altogether. (By the way, it is always, always erroneous to just assume that a woman or man wants in their real life what they are looking at in porn! Or what they read or what they write! Sometimes they are one in the same and sometimes, uh, NO.) But they aren’t really loving the other porn out there either.
Why is that? I would posit that women are interested in seeing a person who is really into whatever is going on in the scene (or possibly really not into it, if that’s your kink), and they’re interested in men’s bodies. Straight porn, even female friendly stuff, has forever catered to the male’s fragile ego by not concentrating much on the male in the scene. We don’t get reaction shots of their faces as they push into whatever orifice they’re putting their dick in, we don’t get visuals of their bodies, their sounds. We get a lot of noise from the girls, a ton of close-ups of the girls’ reactions, their asses and vaginas, and just about the only dick we get to see is the boring, boring shot of dick in vagina, dick in vagina, dick in vagina. *snooze*
Hmm, maybe instead of trying to make porn for women that is more narrative based, or prettier, why not just make it about what women actually want to see? Crazy concept, I know! And what is that? MEN AND THEIR REACTIONS AND BODIES! I mean, most of the straight porn I return to has a guy that is somehow really reacting to the woman he’s having sex with–trembling thighs, hands shaking, whispered, wrenched exclamations of pleasure. And it has nothing to do with what kind of scene it is: if it’s BDSM, lovemaking, rough, whatever. I just want to see the guy and see that he’s into it. Why? Because my sexual arousal is about MEN. That’s why.
Now, back to gay porn for a minute and why many women who watch it end up liking it better than straight porn.
1) It’s all men all the time. And that’s what these women want to see. Men’s bodies, their reactions, their dicks. And because the people shooting gay porn don’t know what the gay dude they’re making it for wants to see or will be getting off on, you almost always get reaction shots from both penetrated and penetrator, you get shots that show BOTH dudes are LOVING whatever the heck is going on in the scene. You get tons of visual eye candy, and, oh WONDER OF WONDERS the guys in gay porn? ARE ACTUALLY USUALLY HOT. Unlike, oh, 95% of the guys in straight porn who are usually really not hot in some way or another.
Because they don’t need to be, you see…because they’re not usually even in the shot. They just need a big dick, and, boom, the rest of the scene will be focused on the girl, so it doesn’t matter. Because it’s not about him. It’s about her–because straight dudes want to see the girl, because their orgasm/pleasure is tied up in women’s bodies, right? Well, shocker! Straight women are the opposite of that!
(James Deen, oh, you are such a wonderful exception to the ugliness rule. *sigh* Oh, and that new guy they’re using a lot lately…whose name I can’t seem to figure out. Young, pretty? Hmm.)
2) There’s (relatively) no cognitive dissonance to deal with in gay porn. As a woman, you don’t have moments of thinking, “Yeah, I’d never have an orgasm in that position. That’s stupid. And painful.” You don’t have distracting thoughts about fake tits, or ridiculous and ugly make-up and nails, or the really RIDICULOUS belly button rings, omg, what the fuck is that??? Why? Belly buttons exist, y’all. You can show them in porn!! I promise! No one’s gonna lose their boner because they saw a belly button! And if they do, they didn’t deserve that boner to begin with!
Nor do we have to think about the fact that 90% of straight porn has a 18yo with a 45yo man. (Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of gay “daddy” porn videos out there, but that is a small number, compared to the creeptastic amount of vast age difference scenes in straight porn.) And, you know what? Having an age kink in your porn viewing is fine, but it gets creepy after a while, honestly, watching all these young girls doing it with older dudes for money.
3) The guys in gay porn actually look like they’re loving it, whereas most chicks in straight porn look like they’d rather be eating a sandwich. I watched some straight porn a few days ago and I was like, “OMG she would so rather be having some ham and swiss right now, no matter what noises she’s faking.” *sigh* That was a so-called “female friendly” clip by the way. BORING.
So, do I think it is fair to draw the conclusion that a majority of women will NEVER be interested in porn because they aren’t interested in the “female friendly” fare provided for years? Nope. I think that so long as NO ONE has ever earnestly tried to make porn that is actually of interest to women with a focus on the male body and the reactions/pleasure he’s experiencing, along with showing genuine female pleasure/kink/excitement/orgasm/interest then there’s just no way to say for sure.
So, yeah, you crappy scientists, Ogas and Gaddam, go draw your conclusions elsewhere, because they are, like so much of your work, bogus. Again.