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What Exactly is Porn for Women?

A post over on Adult DVD Talk on the topic of romance-themed porn movies got me thinking about this.

I see various terms/categories on adult sites that indicate that the films are intended for women. Go to any retail or video-on-demand site and you’ll likely find something of that variety. Made of Women, For Ladies, For Women, Porn for Women, and Female Friendly are just a few category names I’ve run across.

Looking at the content of those categories, there seems to be a general assumption that women are particularly (if not exclusively) interested in lovey-dovey, story-driven feature films shot with soft-focus lenses and featuring Harlequin novel type covers.

And I just don’t buy it.

I’ve been kicking around the porn business since 2001 and have the ability to talk objectively about porn while not sounding pervy. As a result, women have often spoken candidly to me about their own tastes in porn.

What I’ve discovered is this…

…Women’s taste in porn are as diverse as men’s. The range of preferences I’ve heard runs from mild to wild and everything in between. I’ve known women who prefer porn featuring men in gay sex scenarios and those who prefer girls with girls or some threesome melange. I’ve talked to women who want to see simple things such as eye contact between the actors during the act of copulation. I’ve heard women discuss how they enjoy elaborate, and sometimes downright twisted scenarios (including those considered taboo). I’ve talked to women who fantasize, but are not interested in engaging in extremely rough and/or humiliating sex acts. I’ve heard women discuss how they want to see women in a position of power or aggression.

I’ve known those enjoy the concepts of Dominance and submission.

I’ve heard women say that they only wish there were more realistic looking people in porn engaging in more realistic sex.

The point is this.

There is no such thing as ‘porn for women’ because women are as diverse in tastes, experiences, motivations, and desires as men.

And anyone who tells you men-are-this-way, but women-are-that-way is either lying or stereotyping.

And yes, I concede this is perhaps the least worrisome gender issue we face in the Western World. But porn is my job, and I take it seriously. And I wish that we as an industry would stop trying to tell women what they want, and instead, listen to what they want.

Worst case scenario, we actually get some more customers.

-Scott McGowan

  1. […] might remember that we touched on the topic of porn for women/porn for couples a few months ago. In that post, I defied the notion that all women prefer softer, more romantic […]