WHY STRAIGHT WOMEN ARE WATCHING LESBIAN PORN

Guest written by Rain Andersen (@wearenotfriends_) a veteran sworker with eight years in adult entertainment and three years working for Lovers.

PornHub is a search engine that connects viewers to pornographic content uploaded by users. Each year, PornHub’s research group, PornHub Insights publishes a report that illuminates some of the mystery behind the way we watch porn. PornHub’s 2019 report showed that the ‘lesbian’ search term still dominated northern, central, and southern parts of America. These infographics reveal that lesbian porn is favored by all genders, regardless of their sexual orientation or preferences, but that straight women are the dominant viewers of this genre.

QUICK LINKS:

  1. Why Straight Women Are Watching Lesbian Porn
  2. How Straight Women Are Influencing the Porn Industry
  3. Does Watching Lesbian Porn Make Me Gay?

The ‘lesbian’ category continues to outrank all other search terms, with 151% more female-identifying viewers then male-identifying ones. What is it about lesbian pornography that garners such a straight-presenting audience? I interviewed 5 female-identifying porn viewers from around the United States to hear what they had to say about their preference for lesbian pornography.

Why Straight Women Are Watching Lesbian Porn

Straight Pornography is Performative: The pornographic consumer is predominantly male, so content is often engineered to speak to a male audience. The typical script for this type of production includes a lengthy blow job, followed by an aggressive breech of the nearest orifice. This formula helped to catapult pornography into its Golden Years with films like Deep Throat and The Devil in Miss Jones that eroticized the use of the female body as a pleasure device.

“I prefer to watch lesbian pornography because it’s less objectifying,” a Californian woman, 34, explains, “mainstream porn just grosses me out. It’s so fake!”

"I find [lesbian pornography] more relatable and catering more to the female gaze," says one Seattle school teacher, 30.

Straight women report gravitating to lesbian pornography as an alternative to the service-based exchanges captured in mainstream porn.

“Lesbian porn has been repressed, rendered invisible and impotent by society. By watching [lesbian] porn, we can on some level recognize ourselves, defend our right to express our sexuality, and assert our desire,” Cherry Smythe says in her 1990 panel on the emerging category of lesbian porn.

Lesbian Porn Is Educational (and Hot):

Visual learning is the most common way to process information, accounting for 65% of our population. A visual learner is someone who responds to and retains information that is presented in a visual form. Though many individuals can process information orally and kinetically, the majority of individuals rely on visual stimuli to digest information. It should come as no surprise that pornography has become somewhat of an educational resource for adults looking to explore their sexuality. In our purity culture, lesbian pornography provides viewers with visual examples for prioritizing female pleasure.

“I started watching lesbian porn because I was struggling to have an orgasm and wanted to see how the professionals did it! That’s when I really fell in love with lesbian porn,” says a Chicago-native, 32.

“The first time I watched lesbian porn changed my life! I didn’t know that something like that existed, that showed bodies like mine,” says an Arizona graduate, 22.

We’re Sexually Fluid Creatures:

Erotic plasticity refers to an individual’s ability to be attracted to a wide variety of stimuli. Genetically, AFAB (Assigned Female at Birth) individuals experience greater erotic plasticity then their AMAB (Assigned Male at Birth) counterparts, which means that lesbian porn may appeal to a larger group of individuals. Lesbian porn offers straight women the opportunity to explore fantasies of queer sex without needing to act them out. In fact, PornHub Insights reported ‘lesbian seduces straight girl’ to be one of their top trending subcategories in this genre, which skyrocketed 281% for female-launched queries in 2016.

“I genuinely enjoy lesbian porn,” says a straight-identifying New York woman, “I might explore it in real life, if the stars aligned, though I do prefer my husband!”

How Straight Women Are Influencing the Porn Industry

They say that 1 in 3 porn viewers are women. While there is no definitive way to determine which of these viewers are straight, it’s clear that the success of lesbian porn can be owed in part to straight viewers. Porn production companies are beginning to recognize the opportunity to profit from their female-identifying viewers by creating more lesbian-related content, showcasing a wider assortment of body types, and including more footage of female-based pleasure, such as the inclusion cunnilingus scenes and sex toys.

In addition to a broader variety of mainstream content, we are also witnessing the success of women-owned production companies. Bellesa’s platform features unscripted, pleasure-based content, directed exclusively by women. Adult film actress Stoya unveiled her own production company, ZeroSpaces which aims to create a gap between porn and pleasure-based activism. The rise in women-owned production companies promises to offer female-identifying individuals a greater variety of content in the coming years.

Does Watching Lesbian Porn Make Me Gay?

Have you ever watched a perfect porn from start to finish? We are conditioned to find the porn that most closely aligns with our version of pleasure, and for many women their pleasure cannot be defined by the scripts of mainstream porn. It’s perfectly normal to say “lesbian pornography” is your preference, especially in an industry that was never designed for women to enjoy.

Watching lesbian porn is not an indicator of your sexual orientation. As we now know, there are many reasons to watch and enjoy lesbian pornography! While fantasy and attraction may seem closely related, they don’t always align.

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Further Readings

Why Straight Men Gaze at Gay Women: The Atlantic
This is Why Women Watch Porn: Psychology Today
Why Straight Women are Watching Lesbian Porn: Huffington Post

WITH PLEASURE,

LOVERS