The porn women actually want to watch

New Pornhub analytics offer a few eye-opening findings on the viewing habits of each gender

Published August 24, 2015 12:00AM (EDT)

  (flipchip/ via Wikimedia Commons)
(flipchip/ via Wikimedia Commons)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNet It’s no secret that most of the porn out there is filmed through a male lens. That’s not to say women aren’t watching porn; some are. But there’s a lot of debate surrounding what porn for women actually looks like. The average person may envision a scene spotlighting intimacy, passion and connection, and they wouldn’t be wrong. But they wouldn’t be right, either.

About a year ago, the Pornhub analytics team decided to examine the viewing habits of their female viewers. The 2014 results confirmed what most of us already knew: plenty of women like porn. But one little detail may surprise some people. It turns out that women like lesbian porn, specifically.

Pornhub’s lesbian category was ranked number one among female viewers. Gay male porn came in second place. For men, the gay category falls into seventh place, a noteworthy finding since, as Pornhub writes, “this category ranks higher with the sex opposite to that which this type of content is intended for." Next came the teen, for-women and ebony categories.

This year’s results provide us with even more insight. While the lesbian category still holds the number-one spot, and gay (male) number two, the number-three spot now goes to the big dick category. “Squirting” fell to the number 10 spot.

The statisticians also looked into what search terms grew the most in popularity among female users over the course of the past year. Searches for “Real celebrity sex tape” grew by 1028%. The team suspects Kim Kardashian’s Paper Mag cover had something to do with it. But perhaps the more interesting growth comes from specifically female-focused searches, like “man eating pussy,” “guy eating girl out,” “guy fingering pussy” and “hardcore pussy licking,” all of which saw substantial growth.

It seems like women like watching guys (and girls) eat pussy. A lot, and a lot more than men do. The team found that searches for “guy licking pussy” and “pussy licking orgasm” were conducted 722% and 934% more often by women than by men.

It might also be worth noting that women who use Pornhub search for the terms “squirting orgasm,” “daddy,” “big dick” and “big black dick” significantly more than men do.

So where in the world are all these porn-watching women? All over, it seems. As of 2015, 24% of the world’s Pornhub visitors are women; a whole percentage point higher than it was last year. When it comes to the United States, the states with the highest proportion of female viewers may surprise you. Mississippi came in at number one, Georgia at number two and South Carolina in the number-three slot. North Dakota, Vermont and Alaska had the lowest proportions of female viewers. Who knows, maybe hotter temperatures make for hornier women. Maybe it’s something else.

The 2015 findings also included a category the 2014 result skipped over: time spent per visit. The Pornhub statisticians found that women tend to spend more time watching porn while on the site than their male counterparts. The average woman spends a “lavish” 10 minutes and 10 seconds per visit, compared to men who spend just 9 minutes and 22 seconds browsing the Pornhub selection. Filipino women, on average, indulge with an impressive 13:31 minutes on the site, while Russian women keep it rushed with a modest 8 minutes and 2 seconds. Russia was the only country listed in which the women spent less time watching porn than the men.

While women in Vermont may not watch as much porn as those in the southern states, the ones who do like to take their time. Ladies in Vermont spend an average of 12 minutes watching porn, the longest reported timeframe in the country. Maybe we can chalk it up to the fact that women may take longer to reach orgasm. Maybe it’s because it’s not hard for (some) women to achieve multiple orgasms. Or maybe it’s simply because women like to take their time.

And how should we explain the rest of these results? Of course, “different strokes for different folks” applies, but the universality of some of these trends can’t be ignored. It isn’t hard to explain away the fact that women favor scenes involving cunnilingus. As many as 70% of women need clitoral stimulation to achieve an orgasm. Oral sex is a great means for delivering said stimulation. Lesbian scenes often provide a focus on female pleasure that’s notably absent in many of the hetero scenes out there.

But gay male sex? The answer to this is open-ended. But an erect penis is an erotic image for many women. The image of a man becoming aroused while experiencing the sensation of being penetrated may be something some women find worth watching. It's not often heterosexual women get to identify so carnally with the ones they lay with.

Other theories hold that gay porn features fewer degrading acts inflicted on women, because there are no women. It's also possible that gay (and lesbian) scenes simply provide a perfect platform for equal-opportunity orgasms to take place. Because the only thing that's sexier than watching someone get off is watching everyone getting off.

The data provides a lot to talk about. But perhaps the most compelling bit is that, just as not all little girls like Barbie dolls, not all women like cute, cuddly sex. Quite the opposite, actually. Female sexuality is complicated and varied, and it can keep up with even the most ambitious of male fantasies.

By Carrie Weisman

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