4 kinds of pornography women actually masturbate to

Everyone has their personal predilections, but research indicates a majority of women are turned on by "mutuality"

Published May 26, 2016 8:45AM (EDT)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.


Rule 34 of the internet states “If it exists, there’s porn for it.” So when Angie Rowntree started the female-friendly porn studio Sssh back in 1999, she gained some unprecedented insight into a group oft overlooked in matters of sex and pleasure. Yeah, women.

“Anybody who expects there to be a standard set of genres which appeal to women, or who thinks there’s a convenient and defined answer to what women want in or from porn, would be surprised by how varied and ranging women’s taste in porn actually is,” she told AlterNet. “For many years, what the industry got wrong was believing there was no female audience for their products in the first place.”

In the 16 years since its launch, the site has become one of the web’s premiere porn-for-women platforms. According to Rowntree, most of her female members chose to log on alone.

Women, certainly, are not all alike when it comes to what turns them on. But some erotic interests fall under an umbrella that extends a little shade to everyone.

We reached out to Rowntree to help us sort through what those common interests might be. Check out the list below.

1. Our own pleasure.

“The single most popular depiction is something we term ‘female-focused foreplay,’ specifically foreplay involving a male partner,” says Rowntree. “What [the mainstream industry] often doesn’t do is emphasize the pleasure or enjoyment of the female characters; when it comes to the sex, it’s still primarily concerned with the masculine point of view and depicting sex acts which appeal to male fantasies.”

According to Rowntree, most mainstream flicks lack a specific focus on female pleasure. “The woman’s pleasure, her enjoyment, needs to matter, however it is being depicted or derived,” she says.

That insight might help explain some user trends unfolding on other platforms. Pornhub’s lesbian category is reported to be a leading favorite among female viewers. According to their analytics team the “for Women” category is 193% more likely to be searched by a woman than by a man. And if you thought that was an impressive stat, give this one a once-over: women are 900 percent more likely to search for the phrase “eating pussy” than men.

2. Kinky stuff.

“In the years since 50 Shades became a hit, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in interest in BDSM,” says Rowntree. “I think this is about more than just the popularity of the book, though; it’s also driven by the anonymity and privacy of the internet environment, which allows people to explore their sexuality more confidently and openly. I also think 50 Shades made make it more acceptable for people to talk about women as consumers of erotica and porn.”

Susan Wright, founder/president of a sexual rights organization called the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, once told AlterNet, “Being submissive is very compatible with feminism because it is choosing your own form of sexual expression. In the end, sexuality is empowering—and you can empower people in all the diverse ways that they enjoy sexuality. Power exchanges are one of those ways.”

Back at the Pornhub analytics blog, we find women to be 80-100% more likely to click on extra-explicit categories like hardcore, rough sex, double penetration and gangbang than men.

3. Something real(ish).

Though she introduced this bit as a “sweeping generalization,” Rowntree explained that one of the starkest contrasts between male and female porn habits revolves around the idea of connectivity. “From where I sit…women tend to want there to be more of a connection between the performers, whereas men are largely in it strictly for the sex acts depicted.”

In reference to the mainstream scene, Rowntree says, “A lot of scenes seem to go from the first kiss to full-blown intercourse in about 90 seconds.”

“I’m not suggesting that in order for a woman to enjoy a porn movie, the characters all have to be fully developed, or depicted in the context of a loving relationship, or anything like that,” she added. “I just mean women want to see more of a connection between the performers themselves, not necessarily the characters.”

4. The concept of mutuality.

“Women want to see more mutual enjoyment, pleasure and authenticity,” says Rowntree. “Porn in which the woman is a full and willing participant, rather than watching a woman who seems like she’s only there to give the man, or multiple men, something to penetrate. Unless, of course, that is what she enjoys.”

The desire to view something that depicts more mutuality is a growing trend.

“The most heartening thing I’ve seen in the years since I launched Sssh is a transition from women seeking feedback and information focused on pleasing their partner to women being interested in enhancing their own pleasure,” Rowntree said. “They’re putting their own enjoyment on the same level as their partner’s.”

That sounds like something we can all get off on.

By Carrie Weisman

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