Women Prefer Gay Porn To 'Female-Friendly' Straight Porn, Says Survey

10/01/2014 10:28 am ET | Updated Oct 01, 2014
ARUNAS KLUPSAS via Getty Images

Apparently, women like to watch gay sex more than straight sex.

In collaboration with BuzzFeed, porn search engine Pornhub produced a study examining data on users' viewing habits, with a specific focus on what women are looking for.

"By segmenting by gender within our analytics tools, we were able to generate anonymized data that brings us one step closer to answering the time old question: what do women want?" reads Pornhub's introduction to the data.

Putting aside the fact that different women surely want different things, the survey's insights are pretty interesting, if not entirely surprising

In recent years, there has been an effort to create more "porn for women," assuming that most women looking for sexy videos don't have much interest in the choreographed, sticky acrobatics that men seek out. But according to Pornhub's data, videos tagged "for women" fall fourth on the list of categories most viewed by women. The top three categories women view are "lesbian," "gay (male)" and "teen." For men, "teen," "MILF" and "mature" topped the list.

The chart below shows the top 16 most-viewed categories of porn on Pornhub:

pornhubwomen

"Bondage" falls last on the list for women, but doesn't earn a place in the men's top 16. (Pornhub might have 50 Shades Of Grey to thank for that.) Meanwhile, "BBW" or "big beautiful women" ranks 13th among men's top viewed categories, but didn't make the women's list.

Where do men and women find common ground? "Big dicks" ranks almost evenly among men and women. While anal, threesome, and ebony are shared proclivities among the sexes, women are overall much more likely to watch porn between two members of the same sex.

When it comes to what women actually searched for before deciding on what to view, “lesbian” triumphed again, followed this time by “threesome” and “squirt.”

womenporn3

Pornhub also ranked categories based on how much more popular they are for women than for men. "Pussy licking" and "eating pussy" top the list by a fair margin and "solo male" videos are 132 percent more popular with women.

womenpron2

When it comes to viewing and searching habits, why are women so sapphicly inclined? In an age when your average porn video could easily be mistaken for a dirty CrossFit session, it may feel like hetereosexual porn bears little resembles to the sex that people actually have, or even want to have. The hardcore offerings are often alienating at best, and degrading or deeply misogynistic at worst. Perhaps women are less able (or willing) to suspend their skepticism that a woman could actually enjoy some of these acts, much less get turned on by them themselves.

So what does determine what gets women off? In a 2008 study in which participants were hooked up to a machine that detects arousal, heterosexual women had a stronger sexual response to images of naked women in certain poses than naked men. Dr. Meredith Chivers, the Queens University professor who conducted the research, told the New York Times that it matters less who is having sex, but how sensual they appear as they are having it.

"Women physically don’t seem to differentiate between genders in their sex responses, at least heterosexual women don’t,” Chivers told The New York Times. “For heterosexual women, gender didn’t matter. They responded to the level of activity."

Indeed, "female-friendly" porn, with its attempts to portray an emotional connection and mutual pleasure in order to appeal to women's desires, has largely failed to seduce their target audience away from mainstream sites.

It may be that lesbian porn simply makes a more convincing case that the two people (or more) involved are legitimately interested in making each other feel good. As EJ Dickson at The Frisky notes, palatable girl-on-girl action is far easier to find than "female-friendly" porn that actually portrays the type of authenticity its creators think women want.

The inclination towards gay male porn may reflect the same aversion to the choreographed, messy hetereosexual affairs, often produced by men for men anyway. Where there's no women, there's no exploitative sexism.

The Pornhub insights contribute to a growing body of research into what turns women on. Porn-watching habits have revealed themselves to be as fluid as sexuality itself. To whatever extent women's preferences are different than men's, they are neither predictable nor universal.

There's the rub.

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