What Straight Men can Learn from Gay Porn

08/28/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Where the women at? It's hard to imagine heterosexual men sitting on the Barcalounger fast-forwarding through gay porn, but they probably couldn't find a better way to learn how to please women.

My friend, blogger Susan Walsh, came up with the idea of straight guys watching gay porn as an educational, er, tool. She was researching academic articles about porn's influence on male sexual behavior when she happened on to the idea. She wanted to know if straight men could get anything out of gay porn (other than a soft-on).

I selflessly helped with the research (it's amazing how time flies when you're doing work you enjoy!) Here's what we came up with: As a straight woman, Susan found straight porn generally repulsive -- unbearably phony, mechanical, and in many cases, demeaning to women. As a gay guy, I found it merely nauseating, but for different reasons. I mean, really. Can't the industry find better-looking men?

Susan was shocked at how much gay porn aroused her. Me, not so much. She figured it was the higher penis to vagina ratio, but I disagreed. The ratio was fine. I suspected it wasn't the content (or the action) that aroused her; it was the approach. To prove it, we took notes and watched so much porn our Internet provider thought we were Catholic priests. Here's our Top 5 list of why straight women get turned on by gay porn (and what straight men can learn from watching it):

1. Kissing
Kissing during sex is normal, but you'd never know it watching straight porn. It's almost non-existent. Occasionally you'll see the "porn kiss," a reptilian touching of tongues-- with no lips. There seems to be an unspoken agreement between women and men to connect at the genitals, but never the face. In gay porn? The men kiss and stay kissed.

2. Passion
Straight porn has all the emotional intensity of a required civics course. Gay porn, on the other hand, puts the ass in passion. It may be an act, but we'd rather see somebody pretending to enjoy themselves than somebody who's dropped all pretense of it.

3. Caressing
Very few breasts get touched in straight flicks. Smashed, squooshed, and squeezed, yes. Caressed, no. In contrast, gay men touch each other's torsos and chests with a mixture of lust and affection.

4. Vocal Expression
The "dialog" in straight porn is embarrassing. Normal women do not squawk like seagulls during intercourse. Normal men don't grunt "F*** YEAH!" in a scary voice every time they orgasm. Gay porn has a much wider range -- everything from slight vocalizations when something feels just right, to a soft moan to angry grunting. It's all soooo much more interesting than the vocal freak shows in straight porn.

5. Role Equity
In gay porn, it's hard to tell who's the Pitcher or the Catcher because reciprocation is so common. Power isn't always shared, but there's a whole lot of mutual giving and taking. In straight porn ... ha! The guy is usually some bossy creep. The women? Submissive, sex-starved kittens who inexplicably want nothing more than to please the creep.

Our anecdotal analysis leaves us panting for new heterosexual approaches to porn. It could be argued, convincingly, that straight men aren't learning anything useful from hetero porn (although really, what can be more useful than an orgasm?). So where can hetero males see hot action and learn what women want in the process? Forget lesbian porn. It's so boring you fall asleep halfway through the opening credits. Woman-centered straight porn (epitomized by Candida Royalle) is definitely an option. But if straight guys really want to know what women want, they need to gay up their porn.