Why Do Women Love Gay Porn?

Why Do Women Love Gay Porn?

It?s not just about hot guys

Image for postPhoto by Alessandro De Bellis on Unsplash

My lover and I are not the only ones who have had this conversation. Many of my friends have similar stories.

We are cuddling in bed after making love. It?s a relatively new relationship, but things have reached the point when we?re starting to trust each other with the rough edges of ourselves.

We?re curious about each other, and it seems safe to open up about a few things. Like whether or not we enjoy porn and what kind.

When a woman tells a man she likes gay male porn, the response tends to be quizzical at best. ?Is that a thing?? some ask. Others nod knowingly and tell you they like to watch lesbian stuff, too.

Sometimes they don?t take it well. ?Why would you want to do that? That?s just weird,? is another reaction, often followed by a pre-emptive warning not to expect them to indulge along with you.

This new man is younger than I am, and maybe that explains his lack of shock and judgement.

He is curious, though, and wants to know why.

?It?s complicated,? I tell him.

You only have to spend a couple of hours looking at mainstream entertainment to realize that more women are into the idea of two men together than most straight guys think.

Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin reported in 2014 that women begged him to write more male-on-male sex scenes. A group called the Cocky Boys has attracted attention for its obsessive female fans.

It turns out that women are both the core target market and the leading producers of male/male romance. Boy-meets-boy is one thing, though.

Most straight men don?t find the idea of a woman enjoying a love story with two guys particularly odd or threatening. They understand that we might appreciate the portrayal of a broader range of male emotions than ends up on your typical drama.

They also understand ? or at least the good ones do ? why we might not relate to the stereotypical innocent heroine.

In male/male romance, it?s normal for the main characters to be experienced and know what they want. Just like most 21st Century women.

Another area where women find an outlet for their fantasies is slash fiction.

Anyone who spent any time online in the early 90s would have had a hard time avoiding this subset of fan fiction that imagines sexual tensions, and sexual relationships, between fictional characters.

Kirk and Spock were ? and are ? popular characters. So were Batman and Robin.

But, while both the writers and consumers of some of these incredibly hot stories were predominantly women, most of them don?t seem to have much of an interest in gay pornography more generally.

In her paper ?Male Gays in the Female Gaze,? Professor Lucy Neville of the University of Leicester analyzes billions of hits to Pornhub that show gay categories as the second most popular for women.

Women also make up more than a third of gay porn?s total viewers.

Maybe we?re weirder than we thought, or we need to re-examine what?s normal.

It shouldn?t be a surprise that heterosexual women like to look at hot naked men, but that can be surprisingly hard to do.

We?re not encouraged or invited to watch.

The first time I watched two boys get it on in film, I was initially more interested in the ?how to? aspects than anything else.

Back in the 20th Century, it was pretty difficult for young women to get that kind of accurate info.

However, I soon came to appreciate other aspects of the works of art in my gay friend?s movie collection.

Society still tells both women and men that nude male bodies, especially the ?dangly bits? are disgusting, scary, or ? at best ? amusing. How often have you seen a naked penis used as a punchline in gross-out comedy?

In straight porn, where everything is presented from the male point of view, women are denied equal access to eye candy.

Even though it?s not designed for us, gay porn still lets us look.

Many feminists are conflicted about porn. Academics and the media have focused on the dark side of the erotic film industry, including the link between porn and sex trafficking.

A typical trafficking scenario involves a financial emergency and a ?one-time-only? job that leads to blackmail. Another is the foreign modelling gig that turns out to involve forced sex on camera. It?s hard to enjoy the action when you know what could be going on behind the scenes, thanks in part to the influence of sites like Pornhub, which has made working conditions much more difficult for performers. Despite the growing interest in ?ethical porn? such as the kind produced by feminist pornographer Erika Lust, questions about consent, boundaries, and pay are common, and women are often at the centre.

Although there are stories of the exploitation of young men and boys, many women rely on visual cues of pleasure to reassure themselves that the actors aren?t being hurt and that their orgasms are real.

Whether or not their perceptions are accurate, many of the women who like gay porn see the performers as more enthusiastic participants, and aren?t distracted by worry the same way they can be when watching straight films.

Professor Neville?s research shows that many of the women who like gay porn venture way beyond the vanilla stuff.

In an m/m scene, either party can penetrate or be penetrated, removing some of the scary power dynamics, especially where kink is involved.

It?s a more equal playing field.

Gay porn is also pretty much guaranteed to have very few elements that are degrading to women (if only because it usually involves no women at all).

It?s safe to watch for anyone who wants to avoid the ubiquitous images of women being used as powerless objects by men that permeate so much heterosexual porn.

According to Professor Neville, this explains why a subset of women who have survived sexual assault or abuse, can enjoy gay porn without being re-traumatized or triggered.

Nica Noelle, one of the few female directors of gay porn, points out that ?the gay male sexually rejects all women, regardless of how young or beautiful.?

Some straight women like knowing that no matter how attractive or skillful a woman is, she?ll never be of interest to the men on the screen.

It?s a break from the feelings of competition that are drummed into us from girlhood.

There?s no way for us to win, so we don?t have to play. We can simply enjoy.

Some women are turned on by imagining themselves as a man when masturbating.

This ability to put ourselves in the other?s place makes sense when the world is designed from the male perspective.

Many women feel that it gives us an advantage, opening up different areas of experimentation.

Society might be a better place if more men were able to identify with us in the same way or could at least let go of their most rigid heteronormative ideas.

Growing up, women are forced into an uncomfortable awareness of our bodies as sexual objects, and as objects of competition and judgement.

Watching or reading about sex between men can be a break from our fears in an era when acting on our desires can still be a minefield.

We get a chance to explore our own needs without the weight of what a man wants ? because we know the men in gay porn don?t want anything from us.

?Hmmm. That is pretty complicated. And pretty hot,? whispers my lover.

It?s true that porn can affect our body images and give all of us, gay or straight, male or female, unrealistic and even harmful expectations about what sex should be.

But it also has the potential to remind us of our shared humanity and the many things we have in common.

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