Do Women Watch Porn?

When it comes to porn, it can be a bit of a taboo subject, especially when women are concerned. The allure of porn is often felt more often with men, and there’s a reason for that. However, it might not be as clear as you think. Dr. Steve McGough sat down to explain the ins and outs of porn and answer the ever-pertinent question: Do women watch porn? And if so, does it help or hurt their desire?

The Taboo of Porn

Watching porn can be either positive or negative, depending on the situation. However, as long as two key areas are addressed, it can be positive on average.

First, realize that porn is mainly targeted at men and doesn’t show what sex actually is for most people, particularly women.

Second, (but critically important) is the woman’s confidence in herself and in expressing her needs both with her partner and/or in accepting her personal need for self-pleasure.

Using Porn to Stimulate Desire

From the standpoint of helping stimulate desire in women, porn can be good. This is especially true if the porn is woman-oriented or shows women’s needs being taken care of, as well as the partner’s. If they aren’t watching this (rarer) type of porn they need to realize that porn typically doesn’t reflect how most people actually look, and rarely shows the actual behaviors that will benefit women sexually.

For instance, a recent study from the Journal of Sex Research indicated that the majority of porn watched had several things that can give people a skewed view of what actual mutually beneficial sexuality was.

According to that study, only 18.3% of women, compared to 78.0% of men, were shown reaching orgasm. Also, the ways women were shown achieving orgasm were usually via vaginal or anal intercourse and rarely clitoral stimulation. This is actually the opposite of how most women achieve orgasm. So, it gives both women (who might judge themselves for not having vaginal orgasms) and men (who may think they’re doing things right when they’re not) a confusing message.

If porn is the only source of information for women and they watch mainstream porn, they’re likely going to have incorrect information. This will result in sexual experiences that are not fulfilling and lack orgasms.

So, it is critical that women speak up and express their needs with their partner. Women should view sexual intimacy as something both her and her partner benefit from. It isn’t about just pleasing her partner. Watching porn together can be a great way to get in the mood, but it’s important for women to speak up and make sure their needs are taken care of.

Also, in the above study, the actors were most often very fit, thin and attractive by media standards. In reality, this represents only a very small percentage of the population. So, if women think they need to look like the models, they may fall victim to negative body image. Studies have shown that negative body image harms women’s sexual satisfaction. This could lead to women feeling desire and arousal from watching porn, but then feeling very insecure about their bodies for their own sexual encounter, and as a result feeling inadequate.

Is Porn Addiction Real?

There are a lot of myths being perpetuated by certain groups claiming that porn can be an addiction, and can cause impotence in men. They then jump to the idea that it’s bad for women, as well.

Their notion is that viewing porn while masturbating releases larger amounts of dopamine, and over time people develop a tolerance and become “addicted.” So, due to the addiction, they believe you have to keep watching more hard-core scenes each time to become aroused. As well, they think this creates a standard that can’t be met through intimate contact with an actual partner.

I know of no studies that realistically confirm the notion that watching porn causes people to have to experience more “hard-core” images to become aroused and achieve orgasm. If I’m wrong, I’d be delighted to see the studies.

Their study data is highly questionable and while impotence in men is increasing, it’s a huge leap to assume watching porn was the cause. There are many other factors including possible environmental exposures to toxins from plastics (that mimic estrogen), and the alarming increase in arteriosclerosis.

For men, frequent erectile dysfunction (ED) should be a sign they need to see their MD for a check-up. While there, instead of just asking for Viagra take a serious look at possible heart disease. ED is often seen as a major risk factor for developing heart disease later.

Communicate Desires – Like Wanting to Watch Porn

It is important to note that couples need to communicate what their sexual needs are to one another. One situation that can occur: One partner is in the mood, but the other is exhausted. The exhausted partner turns the other down, only later to then feel in the mood. However, they only give “clues” that they are in the mood — and these clues are missed. Over time, this can lead to one or both partners masturbating more in private and not realizing they’re both missing out on many wonderful experiences of being sexual together. Plus, if they are meeting their sexual needs separately (and get used to this, which I’ve seen many times) it decreases the desire to take the initiative for intimacy together. While they might watch porn while masturbating, in my experience this was caused by miscommunication, not porn.

The best thing to do is work on getting past any possible embarrassment or fear of judgment to express each other’s real sexual needs and fantasies. One way to do this is by watching porn together (make sure it shows accurate situations for women if possible) and masturbating together. Then later watch porn while one partner stimulates the other specifically the way they tell them. Usually, they’ll learn a lot about how to please each other from this, and it can be exciting.

If you enjoy watching porn to increase desire and arousal, and you don’t assume the actors in porn are what people really look like, and you acknowledge it usually doesn’t show women benefiting as much as they should, I think it’s fine.

Listen Now!

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