News flash! Women download porn

// 13 June 2007

Some women like porn – and the internet has made it easier for them to access it, reports The Metro.

While I’m sort-of amazed that this is news to anyone, the nub of this story is interesting: a book by Sunderland media lecturer Clarissa Smith on the trends behind the growing female interest in porn, in particular the erotic magazine For Women.

Now, although I’ve not actually seen this magazine, it’s hardly difficult to guess that it’s likely to be quite different to the kind of made-for-men-by-men porn that predominates on the internet. So are women downloading porn – as in the products of the mainstream porn industry, or woman-friendly, dare-I-suggest “feminist” porn?

It’s hard to know, as the only figures are extremely general:

A 2006 survey found the number of women downloading Internet porn had soared to 1.4million.

Regardless, I found this statement quite worrying:

Says Smith: “Women who admit to enjoying porn do feel guilty about enjoying sex without the love and romance and do worry that they’re sluts.

“They think they shouldn’t be enjoying it so, on that basis, we still have a long way to go.”

If it’s true that Smith found that most women feel guilty about liking porn – not because it objectifies women but because of some 1950s idea that it makes them “sluts” who like sex without candle-lit dinners on moon-lit nights, then it’s very worrying. I suspect the book would be really interesting reading.

I do wonder if these responses are influenced at all by the fact that they were explaining their liking of porn to a third party, for publication? We do live in a tangled mess of ideas about women enjoying sex.

Noting that many of the women quoted in the Metro say that they use porn to make up for the deficiencies of their partners, Dollymix has its own inimitable take on the story:

Which is easier? Ordering a porn flick online, or telling your boyfriend, “Yeah…that’s not my clitoris.”?

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