Environmental Student,

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Porn's effects on women users


I was directed here from the above listed TEDX talk. The Great Porn Experiment, which is in fact a response to this TED talk.

There's a lot of talk about how internet porn affect men, who are the majority users, I'm curious if there are any studies (and hopefully talks) about effect on women users. I know how porn have effects on porn actresses, but I'm asking about effect on how porn affect women who watches porn.

Or perhaps there's no effect, or social effect for that matter, since the number is too insignificant to have a study done to it. But women do represent half of humanity, and I'm sure such a study would present some interesting insights to how porn affect human, and not just men.

What do you think/know about this topic?

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    Dec 2 2012: Linda - LOVE IT. Perform away! :)
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    Dec 2 2012: Linda - I think you'd like what we're trying to do with https://makelovenotporn.tv/ :)


    Do email cindy@makelovenotporn.com and I'll send you an invite into beta.
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      Dec 2 2012: OK I am going to be honest. I do not mean to judge or stereotype. You date 20 year olds. You are enjoying amateur hour. There is nothing wrong with that. Have at it and have fun.

      I am so far past that I will not settle for that anymore. That stuff is for rank amateurs. I do not want to watch other people in love having sex. I want to be the performer. It's simply a better role.

      If you think this generation has it bad with porn available everywhere with the click of the tv controller, Imagine when I was coming into my sexuality. There was not much and it was really bad. There was 'Deep Throat and Debbie does Dallas. The music was boom waka waka. I mean really yucky. But we figured it out or not, just as this generation will figure it out or not.

      I do think it is a good idea for people with questions to have an experienced impartial source for advice. We had Ann Landers and then Dr. Ruth. Always remember it is just advice.
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      Dec 2 2012: this "makelovenotporn" thing is easily the most self defeating idea i have ever heard. in a nutshell:

      the sex we have in our everyday life is the hottest sex there is. therefore you can upload videos for others to see.

      question that involves logic: if you want to convince us that our own sex experience is the best, why would i watch your content instead? and if i do watch some content instead of having sex myself, why would it be your content instead of the zillion out there? jeez, i'm still in an infinite loop, not finding the exit.
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      Dec 2 2012: ps: but okay, can i have email notifications for sarah beall's uploads?
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    Dec 2 2012: Ken - broadly speaking, yes, but the issue is more nuanced than that. MakeLoveNotPorn is not anti-porn. The issue isn't porn, but the lack in our society of a counterpoint - an open, healthy discussion around sex in the real world, that would then, amongst many other benefits, enable people to bring a real-world mindset to the viewing of what is essentially artificial entertainment. Our tagliine is 'Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference.' Our entire message boils down to 'Talk about it'. That's because overly porn-influenced behavior is usually driven by the best motives, not the worst. We all get vulnerable when we get naked. Sexual egos are very fragile. People find it bizarrely difficult to talk about sex with the people they're actually having it with, while they're actually having it. You are terrified of hurting the other person's feelings/putting them off you/derailing the encounter/derailing the entire relationship - but you want to please them; you'll seize your cues on how to from anywhere you can, and if the only cues you've ever been given or encountered are from porn, those are the ones you'll take - to not very good effect. This is an issue that would never have crossed my mind if I had not begun encountering it very directly and personally, through dating men in their twenties, 5 years ago, and why I launched http://makelovenotporn.com/ 4 years ago, before the media talked about any of this. I am my own research lab - I continue to date younger men - and so I can tell you this issue is endemic and it's only getting worse. (And I am very selective about whom I date and only date utterly lovely younger men - but this is how they are being educated about sex.)

    Also, yes, this is manifesting negatively re male self-image, as per this piece from the New York Times recently:


    It doesn't mention porn, but I can tell you that's one of the reasons for this.
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    Dec 2 2012: Everyone joining in this conversation - please do email cindy@makelovenotporn.com if you would like to be invited into the beta of https://makelovenotporn.tv/ At just 14 weeks old in private beta, we have over 116,000 people signed up on our beta waiting list, and people are joining and paying to rent #realworldsex videos - we have cold hard cash proof of concept in a world where the received wisdom is 'nobody pays for porn' :) At only 2 weeks live, XBiz, the porn industry's biggest trade journal, ran the headline 'Cindy Gallop's New Website Takes Aim At Porn's Status Quo': http://www.xbiz.com/news/153233 and this is an in-depth interview with me about MakeLoveNotPorn.tv that XBiz posted 3 weeks ago: http://www.xbiz.com/news/156181, while Gizmodo calls us The NSFW Social Media And Content-sharing Platform The Internet's Been Waiting For: http://gizmodo.com/5937150/makelovenotporntv-is-the-nsfw-social-media-and-content+sharing-platform-the-internets-been-waiting-for

    Do come check us out :)
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    Dec 2 2012: *cough* Women watch and enjoy porn too. (Different women enjoy different sorts of porn - there is a tendency to lump 'porn' together as one big amorphous mass, when, like 'literature', it comprises many different approaches.)

    When I launched http://makelovenotporn.com/ at TED 2009:


    everything I said about porn acting as default sex ed in the absence of an open, healthy attitude to and dialogue around sex in the real world, applies just as much to women as to men. (Check out the 'About' page on the site for just some of the thousands of emails I've received daily over the past four years about MLNP from young and old, male and female, gay and straight, from every country in the world.) Young women write to me distressed about the fact that their boyfriends are doing everything they see in porn. But young men also write to me to say, my girlfriends are doing everything they see in porn; they're putting on a performance, and it's getting in the way of a real connection.

    For detail on how porn influences women as well as men, please read my short TED book 'Make Love Not Porn: Technology's Hardcore Impact On Human Behavior': https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/make-love-not-porn/id452296228?mt=11

    Those emails inspired me to launch https://makelovenotporn.tv/ just 3 months ago - this is the New York Times on that venture: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/09/fashion/cindy-gallops-online-effort-to-promote-real-not-porn-fed-sex.html?_r=0

    The porn industry, like every other industry, is male-dominated. 99% of mainstream porn is made by men for men. There are women making porn, and 'feminist porn' , but too few of them. The best future is one equally influenced 50/50 by men and women. The shape, approach and content of the porn industry will change when there are many more of us women creating ventures within it; more women will enjoy them, and men too, because they will be innovative and different - like MLNPTV :)
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      Dec 2 2012: Interesting Cindy, Good on you.

      Is there an illusion out there in the average males mind that they are/should look like those buffed hairless sixpacked porn actors? as well as there should be only young and dumb perfect females who are constantly gagging for it? is this the attitude that is out there as opposed to what was there 20 years ago?
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      Dec 2 2012: OK women watching porn might be a generational thing. I do not know any woman of any age that enjoys porn. Erotica yes, porn no.

      Sex is not just a pleasurable behavior. Not if you know what you are doing. If a woman is going through guys like condoms (been there, done that), she might not understand how sex affects the spirit. How that spirit connects with another spirit when there is love and commitment. A woman is lucky if she gets the chance to experience that. Getting your rocks off is not the same as a blending of spirit,. I don't know how better to explain it.

      In talking to some of my guy friends, they understand that too. They understand when there is love there is a connection of spirit and being with each other. I would imagine it does not matter about sexual orientation. That is why when there is a spiritual connection a break up can be devastating. You loose part of your spirit. It's not the same as mutually parting with a good lay.

      That is why porn is so uninteresting and banal. That is also why sex can be boring and banal. I would rather go to biology class.

      But I would clear my schedule for a man who understands this.
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    Nov 27 2012: OK you guys are hilarious, Porn does not effect women like it does men. Women are typically not aroused visually. You can catch our interest and focus our attention with a great looking guy dressed accordingly but we only laugh at genitals. Two (or more) bodies smacking at each other with all kinds of bodily fluids just doesn't cut it. For me and many of my friends it just grosses us out.

    Then there is also the problem that women are taught to compare themselves to other women. So when they see Miss September, they feel bad about themselves, which has the exact opposite effect on arousal. And they feel even worse if you are the one that says, "hey, look at Miss September." Now guys, think about what she is thinking about you when she sees Mr. September. Oh yeah, I can tell you you are not gonna get lucky because why can't you be just like him?

    Women are aroused inside our minds. Not through our eyes. So that is why erotic books are so popular. Fifty shades of Grey for example. The visual is left to the reader and the reader has insight into the motivation and thoughts of the characters which is crucial for many women. It is the relationship (real or pretend) that is arousing, not intercourse.

    When women think of romance, they think of flowers and touch and beautiful images. Men think of all that as the stuff they got to go through to get to the romance.

    For women its about the relationship not about the sex. Porn is all about the sex without relationship. It is frankly biological and very much like sitting through biology at least for some of us. In reality intercourse is biology. Which is why some of us are thinking about the grocery list and the laundry etc, during intercourse if the guy does not pay attention to the romance and relationship.

    Porn is just gross.
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      Nov 27 2012: in short, romantic movies for women are what porn is for men. question: then why it is acceptable socially to watch romantic movies, and why it is not so much acceptable to watch porn? romantic movies should be XXX rated for girls!
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        Nov 27 2012: OK let me try and explain from a woman's point of view. I was just trying to remember any romantic movie that was arousing and I can only think of one. Because romance in and of itself is not arousing without the appropriate relationship.

        Romance and relationship are so intertwined in a woman's mind and it is that combination that is arousing. Not romance in and of itself or worse yet, someone else's romance.

        What guys don't understand is how arousing romance and relationship is for a woman. If you did, you all would invest more effort into it. It is not linear so sometimes you have to invest more effort into it than other times. But guys could have fabulous intercourse if they know what they are doing with the relationship and a little romance (flowers, chocolate romance. Not genital romance).

        Ever see an ugly guy with a beautiful and wonderful woman? He knows and understands this principle. And she usually thinks he is the most wonderful man on the planet.

        That's why romantic movies are not arousing in and of themselves. It is like watching porn. You just can't get into the relationship by watching it. It's that whole part about the thoughts and motivation of the characters. Hollywood doesn't do a good job of that.
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          Nov 27 2012: i was kidding, but thanks for the explanation anyway. i consider it a bonus! :)
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          Nov 27 2012: What Linda is saying is that women need a reason and men just need a place.
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        Nov 27 2012: @ Pat LOL If I have a reason, I don't even need a place ;)
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    Nov 27 2012: Thanks Carl - a very important issue.

    I have obsered the equivalent of ED in porn-adicted females - it manifests as an inability to achieve orgasm. I am not going to generalise this becuase my sample data is not statistically significant.

    I would also propose that TED itself is another vector of arousal based adiction.

    We have some very serious self-review to undertake in light of these insights. I for one will take it seriously.
  • Nov 26 2012: Some probably reasons why women are not commenting here:

    * Porn "users"? Do we people also "use" musicals or action thrillers?
    * Women don't watch porn. Some of them enjoy erotica now and then. (What's the difference? The sex of the watcher.)

    As for studies, the first result in http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=affect+female+pornography+OR+erotica is http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01542096?LI=true. Go through the list at Google for more studies.

    Also try http://scholar.google.co.uk/scholar?q=addiction+female+pornography+OR+erotica
    • Nov 26 2012: *Since I'm referencing a video that calls watching porn an addiction, I think it's appropriate to refer to porn as a consumable.
      *But that's just it, if it affect men, then women's reaction shouldn't be all too different. But like I said, there's just not that many women who watch internet porn, or not on the level men does. So...
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    Nov 26 2012: Women I know don't like porn that much. They feel like they're not the target audience, everything revolving around the male's pleasure. Female-orgasm-oriented porn is rare and most of the time it displays men performing unpleasant moves on girls.
    Let's face it ; porn sucks. Every porn movie I've watched was awfully crappy. And yet again, women seem to care about quality.
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    Nov 26 2012: From what I've seen and heard, there is very little firsthand social effect on women. I think you're right about there being a small sample size, but it's more than that. There are fewer female watchers of porn, and those who do watch do so less often on average, because the majority of what's out there is simply not geared towards women. It's harder to get addicted to a product that's just not being marketed to you, or made with your interests in mind.

    On the other hand, I think the secondhand effect is enormous. If straight male sexuality is being affected, you can bet that straight female sexuality is, too. (Also see Cindy Gallop's talk: http://blog.ted.com/2009/12/02/cindy_gallop_ma/)
    • Nov 26 2012: That's exactly what I meant when I said small sample size. Sorry for not being clear. But yes, I agree with what you said, I asked just in case someone is aware of things being otherwise. Though I do know that there are porn targeted towards women, and as other commentators have pointed out, fantasizing about sex is not limited to internet porn, and women do in fact do so in other mediums.

      I am nevertheless still interested in such a study if it exist.

      Great link by the way.
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      Dec 2 2012: Thanks for the recommendation Morton, and thanks Carl :) Do email cindy@makelovenotporn.com for an invitation into the beta of https://makelovenotporn.tv/
  • Nov 26 2012: I think its depends on period of woman's life.
    Teenagers in the peak of sexual maturation have the strongest reaction.
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    Nov 26 2012: I don't think any woman will comment as it is the stigma that is associated with actually commenting on it that might invite unwanted attention and the possible catching of odious vapours. In short if you were a woman asking this Q then i think the ladies will respond, Porn is a private issue for most people, an aid or an accentuation for a couple, we are still coming to grips with just how massive it is on the net and the dominance of the male half of it over it. It would be good to see some thoughtful responses.
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      Nov 26 2012: Carl Men's profile does not disclose a gender. Therefore 'she' could be seen as 'Carlita Mendelez' to open the 'female world' to this question ... ;o)
  • Nov 25 2012: Oops Maybe we really need to hear what the ladies have to say.
    One might say men and women do not do things exactly the same way.
  • Nov 25 2012: What is porn? Women read more romance novels than men read sci-fi. Romance novels seem closer to porn than you may be willing to admit. Read Nancy Friday's book. Of course the interesting thing is some female author gives a formula for these things It's short and concise. But she also does the same for Sci-Ri.
    • Nov 26 2012: Yes, interesting how there's so far still no response from the women on this thread, when the question is clearly targeting them. Anyhow, do you think that explicit romance novel have similar or comparable effects on women as porn does on men?
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        Nov 26 2012: no ted women watches porn. hm. that raises a question about the actual commenters!
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        Nov 27 2012: If you click on Morton's name earlier in this thread (TED staff/Host/Translator), it will take you to her profile, I believe.