Caitlyn Harkins is an English sophomore and copy editor for the Mustang Daily.

I watch porn. A lot.

I’ve watched porn alone, with significant others and even in a group setting. Given the opportunity, I can recommend a multitude of sites that would cater to your kink, fetish or vanilla interest.

It’s probably a mixture of my intense curiosity and higher-than-average sex drive, but I’ve been clicking that “I’m over 18” button for at least four or five years now. And yet, when I open Cosmopolitan or visit a XXX site, the porn-viewing community still seems to be dominated by men.

According to the Internet Filter Report, 72 percent of men watch porn in comparison to women viewership of 28 percent. The disparity is pretty shocking, especially in 2011. Shouldn’t we have movie theaters like the feelies from the novel Brave New World by now? Come on.

So is it lack of female interest (the dreaded “lower” sex drive so commonly cited), nonresponse to these surveys or something else that keeps views down?

While there is a huge amount of porn available — seriously, there are 420 million porn pages on the Internet and Google had 23,629,211 hits for the word “porn” in 2006 alone — a majority of sites cater to male interests. Facials, anal and blowjobs are some of the most common hits on porn sites, yet you’d be hard-pressed to find a sizeable number of chicks who dig that kind of thing.

Feminist author Robin Morgan said “Pornography is the theory, and rape the practice,” while anti-porn lobbyists cite porn as the cause of moral degradation and exploitation.

In the face of this, women are often made to feel like porn is always supposed to offend them, and to feel guilty when it doesn’t.

However, there is a growing sex-positive and pro-porn population that seeks to acknowledge women rather than objectify them as merely things to be railed on screen.

A new genre has emerged to address women in porn. It’s written and shot with gals in mind, and often directed by women too. PornMoviesForWomen.com is a site made specifically for hetero women — it’s got the tenderness of a Lifetime movie with just the right amount of softcore action.

A study from Australian researcher Jade Sheen said women between the ages of 18 and 45 become more aroused when the porn they watch has a developed plot and direction with an emphasis on the erotic and sensual. It’s a far cry from the up close P-in-V shots frequently found elsewhere, but if it gets me hot, then it’s all good to me.

One alternative I suggest to female friends is to check out gay sites: the guys’ bodies are pretty rocking while the lesbian ladies seem more genuine than the girls moaning and mewling in straight videos. This advice extends to guys too — two chicks means two of everything, and more is wetter, right?

While browsing, those pop-ups for fetish sites can seem scary. When even vanilla porn is debased as disgusting, anything more hardcore instantly gets shuffled into taboo territory for most chicks. However, exploring those sites can pique an interest that can lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying sex life.

But, if extended shots of thrusting are still unappealing and you need to take steps before looking into fetishes, the variety extends to photos as well. Men and women can both appreciate an artistic nude, and there are plenty of resources for viewing either professional or amateur shots.

Once you find some sites that speak to you and what’s in your pants, consider sharing with your partner. Yeah, there’s a bad urban legend that every girlfriend hates when her boyfriend rubs one out to Sasha Grey, but broaching the subject tactfully can ensure that everyone involved has a good time.

The important thing is communication. Any relationship should be able to withstand having open, frank conversations about what helps get each other off. And, if you can incorporate each other’s porn tastes into the mix, then you can find it keeps your sex life healthy and exciting.

Cal Poly does have a vague policy in the Housing Contract that disallows keeping obscene material in the dorms, so err on the side of caution when viewing for pleasure. If you live off campus, then click, buffer and enjoy!

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9 Comments

  1. Porn for Women is just as stupid a concept as Games for Girls was back in the 90s. I saw some bullshit “porn for women” thing a few years back. It was pictures of guys doing housework. Every woman I knew that watched porn on a regular basis was offended, and most of the ones that didn’t though it was pretty offensive as well. It’s trying to segregate women and their sexuality as somehow “different” than men’s. I’m not so stupid as to call them identical, but trying to cater to women with “Lifetime” plots and “softcore action” is kidding yourself about the fact that sometimes a woman just wants to be fucked. Seriously, I’ve got the teeth marks and ruined shirt to prove it.

      1. Ha, I had completely forgotten about that comic. That’s probably what had triggered the conversation amongst my friends.

  2. Caitlyn,
    I guess I have a few questions for you. How would you feel if your partner had to look at porn, instead of you, to get aroused? What if they got off to porn without you, and then didn’t want to have any sexual experiences with you? Or, what if a sister or daughter of yours was the girl on-screen in porn? A few years back, at Cal Poly, someone asked Ron Jeremy if he would want his daughter in porn. He said no. To me, this says it all. While the viewing of porn is attractive and exciting, just like many things in this world. But what about the negative consequences of porn? Many things in this world are enjoyable, but does that mean we should do them?

    Those are a lot of questions, I realize, but how can you write an educated column on porn without seeing both sides. Anyone can write about how great porn is and throw a few lines of data to support their point, but for a reader, that really is not too compelling.

    1. To clarify: I was at the Ron Jeremy presentation and he did not say that. He said that he would insist that his daughter got a college degree first so that she would have options available to her and was not doing pornography just as a quick buck. He then went on to say that if after her college degree she still wanted to perform in pornography as a career, he would support her.

  3. Taylor,
    Did you notice that in order to get to this column, you had to click on the “Opinion” section? I’m pretty sure no one is looking at this and thinking, “Oh, well this must be all of the information about porn that exists ever.”

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