An old boyfriend of mine had a middle-aged straight woman — let’s call her Beth — who lived in the condo upstairs from him. She was successful, lived in a great place by herself, was a little frumpy, and was funny in a dry sarcastic sort of way. And she loved gay porn, of which the roommate of the guy I was dating had an extensive selection stashed in a closet in their guest room.
This was in the days just before streaming video really took off on the internet. So if you wanted porn, you got it one of three ways: mail order, running to an adult book store, or, in Beth’s case, borrowing it from the gay guys downstairs from whom you had an extra key to their condo.
At first it was unnerving. You’d be watching TV and having bleary-eyed coffee in your fluffy bathrobe Sunday morning, when suddenly you’d hear the key in the lock, the door open upstairs and a female voice with a heavy Brooklyn accent would say, “Good morning! It’s just me! I won’t be long.”
Then you’d hear, in this order: footsteps to the spare bedroom, the sound of DVD boxes being shuffled interspersed with moments of silence (must read the synopses!), and then the sound of footsteps toward the front door until it opened and closed. Silence.
Beth had just exchanged “Assablanca” for “Good Will Humping.”
Later I would learn that she (and a few of my other straight female friends) simply found the sex that gay guys (and lesbians, in some cases) had in porn to be more passionate and, well, just a helluva lot hotter than the sex in straight porn. And why wouldn’t they? Straight porn is primarily made by straight men so it’s about what men do to women sexually instead of what a straight couple does with one another. There may be a top and a bottom in gay porn, but make no mistake about it: a good bottom is still in control in a lot of gay porn. Not so in straight porn where women are often portrayed as helpless vessels waiting for men to use them.
So it came as no surprise to learn this from the news stream this week:
In collaboration with BuzzFeed, porn search engine Pornhub produced a study (adds Jefferly “Using the term ‘study’ loosely”) examining data on users’ viewing habits, with a specific focus on what women are looking for.
“By segmenting by gender within our analytics tools, we were able to generate anonymized data that brings us one step closer to answering the time old question: what do women want?” reads Pornhub’s introduction to the data.
Putting aside the fact that different women surely want different things, the survey’s insights are pretty interesting, if not entirely surprising
In recent years, there has been an effort to create more “porn for women,” assuming that most women looking for sexy videos don’t have much interest in the choreographed, sticky acrobatics that men seek out. But according to Pornhub’s data, videos tagged “for women” fall fourth on the list of categories most viewed by women. The top three categories women view are “lesbian,” “gay (male)” and “teen.” For men, “teen,” “MILF” and “mature” topped the list.
The search term that men and women most had in common?
“Big dick.” Apparently everyone loves those.