Feminism / Sex

Women & Pornography: Why Sisters Are Finally Doing It For Themselves

Ladies and gentleman, something big is happening. There’s a change on the wind, a transformation in the air. Where once it used to be the words ‘chocolate’ or ‘shoes’ that completed the old clichés of feminine pleasure, pretty soon it’ll be the word ‘pornography.’

If recent studies are anything to go by, modern women are currently coming (pun definitely intended!) to porn like Aussies to a BBQ.

More and more women are finding the sexual confidence and the sexual assurance to regularly access and even enjoy mainstream pornography. Since the end of the noughties and the advent of the ‘teenies,’ there has been a massive increase in the amount of female porn consumers. Women are buying pornography, browsing for pornography, and watching pornography at home and in their offices. And it’s a safe bet that over the next decade women will begin to influence pornography in as significant a way as their male counterparts.

Unsurprisingly this is a sexual revolution mired in social tension. Insitutionalised sexism, the male dominated nature of the industry, and issues over its incredibly easy access have all worked to obscure the fact that pornography can be a rewarding medium for women.

And boy do they need it.

The phenomenal, worldwide success of erotic thriller ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ continues to surprise readers and publishers alike. It is an intensely erotic novel, featuring graphic bondage and masochism scenes. There is simply no denying the pornographic nature of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’

It was written specifically to shock, because it is only within that sense of faux revulsion that women can allow themselves to become titillated by its content. As is so often the case for women, it is arousing only because it is socially ‘wrong.’ As long as they understand this, wider society will turn a blind eye to the success of books like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’

They are merely blips on a male dominated socio-sexuality.

The sexual hypocrisy of books like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is a story all of its own, and one that can be conveniently separated from the issues that surround pornography. Yet the book’s success clearly shows that women are crying out for a sexual indulgence that is independent of their daily lives and relationships.

If female porn consumption continues to rise, perhaps it will be suitable to ask questions about what kind of place, if any, porn should occupy in an individual’s life. But for now it seems women are beginning to demand their rights to the easy access and instant gratification that internet pornography can provide.

How long can society deny one gender the pleasures of the other?

An increased female involvement in pornography is, undeniably, a good thing. Whilst there have been massive changes over the last few decades, the industry remains an often frighteningly male dominated arena. The only way to amend the ‘Gang Bang,’ Deep Throat,’ ‘Ultimate Facial’ excess that plagues internet pornography is to allow women to force their own changes. In the 70’s and 80’s feminists vehemently decried the industry altogether, believing that women could never be emancipated as long as it existed. Twenty years on and the tables have turned, women are no longer calling for the death of pornography because it doesn’t and shouldn’t include them.

They want their fair share of all things naughty and they want it now! And fortunately, the revolution has already begun.

It took a long time for feminists to realise that a fight against porn is a fight that will never be won. But after many decades of shouting and fist shaking some of those feminists had a light bulb moment. They crept stealthily round to the back door of the industry and quietly picked the lock.

The only way to change the porn industry is to change it from the inside, to get involved. If men can’t make porn that satisfies women, there is no reason why women can’t satisfy themselves. In 2006 the Feminist Porn Awards were established by the owners of the female friendly sex shop ‘Good For Her.’  Acclaimed female porn director Anna Span has produced over 165 woman friendly porn films, as well as running for parliament, appearing in a Channel Five documentary and winning a multitude of adult film accolades. Legendary US porn actress Annie Sprinkle not only produces ‘feminist’ pornography, but tours the country with free sexual advice, health and awareness clinics for women.

Ladies, the revolution has begun.

Women and porn. Porn and women. Its an unfamiliar combination. Women are soft, virtuous, reserved. Feminism may have taught the world that women can like sex, but let’s face it, only once a week, only if its conventional and only if a man will whisper ‘I love you’ throughout. Right?


The vast majority of female porn consumers, want exactly what men want from their adult material.

They want it heavy, hot and filthier than Lindsay Lohan’s next urine sample.

They just want it on their own terms. Porn that features women with healthy bodies; jiggling thighs, unruly pubic hair and stretch marks included. Porn that doesn’t rely on overtly sham technique, but instead features real arousal, real pleasure. Porn that wants to PLEASE women, not use them.

So are sisters finally ‘doing it for themselves?’ Well they’re certainly ‘doing themselves’ that’s for sure. And who are you to argue?



2 thoughts on “Women & Pornography: Why Sisters Are Finally Doing It For Themselves

  1. Thanks for the interesting post. Obviously as it exists today the pornography industry is marketed toward men, and it’s done at the expense of women’s (and girls’) wellbeing, often their very lives. I think that if there is to be a pornography that could be seriously targeted to women, it would have to be so radically different that I don’t even know if we could think of it as pornography at all. It’s interesting that erotic fiction (50 Shades and whatnot) have long been seen as as appropriate choices for women whereas visual media are invariably considered men’s domain.

    I am all for sexual liberation, although I don’t know how “pornography” qua pornography may factor into that vision. Certainly the post offers some insights.

    By the way, you might want to check out my new WordPress; it already has several followers. I post a lot of feminist material as well as a variety of other topics, and I’m planning to start posting more articles about sexual freedom/liberation. Please check it out!

    Liked and followed.

    • I think it’s important (nee vital) that there’s a distinct enough line between what can fairly count as pornography and what is out and out physical/mental exploitation. Obviously the two go hand in hand, whilst pornography as a concept isn’t a bad thing, it lends itself to some awful situations. And the very, very extreme forms of pornography aren’t indicative of the industry as a whole.

      The only way to make porn woman friendly is to put women at the helm. As directors, writers, campaigners, actors, whatever. I agree that it would at first appear radically different, to men definitely. But the only real differences need to be things like camera angles. The woman/women in the films won’t be documented in that ‘piece of meat’ fashion, no face, just shots of bizarrely isolated sexual organs. They will be presented as a whole, as a man is. They will not have implants or all be blonde and flat stomached, begging for things that the vast majority of women wouldn’t ever even consider.

      Pornography is what it is. Some need it, some wouldn’t ever touch it. Fact is, no two people are the same, and what some people find arousing, some find disgusting. Even female driven porn couldn’t ever satisfy the expectations of all women. There will always be women who think it should be banned/obliterated altogether. But I truly believe that change doesn’t come from negative action, from saying ‘No, we don’t want this and we don’t want you to have it either.’ It’ll come from women saying ‘Hang on a minute, this is not right. If we want it we’re going to have to take it/create it for ourselves.’

      Thanks ever so much for reading. Count me among your followers! 🙂

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