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Guess What? Many Ladies Love Porn: 10 Interesting Facts About Women's Porn Habits

What do we actually know about the roles, consumption and viewing habits of women? Turns out, a lot.
 
 
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Nothing perplexes people quite like the combined topics of women and pornography. Do ladies love porn or hate it? Do they hate it but still watch it? What kind of woman gets into porn? What kind of woman gets off to it? Can Fifty Shades of Grey be blamed? Or Sasha Grey? Porn has been a hot-button issue for years now, but what do we actually know about the roles, consumption and viewing habits of women? Once you get past the heated rhetoric and moralizing, it turns out we know a lot.

10. Women Watch Porn...

This should be a resounding “doye,” or if you’re feeling emphatic, “Doyes ‘R’ Us” or “Doye Story III.” Some women have been consuming and enjoying porn for a long time. And not just a fringe minority. One in three adults browsing Internet porn sites are women, according to Nielsen ratings. In 2007, almost 13 million were watching porn on a monthly basis. Despite this, the myth persists that all women hate porn (and certainly many do). But their Internet habits tell another story.

9. They Just Don’t Like to Pay for It

According to the neuroscientists who wrote A Billion Wicked Thoughts, women do not often pay for porn. Authors Ogas and Gaddam write: “According to CCBill, the billing service most commonly used by the online adult industry, only 2 percent of all subscriptions to pornography sites are made on credit cards with women's names. In fact, CCBill even flags female names as potential fraud, since so many of these charges result in an angry wife or mother demanding a refund for the misuse of her card.”

8. Porn Origins

Porn has been around since the Paleolithic period, and yes, it was conducted on cave walls. In addition to woolly mammoths, engraved images of nude women and crude vulvas (think Pac-Man meets ice cream cone), and doggy-style drawings exist as early as 10,000 BCE. Granted, some of them look like they’ve been drawn by sexually precocious first-graders, but hey, we can’t all be Vincent van Ho.

7. Porn Stars Have Higher Self-Esteem Than You

The stereotype that all female porn stars are damaged goods, come from backgrounds of abuse, and have poor self-images is finally being put to bed. According to findings in the Journal of Sex Research, porn stars have higher self-esteem, are more spiritual, and feel better about their bodies than women not in the adult industry. The study also found that porn stars were far more likely to identify as bisexual (67 percent, compared to the match group's 7 percent), that they had sex at an earlier age (15, compared to the match group's 17), had more sexual partners (on average, a porn star has more sex partners in one year than a non-porn star has in her lifetime, and this doesn't include their work partners), enjoyed sex more, and were more concerned about contracting STDs.

6. The Average American Female Porn Star Looks Like...

Picture a porn star in your mind. What do you see? Blonde? Triple-D rack? Stilettos, tans and talons that would make most lesbians recoil in terror? According to writer and researcher Jon Millward’s study of 10,000 actors in the Internet Adult Film Database, your average porn star has brown hair, is from California, has a 34B cup, is 5’5" and is probably named Nikki Lee. The stereotype of the busty blonde bombshell turns out to be just that, a stereotype.

5. The Most Popular Female Roles in Porn

Millward’s study also looked at the most common female roles in porn and found that “teen” won by a landslide; the word appeared in 1,966 titles. Curiously, “MILF” came in second, with 954 titles. (If you haven’t seen How I Banged Your Mother 6, you simply must!) This seems like a curious age gap -- women in porn are desirable as teenagers and then not again until motherhood? -- until you realize that “fuckable moms” in porn are on average 33 years old, and many are far younger. The third most common role in porn is “wife” at 499 titles, which would be sweet except that every film title that had “wife” was actually about the concept of fucking someone else’s spouse.

 
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