—We Asked a Sex Therapist to Explain Why
“Lesbian” is the most popular porn category for female viewers, according to a report.
By Samantha Lauriello
Updated March 22, 2019
There’s no shame in watching porn, right? Seriously, lots of women do it. Sometimes it’s the only way to satisfy those sexual fantasies that for whatever reason you aren’t trying to live out IRL. You know, like BDSM, taking part in an orgy, or experimenting with the gender you don’t usually go for.
Turns out that last fantasy may be a major reason women visit porn sites. A recent PornHub report shows that “lesbian” is the most popular category for female viewers of this digital porn portal. The category was actually 151% more popular with women than with men. Surprising, right?
Of course, lesbian women probably account for some of that popularity. But the data suggests that a lot of straight women are clicking into it, too. A recent Gallup poll found just 5% of women identify as LGBT, which leads us to believe plenty of straight-identifying women are getting off on girl-on-girl porn. To find out why so many women love to watch other women get it on, we asked a sex therapist to weigh in.
But first, let’s clear one thing up: Just because you watch lesbian porn doesn’t mean you’re sexually into ladies. Sure, some women might be, and that’s perfectly fine. But you can also just be in it for the fantasy, says Holly Richmond, PhD, a sex therapist in Southern California. The same goes for any type of porn, she adds. What you enjoy online could be entirely different from what you enjoy in the bedroom. But if you’re a straight woman and you find yourself digging lesbian porn, these four reason might explain why.
It’s not about the performance
We’ve all seen such hardcore porn that it’s made us think, Would that even be enjoyable? Richmond says the answer is usually no. “Most porn, especially hetero-normative porn, is all about the performance,” she explains. “It’s all about what it looks like and what it sounds like, not about what it feels like.” Lesbian porn is different, though, because it’s often written by women, for women, she adds. Plus, hetero porn tends to put the spotlight on the penis. In girl-on-girl scenes, the entire female body is the star of the show.
Your pleasure is the focus
Hetero porn is typically centered around male pleasure, Richmond says, and it often involves super aggressive intercourse with the guy in control. But penis-in-vagina jackhammering isn’t what makes most women hit that high note. Instead, it’s more about clitoral stimulation, and there’s lots of that in lesbian porn. Oh, and hetero porn always seems to end when the guy ejaculates. Lesbian porn is all about women reaching that big O.
It’s way more relatable
“I always say porn stars are like our Olympic athletes of sex,” Richmond says. “There’s just nothing real about it.” She explains that lesbian porn tends to feature a wider range of body types than hetero porn, which makes it way easier to relate to the performers and the action they’re enjoying. You also won’t be looking at a female porn star’s body and thinking, Why don’t I look like that? Instead, you can just focus on what feels good. No distractions.
Female sexuality is more fluid
Culturally, it’s more acceptable for women to experiment sexually with women than for men to play around with men. That’s not to say lesbian women don’t still face discrimination. But when a woman hooks up with another woman, it’s often seen as sexy; when a man does it, it’s seen as strange.
That’s one reason women are more sexually fluid, but Richmond says it’s also in our DNA. Studies have shown that women are turned on by a much wider range of things than men, she says. Why we’re hard-wired that way is unclear, but it’s something to embrace and enjoy.