This Is How Much Porn Women Your Age REALLY Watch

It may be true that fewer women than men regularly watch porn, but far more women watch porn than talk about it. As a culture, we've concluded that all men watch porn (boys will be boys, right?) and that women generally reject it, perhaps dipping in a toe if the porn in question showcases sensitive sex from a female perspective — shot in HD, of course.

Let's get a few things straight (or queer, as the case may be): Many, many women not only watch but also love porn of all kinds, from lesbian and gay male scenes to rough sex and bondage fantasies. Millennials are more open to pornography than previous generations, with a 2013 Gallup study showing that 49% of Americans from age 18 to 34 view it as "morally acceptable" while only 19% of Americans age 55 and up feel the same.

Still, women are on average far more hesitant than men cop to watching porn. "Female sexuality as a whole is seen as more taboo than male sexuality, so most women are ashamed to acknowledge any aspect of their sexuality," states San-Francisco-based sex therapist Vanessa Marin. "Interestingly, I think women perceive more of a stigma against watching porn than actually exists." To open the porn conversation, we asked 16 women to anonymously share with us how often they watch, which kinds, with whom, and their most intimate observations on this controversial medium. Read on to discover their secret thoughts about sex on screen.
Advertisement
1 of 16
Age: 26
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men, but would like to with both
Porn-viewing frequency: 2-3 times a week
Porn source:
elephanttube.com, duh

When did you first watch porn?
When I was a kid — when it was fuzzy on TV and you had to infer what was going on. I think I must've been like 7 or something, but I knew it was hot and I wanted to exclaim in passion like those people, so I've been trying to own my sexuality and be open about it ever since!

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
I didn't have a computer for three months and so it was SUPER weird to get back into it. I've only ever watched it two or three times with a partner, but I'd rather watch it myself before bed or when I'm bored.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
Tribbing, teasing, lesbians, passion, amateur — I think that I watch these because they're all forms of what I do or what I want to do.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
Pretty good and not ashamed in the least!
2 of 16
Age: 29
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men and women
Porn-viewing frequency: A couple times a month
Porn source:
PornHub, general searches

When did you first watch porn?
Not until I was well into adulthood... I was probably 25.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
Usually alone, but I have watched with a partner before. When I'm with a partner we just end up getting distracted by the real-life bodies!

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
I really never watch porn with men in it. I'm currently only having sex with a man, but even when I was having sex with both men and women my porn preference is pretty much women-only. So much porn out there is made by men and for men, and it seems so geared towards their perspectives and desires. I find that the highest quality porn focuses on women with other women. As much as I enjoy penises in real life, I have no interest in looking at them on-screen.

How do you feel about your porn-watching?
Porn is great; I support porn. BUT I do think it has its negative outcomes, such as being a paltry substitute for sex education, and setting a (if not unnecessarily high, unnecessarily weird) standard for young people who are learning about sex from watching it. Sex doesn't have to be all spanking and fake fingernails and drama. All kinds of sex (that all parties involved enjoy) = good sex.
Advertisement
3 of 16
Age: 36
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men and women
Porn-viewing frequency: Once a month
Porn source:
YouPorn

When did you first watch porn?
Probably junior high, as a joke/curiosity. I remember laughing.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
[Porn is] masturbation fodder.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
I like hardcore BDSM porn more than I [like doing that] in real life. And, I'll watch uglier people in porn than I might sleep with.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
Pretty good... I would like to see less humiliation in porn overall, and that rosebud stuff seems very unhealthy long-term.
4 of 16
Age: 24
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men
Porn-viewing frequency: Once a week
Porn source:
I usually go to PornHub or Google something if I have a preference.

When did you first watch porn?
Probably [at age] 16.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
Usually when I'm high and alone, I'll watch porn, or when I'm just turned on and alone.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
It depends on the day, but usually it's either gangbangs or young girls with older men. It's pretty different from what I normally get into, and I really don't ever want to be in a gangbang.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
I feel it's pretty normal. My boyfriend watches porn when I'm not around; why can't I?
5 of 16
Age: 24
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men
Porn-viewing frequency: 3-5 times a month
Porn source:
PornHub

When did you first watch porn?
When I was probably around 14 or 15, out of curiosity.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
At this point in my life, I've only watched alone. I'll watch when the mood suits me.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
I guess fairly similar to my own sex life in reality — people in their 20s, hetero. On rare occasions, something with multiple partners, as I don't think I'd ever [do that] myself.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
I think it's a healthy, awesome outlet. As a young adult, it helps quell curiosities. As an adult between relationships, it's an outlet that's safer and frankly usually more enjoyable than a one-night stand with a stranger. Even in a relationship, it can lend a bit of sexiness, open up the conversation to trying new positions, etc.
6 of 16
Age: 25
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men, but not against an experience with a woman
Porn-viewing frequency: 2 times a week
Porn source:
PornHub, RedTube, Instagram

When did you first watch porn?
Does watching fuzzy Skinemax for the sound when I was in fifth grade count?

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
[I watch] when I want to masturbate quickly. Otherwise, I just use my imagination.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
[I watch] girl-on-girl because male and female can be really aggressive and not very sexy. I'd be down for a homosexual experience.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
In general, I think porn is a huge problem. Men start watching porn at a young age and expect sex to be like what they've seen in porn, and it's not. They expect women to look and act like porn stars. A lot of the porn out there is very aggressive towards women; I think it's the root of why men in our current generation are very sexually aggressive.
7 of 16
Age: 27
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men
Porn-viewing frequency: Almost never
Porn source:
I bought a DVD once. That's it.

When did you first watch porn?
High school? I don't remember. It was more out of curiosity than anything.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
I've only watched it with a partner. It was an exploration of our sex life and another component. More of an experiment than anything, it never became regular or common.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
I don't really watch it because I don't really enjoy it.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
I understand the appeal... I think if I were more able to relate, I'd be more interested... I'd be interested in porn that reflects more accurately a woman's experience with sex.
Advertisement
8 of 16
Age: 26
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men
Porn-viewing frequency: Once or twice a month
Porn source:
Jamesdeen.com

When did you first watch porn?
High school, junior year I think. I had mostly gay male friends at the time, and they showed me some, mostly as a joke. I didn't watch porn for myself until late in college.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
Alone, although I have watched with a partner in the past. I think most porn is pretty silly (or at least the kind I watch,) so if I watch with someone it's 80% for humor, 20% eroticism. I mostly watch porn when I am single and don't have any interest in particular to fantasize about.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
I pretty much only watch porn parodies of my favorite movies, and James Deen. As a feminist, it's scary just diving into the world of free Internet porn. I know that James Deen doesn't offend me, so I stick with that... I am craving for more free-streaming, explicitly feminist porn, featuring men who don't frighten me and women with no breast implants. If it's available online, I need to know up-front that what I'm about to look at won't, two minutes in, make me squicked out.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
I feel like people are really surprised that I watch porn, or at least that I'm not embarrassed to admit it. I mean, it's not something I share with parents or coworkers, but among friends, I'm probably as candid about it as I am things like online dating and menstruation. Men I've disclosed this fact to either think all women watch porn and they're just lying about it...or they're really uncomfortable because they don't want to own up to their own porn-consumption habits.
9 of 16
Age: 24
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men
Porn-viewing frequency: 2-3 times a month
Porn source:
YouPorn

When did you first watch porn?
Sophomore year of college maybe? The first time I saw porn I was probably 13...but watching it took a bit of maturity and technology (thank you, YouPorn).

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
I'm in grad school and hating it, so I haven't had a partner in a couple years (ouch, that hurts to type); my last partner and I were emotionally young, so it never came up, though I'm sure we both watched porn at the time.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
Porn is for sure different than sex...also, all this is very skewed by the lack of relationships for the last two years or so. Porn I watch is usually bi-centric or lesbian, though I love when I can find straight sex that isn't violent or "come on her face."

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
When I watch porn, it makes me feel awkward. Not dirty necessarily, because I'm comfortable with being a woman with desires, but I feel awkward watching porn because I know how shit it is to women. And above all, I'm a giant feminist. A lonely one, but a feminist above all.
10 of 16
Age: 30
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men
Porn-viewing frequency: 1.5 times per week
Porn source:
xvideos.com

When did you first watch porn?
After living in East Africa for almost four years, when I moved from Kigali, Rwanda to rural Western Kenya.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
I watch alone on a Saturday morning, or on a lazy weekend afternoon.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
It's a bit different, often a slightly more extreme version of the sex I want to have, but almost always has a focus on breasts, which for me is because my breasts are super-sensitive. It's also often slightly taboo — a male partner stimulating his female partner's breasts, or just straight-up breastfeeding with his female partner while she gets him off, or two girls stimulating each other's breasts, or a slightly older woman having a threesome with two black men, or a mother and stepson where you can tell she's sort of dominating him and showing him what to do to her.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
I'd like to see more sensual porn, stuff with more focus on the anticipation and excitement, skin sensation, and less focus on just sticking things into orifices... I think it can be great; I sometimes feel like I've learned more about my body by watching other people's bodies. And, just the whole idea of learning by watching other people, the whole aspect of voyeurism, makes it kind of sexy in a mischievous, innocuously rebellious kind of way. Then again, this whole idea of people putting themselves out there to be watched, it's totally liberating. It's like tapping one of society's most ancient sharing economies.
11 of 16
Age: 23
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Women
Porn-viewing frequency: Once every month
Porn source:
I've watched XXX Tube, but would prefer queer feminist stuff like Crash Pad.

When did you first watch porn?
I was 20, abroad, drunk, with two friends (a straight male and a straight/questioning female) and we went back to the dude's place after making out a bit at the bar and watched some porn. It was generally unpleasant...unsexy.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
[I'm] in the mood generally after seeing images of hot women (in particular, reading Autostraddle's NSFW Sunday) and if I'm home alone. I watch alone.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
Definitely queer feminist porn. I don't watch too much because Crash Pad costs money and I'm not dedicated enough to watching porn to have a desire to pay for it. I'm interested in watching slightly kinkier porn...and I'd be into trying for kinkier sex.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
I always feel a bit ashamed when I watch it. I'm generally not super into it, not enough to pay for it for sure, even though I respect that people deserve to be paid well for this sort of work. Some people are into porn, and that's okay...but the free stuff is so shitty and exploitative, it does make me feel a bit uncomfortable.
12 of 16
Age: 27
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Women
Porn-viewing frequency: 1-2 times a year
Porn source: Pirated movies

When did you first watch porn? Age 20.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
Usually with my partner and friends whom we then have four- to fivesomes with. We typically play a drinking game while watching (Example: Take a shot every time someone slaps someone else’s genitals).

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
[We watch] funny or movie-themed, straight or lesbian porn... [It’s] very very different [from the sex I have].

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
[I would like to see] realistic, non-amateur lesbian porn. I have never seen high-quality, produced lesbian porn that had any resemblance to real lesbian sex… [Most porn is] misogynist, focused on male pleasure, or filmed with male gaze in mind. Not sexy at all to me — thats why I only watch it for the drinking game.
Advertisement
13 of 16
Age: 25
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Men
Porn-viewing frequency: 2 times a week
Porn source: xvideos.com

When did you first watch porn?
Age 15, I believe. I just did a little Google search and found some amateur stuff. I was into it!

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
I usually watch it alone. I tried to show some to my partner recently and it was distracting and boring to do it together.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
[I watch] amateur and threesomes/group sex. I've never had a threesome, and I'm interested, but I can't imagine who I would be open to welcoming into my five-year relationship.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
I feel like it's just a normal part of life. It does make me sad sometimes when I happen across videos that hurt women or perhaps even videos in which the woman or man seem too young… [I’d like to see more] feminist porn. Beautiful women in charge, but not bondage.
14 of 16
Age: 27
Identifies as: Female/genderqueer
Has sex with: Women
Porn-viewing frequency: A few times a month
Porn source: xvideos.com

When did you first watch porn?
After college.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
Alone, when I want to masturbate and want to see something other than what I usually think about.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
I like lots of things but am not into situations with an imbalance of power, which seem to be everywhere. I sometimes watch group sex but wouldn't want to do that in real life — same with heterosexual sex.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
I like it; I think it's a perfectly healthy way to explore sexuality. Again, I just want all parties to be respected, and I get upset and turned off when this is not the case.
15 of 16
Age: 29
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Anyone on the gender spectrum
Porn-viewing frequency: Once a week
Porn source: Reddit, YouPorn mostly

When did you first watch porn?
When I was about 13 years old. When squiggle porn still existed. Does that count?

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
Mostly when I'm alone and looking at pictures on reddit... I'm on several nsfw subreddits. Sometimes [I watch] with my partner when we're discussing a performer we really like or haven't seen much of.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
Lots [of it is]...but mostly gang bangs, girl-on-girl, and MMF threesomes. There's a few performers I tend to go back to...Stoya, Asa Akira, James Deen, Bella Donna. As for porn vs. the sex I have…it depends. I'm into BDSM, but don't really watch heavy BDSM porn. I guess I'd be interested in more threesomes or gang bangs, since I do watch that often.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
I enjoy watching porn and don't feel ashamed to watch...especially as a female. Porn in general has a bit to go before appealing to a broader audience, but there's definitely some performers doing some pretty rad things in the industry… [I would like to see] porn with a little more diversity as far as appearance of performers. Alt porn still seems kind of schtick-y and almost adhering to a specific kink.
16 of 16
Age: 34
Identifies as: Female
Has sex with: Women
Porn-viewing frequency: Not regularly, maybe 1-2 times per month
Porn source: Usually I just go to xhamster's lesbian porn section. Yes, I am aware it's not all female-centered, generally, but porn allows me to explore things I may not agree with but can get off to.

When did you first watch porn?
When I was 13, there was soft porn on cable. I watched more seriously when I was 18.

Do you watch alone, with a partner, or both?
I watch alone; it's my time to shine. Usually, it's due to outside temptation that I do not act upon, or daydreaming.

Is the porn you watch different from the sex you have?
I don't like girls who make shrill shrieks, I tend to like moaners, women who are sensual and uninhibited. I think I incorporate certain aspects [of that], but I realize that real sex is not meant for performance. I am more concerned with bonding.

How do you feel about your porn-watching and porn in general?
It's not a big deal to me. I like my time alone, and it is another facet to my sexuality. I have orgasms without porn or with porn. I also realize it is different for everyone, and while I wouldn't be with someone who required porn to have an orgasm, I'd be okay with my girlfriend watching.
Advertisement