The above comic is from XKCD, and I couldn’t agree more.
Recently there has been a whole lot of talk about porn for women. But what does that actually mean? People imagine things about the way the porn is shot, the idea of having a storyline, softer imagery, more romance… There’s nothing wrong with that kind of porn, except that it’s not something for ALL women, and there are a lot of men who like that kind of porn. So, that’s not really porn for WOMEN, is it?
A lot of people include the stipulation that porn for women has to show lots of woman-centric pleasure. Does that mean that The Art of Blowjob or Slow Motion Blowjob could never be porn for women because it focuses (on the surface, anyways) on man-oriented pleasure? I certainly don’t think so.
Women like all kinds of different things. Some like the soft, romantic kind of porn that mainstream porn companies expect them to, but a lot also like much harder stuff or specific niches that may not seem woman-friendly at all. To assume that all women like one thing is just as damaging as assuming that all men like one thing, which is what has created the need for “porn for women” (if there is such a need) in the first place! If we hadn’t created a porn industry that thinks that all men only want hardcore porn without any nuance, emotion or artistry, we wouldn’t have to ascribe those qualities to women by default.
So, what’s the alternative? I think there’s lots of value in “romance porn” which is a legitimate genre that can appeal to both men and women. Same with glam, beautiful porn, story-driven porn, softcore porn… All of those things are valid without attaching them solely to women. It makes it seem like porn with training wheels for us delicate women. Treating your growing audience that way is not the best way to endear them to porn, especially if many of them gravitate towards other kinds of porn.
Instead, I think that porn performers, directors, companies and blogs should reach out to women and making it clear that women are part of the audience and the conversation. Using respectful language about women (or at least explaining that it’s fantasy when they don’t) and not making assumptions that everyone watching porn is a guy will be a great step towards making women feel included in porn viewership. I’m sure there are lots of other things to do, but I have this conversation a lot with a lot of people and it seems like making women feel included from the ground up is important to get to actually understanding what, if anything, unifies women in the way they approach porn.
What do you think? Do we need “porn for women” or is that just all porn?