Guess What? Women Watch Porn -- And It Can Be Incredibly Empowering

PSA: Women Watch Porn Too

November 28, 2020 Updated November 29, 2020

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The first time I watched porn, I was fifteen and with a group of girlfriends at a sleepover. Their parents were gone, we each had a shot of some disgusting whiskey, and our host dug into her parents’ porn collection.

Of course we all laughed and acted like it was so gross as we watched two women pleasure each other. I now know we were all feeling feelings we weren’t sure we should be feeling. I mean, who talked about women watching porn? It certainly wasn’t discussed in sex education classes, our parents never gave us the okay, and it seemed like it was something which was acceptable for the boys to do, but not girls.

Nope, we were supposed to act grossed out and like we didn’t enjoy watching it at all.

While I shouldn’t speak for my girlfriends, I will: I’m pretty sure it aroused us all in some way. Sure, there were other thoughts and emotions associated with it. Maybe some guilt and confusion. I myself remember feeling dirty, ashamed, and like I would never admit to anyone it turned me on. After all, what would that say about me?

That was way before pornography was a click away on our smartphones, but I remember wanting to get my hands on more, and reading erotic books when I could find them.

I certainly didn’t watch or read a lot of it, but it did help me build my confidence around what I like sexually and made me realize it was okay to be sexual. However, I never felt like I could talk about the fact that I enjoyed porn. It always felt like a dirty little secret I had to keep tucked away.

Of course, I didn’t realize that at the time, I (like most other teenagers) had one final goal in mind: to get off.

As I got older and more comfortable with my sexuality and my partners, I also got more comfortable watching (and admitting to watching) porn. I found it helped me when I felt like I was in a rut and needed to get my juices flowing. 

After my divorce, I spent a lot of time single, and that meant my vibrators got more of a workout and my porn watching increased. For me, it was a form of self care and was incredibly fulfilling. I knew I wasn’t ready to give myself to anyone else, but hey, I could have my way with myself whenever I wanted. There’s no need to deprive yourself of a great orgasm just because you don’t have anyone to give it to you. I had the power to give one to myself, and many times, watching porn was my form of foreplay.

A new study in Environmental Study and Public Health found that women who watched pornography of their choice had a positive impact on their sex life — whether solo or with a partner.

Over 2,000 women were studied, and according to the results, women who watched porn during masturbation or with a partner, became more aroused, had stronger orgasms, and orgasmed more frequently than those who didn’t watch porn.

When I eventually did settle down with a partner again, I felt liberated and like I knew more than ever what I needed sexually.

Andrea Wailing, Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, told The Conversation,  “Pornography can create a more open and permissible environment for couples to explore erotic fantasies together, and facilitate greater intimacy and connection. It can also enable sexual confidence, and positive community formation for LGBTQIA+ people.”

That sounds like a great way to explore sex with a partner, especially if it’s hard for you to talk about things you’d like to do in the bedroom. You can watch your fantasy together and let it be a nice opener (see what I did there?) to have the experience you want.

You could even send a clip to your lover and say, “I’d love to do this with you.” Talk about empowering!

Of course it all depends on how it’s used, Wailing points out. It’s important to not to adapt unrealistic expectations from porn and realize it’s a form of entertainment. 

Masturbation has been linked to lots of benefits such as lower stress, better sleep, and higher self-esteem.

So, if watching porn helps you get there, why not use it as a tool with intention to make yourself feel more alive and improve your sex life?

We can’t deny there is a stigma around women watching porn. It’s incredibly accepted for men (and boys) to watch it, and we all just chalk it up as something they are going to do, regardless. It’s normalized for men and should be normalized for women because hello, watching porn isn’t just a “guy thing.” It really is okay to say this out loud.

We need to do the same with our women and girls. There’s no need to make anyone feel bad for watching porn, and we do that by talking about the fact it can have many positive benefits for our sexuality as well as our sex life. Getting aroused and wanting to masturbate and be sexual are all completely normal parts of being human.

Porn has a place in a woman’s life — and it’s nothing we should be ashamed of, ever.