Vitality

What Women Want On Pornhub: Why Lesbian Porn And Threesomes May Be Popular Among Females

Two women about to kiss
Here's what women’s porn habits on Pornhub, from searching lesbian porn to threesomes, say about their fantasies. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Fewer women than men watch pornography on the regular, although more women actually watch porn than talk about it. The rise of Internet porn has made adult videos become something that is readily accessible for both men and women. According to a recent Pornhub study in collaboration with The Daily Beast, women’s porn habits from all over the world, from lesbian porn, threesomes, and squirting (peeing), may reveal a lot about their past experiences and sexual fantasies.

Although women don’t talk about it, half of young adult women (aged 18-26) agree that viewing porn is an acceptable way of expressing one’s sexuality. Millennials’ “morally acceptable” view of porn is reflected in Pornhub’s age demographics, with women beating men in the 18 to 24 range by five percentage points. However, female porn viewership decreases in the 45-54, 55-65, and 65 age groups when compared to men.

The increase in viewership, specifically lesbian porn and threesomes, among women in this age group can lend itself to how many in their late teens and 20s are experimenting with bisexuality or feel more comfortable reporting same-sex encounters. These rendezvous are even more likely to take place in college, where experimentation is almost viewed as a rite of passage. A 2011 study published in the journal Psychology of Women Quarterly found heterosexual women kissing one another is a common occurrence among college women because college is a time for experimentation. They were motivated by either gaining male attention or bonding with female friends.

This “bicuriousity” can linger on after college and has been found to be entertained in women’s sexual fantasies. A majority of heterosexual women are naturally bi-curious when it comes to their relationships with other women. In a 2011 study published in the Journal of Sex Research, researchers found 60 percent of heterosexual women admitted to being attracted to other women, 45 percent had kissed another woman, and 50 percent had same-sex sexual fantasies. The researchers believe women are more openly affectionate with others of the same-sex because of their friendlier nature. This gives opportunity for intimacy, and even romantic feelings to develop.

These sexual fantasies and feelings of intimacy and romance with another woman are therefore projected onto porn habits. With women currently accounting for 24 percent of Pornhub’s viewership (up one percent from 2014), female viewers are continuously growing, and the way they engage with adult content continues to be an interesting topic for researchers to explore.

Pornhub found lesbian content is the most popular among women with lesbian-related terms like “ebony lesbian” and “girl on girl” commonly searched. In addition to the “Gay (male)” category, they remain the top two most views by women, which is consistent with Pornhub’s previous findings. In terms of most often searched by women, “lesbian,” “threesome,” and “squirt” were among the top three highly searched.  

Women are watching more porn, specifically more same-sex oriented, and they’re also found to be more into rough sex. “Hardcore,” “rough sex,” and “gangbang” were in the top 10 categories viewed more by women compared to men. Typically, these categories are associated with male-oriented hardcore porn, but Pornhub found women actually prefer this to “female-friendly” porn.

A similar study in 2007 published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found women were more likely to be physically aroused with more action. When they were shown a video with more action onscreen, women got more excited, while videos of masturbation led to some arousal, and videos of sexual intercourse led to further arousal.

While Pornhub does provide further insight into women’s porn habits and common patterns, these findings should not be generalized. Not all women have same-sex fantasies and not all women prefer hardcore porn over “female-friendly” porn. Female sexual desire is a complex subject that is unique to each and every woman.

One thing that we can all agree on, though, is that porn is becoming less taboo for women as more and more of them publicly express their sexual fantasies and desires.

Sources: Pornhub and The Daily Beast. More of What Women Want. 2015.

McCarthy L and Yost MR. Girls Gone Wild? Heterosexual Women’s Same-Sex Encounters at College Parties. Psychology of Women Quarterly. 2011.

Morgan EM and Thompson EM. Processes of Sexual Orientation Questioning Among Heterosexual Women. Journal of Sex Research. 2011.

Blanchard R, Chivers ML, Seto MC. Gender and Sexual Orientation Differences in Sexual Response to Sexual Activities Versus Gender of Actors in Sexual Films. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2007.

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