A British researcher spent five years asking women what they like to watch when they view explicit adult videos, and her findings may not be quite what was expected, according to a report this week by the site IFL Science. Lucy Neville, a lecturer at Britain’s University of Leicester, found that fully 25 percent of regular viewers on the popular adult online site PornHub were women — but that when the audience is narrowed only to videos featuring all-male gay explicit scenes, that figure went up to 37 percent.
In other words, almost 4 out of every 10 viewers of sexually graphic gay videos are women, according to the PornHub site’s own statistics. In addition, for women over age 45 who visit the site, male gay videos are the single most popular genre, while for women age 18 to 44 years old, scenes featuring “boy-on-boy” are the second most popular type of adult viewing — exceeded only by videos of lesbian women.
Overall, women are nearly 70 percent more likely than men to enjoy watching men have sex with other men in adult videos, according to the stats.
Neville, whose book summarizing her findings — Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys: Women and Gay Male Pornography and Erotica — was published this week, says she found that most women who enjoy the gay adult scenes “imagine themselves as men during their sexual fantasies,” according to a report on Neville’s findings by the University of Leicester, where Neville is a member of the criminology department.
“We still live in a society where we are very much conditioned to see the naked male — and particularly the naked penis — as either gross, funny or scary,” Neville wrote in an article about her study for The Conversation site. “We don’t get to see men as sensual or vulnerable. A lot of the women I spoke to were keen to find a way to look at men and appreciate male grace and beauty.”
Neville also reported that women who enjoy gay male adult scenes see their own sexuality as “something fluid and playful.” Her research found that “more than half the women I spoke to (55 percent) imagine themselves as a man when masturbating,” she wrote in her Conversation article.
Many of the women who fantasized about themselves as men found doing so to be “empowering” and “exciting,” according to the IFL Science report. In fact, many women who enjoyed that particular fantasy found themselves pitying men “who they believed feel less freedom to experiment with their identity in this way,” Neville discovered.