French Study Finds More Women Watching Porn

Bob Johnson

PARIS — It may not be a shock to the adult industry, but a new French study has found that women like to watch — porn that is.

The research, conducted by the French Institute of Public Opinion (IFOP) for a private study, polled 1,101 people over 18 years-old. Out of the 579 women surveyed, more than 80 percent have watched a hardcore porn film, and at least half fired up a X-rated DVD on their own without a partner.

Men however, are still the predominant porn viewers with a full 99 percent admitting to watching adult films.

But the overall amount of porn hungry women has also increased from 73 percent in 2006 according to the report, up from as little as 23 percent in 1992.

IFOP’s Francois Kraus told the AFP (Agence France-Presse) news agency, "In the space of a few years it has become an accepted thing for women to watch pornography, partly thanks to the Internet, and video-on-demand services that made porn more accessible and took away the shame factor.”

So what’s motivating women to watch porn? According to the study, 62 percent said they wanted to spice up their sex lives. "Women are now consuming porn by themselves," Kraus said. "That goes hand in hand with a widening of sexual behavior, and changing attitudes towards sex toys or fellatio for instance."

And women in their 40’s and younger are the primary porn purchasers, eschewing old taboos — especially when it comes to masturbating, a primary motivator for the upsurge in porn consumption.

Specifically, 40 percent of the women canvassed said they prefer a natural-looking cast, and  "realistic" sex scenes were important for 35 percent of the women, along with 48 percent of the under 35-year-olds.

But it’s not all good news, especially for traditional porn producers who have not embraced the new “sex-positive” and reality-based genres.

Most of the female respondents (71 percent) felt that the adult industry caters only to male fantasies, while 61 percent of men agreed with that view.

Likewise, 72 percent of the women felt the films were "highly degrading" to women, against 50 percent of men, and 57 percent said they were too violent, compared to 41 percent of men.

Watching habits varied. Only 5 percent of women said they watched porn more than once a month and younger women (under 25) consistently watched more porn than their older counterparts (17 percent). Another 13 percent watched a few times a year, compared to 29 percent of men.

But the study found that 34 per cent of men are regular porn hounds.

IFOP also found that nearly 33 percent of women with no sexual experience were regular porn watchers.

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