Exploring sexuality

How many women watch porn?

It’s common knowledge that more men than women watch porn. But just how many women actually watch or browse porn is something of a mystery. “I think more women watch it than talk about it or admit to it,” says Elizabeth McGrath, a sex therapist in the San Francisco Bay area. McGrath believes there’s a cultural expectation for men to watch porn and a stigma against women watching it. Many of McGrath’s female clients, she said, feel they need permission or encouragement to experiment with porn, and McGrath contends most women will not engage with porn without that push. She estimates around 40 to 50 percent of women watch porn, but that fewer than that will admit to it. Data from Pornhub, a porn streaming site, finds that 24 percent of their worldwide visitors are women, and a survey by Cosmopolitan magazine found that 3.8 percent of women who watch porn use it daily, 25 percent use porn every few days, and 71.2 percent don’t use porn that often. For men those numbers were 32.5 percent, 56.5 percent, and 11 percent, respectively. Whatever the real number of women watching porn is, McGraff believes it’s too low. She sees porn as a positive means of exploring one’s sexuality, and encourages women to check it out on their own.

Read the full story at Men’s Journal magazine.

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