AVN Asks “What Do Women Watch?”

The The February edition of AVN has a cover story entitled What Do Women Watch? I’ve only just managed to read it now because their link to the story was broken until yesterday.

Typically, the article focuses solely on the movie/DVD side of the business, but it does work to cover a lot of bases. They interviewed Tristan Taormino and Susie Bright to find official answers to the “what do women want?” question and I think both women had a lot of positive things to say.

Here’s what Tristan had to say about the lack of female orgasms in porn:

“Too often I feel like porn still focuses on the pop shot, the guy’s orgasm. If a woman comes it’s incidental, like ‘Oh that was cool.’ And there are still fake female orgasms. We have really good radar when it comes to that stuff, and we’ll be immediately like ‘That’s bullshit.’ I don’t think real female orgasms should be undervalued.”

And Susie Bright said:

“Men wouldn’t enjoy movies featuring men with limp dicks. Well women don’t like dry pussies either. They like to see women getting off. I can’t repeat that enough.”

The article quotes the owners of various women’s store retailers like A Woman’s Touch who say that women are becoming increasingly keen to buy porn.


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BUT I’m still amazed that there are naysayers out there. Meredith Christopher, head of production at Adam and Eve says:

“I really don’t think there’s a true women’s market,” she said, conceding that she bases that judgement only on tracking Adam and Eve’s mail order sales.

About 30% of Adam and Eve’s online customers are female and they buy primarily toys and lingerie. We think about 7 percent of women buyers actually buy video, which is a fairly small number.”

Christopher says she likes to cater to men first, and if they women like it too, then it’s just good luck.

And then she comes up with the old chestnut:

Christopher feels that “women are happy with their toys. They don’t necessarily need the visual as much. My theory is that they’re open to adult video, they enjoy watching it with a spouse or a boyfriend, but I don’t know that they purchase it for solo use like men do.”

Given that Adam and Eve are Candida Royalle’s distribution partners, I’m really surprised by these comments.

The article also looks at the producers of films for women – Inpulse/Lennox and Playgirl. These two companies are really big on the whole “women want to see more of the guys” idea. Which has merit, but not when you decide that a heavy focus on the men all that’s required, after which you pack in every annoying men’s porn cliche in the book. Oh, and neglect to include female orgasms.

The people from Wicked are feeling pleased about their partnership with Playgirl.

And, says Wicked’s Sales Manager Bonnie Kail, [the Playgirl titles] are “kicking ass. Really hard. Especially since Wicked’s art directors streamlined the cover art and ads.”

Apparently Wicked and Playgirl have now produced well over 100 titles. Which is a lot. I guess it’s a welcome change for women who want porn but I have this terrible feeling that they’ll all be pretty much exactly the same – and they still won’t have any goddam female orgasms.

Call me cynical, call me jaded, but having seen a couple of these films, I was just sad that they headed off the same old cliched path as so many other “couples” movies.

You never know, maybe they’ll surprise me.

Shirley Isaacson from Inpulse TV had this interesting snippet of info about female porn viewing habits on cable TV:

“After the kids went to school, the buys came in very heavily,” she said. “Around noon they started coming in again. They stopped around 4.00 when kids started coming home from school. So we know women watch by themselves.

So. What will be the result of this cover spread about women’s porn? Will we see a rush of companies eager to cash in on the realisation that yes, women do like porn?

And if we do, are they going to give us the same old shit?

Or will it be dismissed once again as a chimera, as something that belongs in the too hard basket because the market is too small anyway.?

We’ll see.