James Delingpole

Do women really watch as much porn as men?

3 August 2013

9:00 AM

3 August 2013

9:00 AM

You may be aware that David Cameron — as part of a secret, Lynton Crosby-inspired operation codenamed Suck Up Shamelessly To The Embittered Authoritarian Killjoy Harpies At Mumsnet — has decreed that as from next year the default option when you sign a contract with your new internet provider will be ‘No porn in this household, thank you. I think it’s a disgrace.’

Superficially (and does this coalition ever think any other way?) I can see this makes a lot of sense. After all, what do a growing national debt, falling living standards, rising inflation, skyrocketing energy prices, out-of-control immigration, Weimar-style money-printing, a burgeoning new housing bubble, a failed health service and a collapsing infrastructure matter when you’ve got the most important problem of our times, so to speak, in hand, viz. blokes sneaking a quick one off the wrist while their missus has popped down to Waitrose to stock up on Mabel Pearman’s Burford Brown eggs, Isigny Ste Mere unsalted butter and that Duchy Originals cider on special offer at just £1.45 a bottle?

What I don’t think Dave quite appreciates, though, is how much friction this scheme is going to cause in households across the land.

She: ‘You accidentally ticked the opt-in box. Luckily I spotted just in time.’

He: ‘What!

She: ‘Well you can’t seriously think we need pornography on our home network. It won’t be long before Johnny starts looking for this sort of thing — in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t already.’


He: ‘So what if he does? Boys will be boys. He’s got to learn sometime. At school we all used to have dog-eared copies of Penthouse with the best pages stuck together…’

She: ‘Yes, but that was aeons ago. Now it’s all donkeys and underage girls and rape porn. You’ve no idea what terrible stuff they show on the internet these days.’

He: ‘Well you’ve no idea, clearly. Where did you read all that rubbish? Jan Moir’s Daily Mail article?’

She: ‘And since when were you the great expert on internet por… Oh my God. You don’t? Surely you don’t…?’ Etc.

That dialogue, I must confess, I plagiarised shamelessly from a much more explicit column I wrote on the subject of men and masturbation at (appropriately enough) Bogpaper.com. But I think it’s worth repeating a) because most of you don’t read Bogpaper, b) because I’m on holiday in Salcombe and the more words I can get out of the way quickly the sooner I can pop down to the Victoria Inn for one of those great value Mojitos they do and c) because thanks to that piece I’ve learned some fascinating new things about porn which I’d like to share with you.

The main one is this: women, it turns out, can be just as mad for internet porn as men. No, I didn’t believe this either. Of course, I knew that most women are passionately — and frankly, disgustingly — into poorly written bondage fantasies, hence Fifty Shades of Grey. But I thought rudey-rude close-ups of male and female naughty bits doing filthy things on a screen was the sort of thing women only really watched on sufferance to please their men as a consolation prize for not agreeing to rope in their best girlfriend for a cheeky birthday-present threesome.

And I didn’t think this, by the way, because I’m under the illusion that women are any less depraved than blokes. It’s more that I’ve always assumed that girls are a bit less basic. With us chaps it’s the pure, grubby, carnal physicality of the sexual act that gets us off (‘Oh look it’s one of those things like you see in a porn mag, only for real and I’m about to stick my wotsit in it. How great is that?’) whereas with girls it’s about the mood, the ambiance, the heady peripherals… (Hence the need for all that rigmarole beforehand where you have to go through the tedious business of persuading them that they want the thing that you could have told them half an hour ago they wanted and saved yourselves an awful lot of bother.)

But according to some of my techie friends, this isn’t the case at all. They’re the ones who have to clear up all the viruses which you accidentally invited into your computer along when you were trying to Google the weather and mistakenly typed in ‘Romanian donkey babes xxx hardcore’ instead.

Here’s what one of them has to say: ‘The very worst I came across was a shared houseful of young ladies. It took over eight hours to do just the first pass with the antivirus software. That pass removed over 58,000  pieces of malware and spyware, and just under 2,000 viruses. It took all the next day to finish cleaning their computer. I told them it was the worst case of an infected computer I had ever come across, and one asked how it had happened for it to be so bad. Easy I said. Porn sites. They all went bright red and then the hilarity ensued, as the finger pointing started.’

Yes all right, that’s just one case, cited in one email. But I’ve had confirmation of this from other techies, not to mention various female readers — one of whom wrote indignantly to object to my characterisation of women as porn-shunning prudes, another of whom wrote from the US to say how, having read my piece, she’d bought her hubby a premier porn subscription and, my, what joy it had brought them both.

I realise, of course, that there are still plenty of puritans out there who feel differently. To them I quote first Thomas Sowell: ‘What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don’t like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don’t expect freedom to survive very long.’ And second, Pastor Niemoller: ‘First they came for the wankers…’.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • John Smith

    3 August?

  • LaBoheme

    If you think that all women like 50 Shades and are only interested in ambiance and heady peripherals, I can only assume that you’ve had a really boring sex life. Why can’t you attract women who are interested in sex and who enjoy it? Does your braying public school persona put them off or something?

    • StephanieJCW

      🙂

  • rtj1211

    Clearly one of the surveys which should be done is a statistical correlation between women outraged by the concept of porn and sexual frustration due to turning their men friends into passive, impotent wimps.

    Never done the stats myself, but every woman I’ve met who turned men into impotent wimps (not very many, which makes stats impossible) always expressed an outraged disgust for porn……

    Maybe the solution to their wimpish boyfriends should be a dose of rampant alpha-males rogering women senseless in porn videos??!!

    A lot cheaper than years of sex therapists, isn’t it?!

    Probably best to tell the impotent bloke to go on holiday alone, chat up some real bimbos and find out if a lusty busty blonde airhead tickles his fancy??

    Then he can come home and dump his girlfriend, citing her uselessness in bed and control-freakery out of it.

    All’s well that ends well, after all……..

    • StephanieJCW

      “Clearly one of the surveys which should be done is a statistical correlation between women outraged by the concept of porn and sexual frustration due to turning their men friends into passive, impotent wimps.”

      I am pretty sure the statistical correlation will be zero.

      In fact that doesn’t even make sense – why would they have any interest into turning their ‘men friends’ into passive impotent wimps? Did you actually think before applying finger to touchpad?

      “Maybe the solution to their wimpish boyfriends should be a dose of rampant alpha-males rogering women senseless in porn videos??!!”

      If this is your idea of good sex (for the woman at least) I feel sorry for any woman desperate enough to climb into bed with you. The jack rabbit is outdated.

  • I think that there is much evidence for the view that the more are women able to expose themselves in a sexually-enticing manner – via porn or otherwise – the more power in a society do they have.

  • Terry Field

    Ladies concern themselves with knitting and cooking. Pornography is, in general, not their cup of tea.

  • george

    To The Spectator: Keep it classy, eh? If we want prurient garbage there’s always Cosmopolitan (etc.). This is gutter stuff, and I thought you were well above that.

    • Ian Walker

      You might want to read that last paragraph again, George.

      • george

        Why? I’m not concerned about being thought a ‘puritan’ — whatever that means. I’m an atheist of the 21st century, but I do have taste and a wholesome view of sex. I don’t have to prove that a gentleman does not stoop to certain behaviours, nor wants to. I think it’s the prurient types that ought to be defending (or better yet, hiding) their seediness and lack of judgement, not the other way around.

        If The Speccie wants to run analyses of seedy things, then fine and dandy. But if it merely wants to parade seediness trying to pass as journalism, it’s letting itself down. And letting down its readers (though not all of them, I grant you).

        • Ian Walker

          You beg the question that viewing pornography is seedy. Whereas James’ “research,” even if it is flimsy, is that in fact it’s perfectly normal part of modern human sexual behaviour.
          Whereas the faux-prudes of mumsnet et al turn out to be increasingly the ones who are deviant sexually, and lash out through their political connections at those who don’t fit their ludicrous ideals.
          Just because something is written in a witty and light-hearted way, doesn’t mean that it isn’t serious journalism. I’d invite you to imagine yourself disappearing up your own backside, but you’d only censor it.

          • george

            I’m asserting that it’s seedy, yes. It’s bad for serious loving relationships, and I think it’s deforming to the heart and character.

          • First L

            How did you gain such an amazing insight into other people’s sexual habits, beliefs, desires and fantasies?

            Or is this purely your opinion?

          • george

            I’m a thinker and a reader. It’s my judgement, but to you will it probably remain a mere opinion. C’est la vie.

          • First L

            Doesn’t matter what you are. Your judgement is simply not relevant to the vast majority of other people.

          • george

            So say you. I speak for the civilized person under siege. What do YOU speak for?

          • First L

            You speak for yourself. No one else. Other people may agree with you. A lot of people will disagree with you.

            Pornography exists and has existed since the year dot. The Roman art recovered from Pompeii is just as bad as stuff on the internet. There’s surviving porn from the ancient Egyptians, the ancient Japanese, the ancient Indians, the ancient Africans. Hell there are pornographic cave paintings. Why? Because people want the damn stuff.

            You claim you speak for the civilised person under siege – you have no understanding of civilisation. Porn, Prostitution and Sex have existed alongside civilisation since we invented the damn thing. So you personally don’t need, want or partake in it – makes no difference. You have no right to tell other people what they need want or can partake in – you can try and ban it from civilisation – just like all the thousands of other puritans who have completely and utterly failed to ban things that other people insist on having. Personally I suggest you take up something more productive with your life. Model aeroplanes – that sort of thing.

          • george

            No need to be so touchy, sport. If it’s your weakness, we understand. It doesn’t make you a hero, though, does it?

          • First L

            Who said anything about being touchy? You’re talking bollocks and I’m calling you on it. The subject matter makes no difference, your argument would still be rubbish. You say it on pornography – others have said it about liquor – guess what happened – Al Capone. Others have said it about drugs – oh look at all those Mexican Drug Lords that control Mexico with AK47’s. That policy works so well doesn’t it. How many people have died because of the war on drugs or because of the Chicago mob wars over the speakeasies.

            You’re trying to pass my opposing your argument on your assumption that I enjoy pornography in an attempt to denigrate me and therefore a desperate attempt to invalidate my argument through a personal attack. The fact is I could be Richard Desmond or Desmond Tutu, your argument would still be wrong. Get pornography banned and all that happens is that the relatively well regulated industry immediately dives underground and women get trafficked, abused, raped and murdered and absolutely bugger all changes because the men who want pornography will take precisely 2 seconds longer to get their hands on it.

            Are you happy to see women in the sex industry get hurt to continue your so called ‘moral’ crusade?

          • Fergus Pickering

            And because people want something they should have it, eh? What about people who want pictures and videos of children being raped. Can they have that because they want it? What about people who want pictures and videos of women being whipped. Or being beheaded. There are certainly people who want this. Who are you to say they shouldn’t have it?

            Your argument ought to be straight J.S..Mill. But t hat won’t really wash because your assertion that NICE pornography never did anyone any harm is just that – an assertion. I suggest it has done you harm. Self-evidently. .

          • Fergus Pickering

            Dear me, George. You appear to have touched a nerve. Didn’t you know that smutty stuff is cool. Sex is goo for you like yoghurt.

          • george

            Good job I eat a lot of yoghurt, then!

  • saint_91

    I wouldn’t say equal amounts, but people at the porn creation end used to quote women as being 20-25% of their consumers. Now it’s closer to 45%. And just go to Tumblr’s porn blogs to see how many girls are fawning over James Deen and Manuel Ferrara.

  • Eddie

    Yes, women consume porn – emo-porn like silly airheaded women’s magazines, and silly gormless bimbo TV shows, and Mills and Boon, or if you think u is middle class, the Jane Austen’s drivel…
    Men have visual porn, and nuffink wrong with that. Just because self-righteous nagging women don’t like it, does not make it wrong (and porn is utterly harmless according to most expert opinion and evidence; hysterics at mumsnet deserve to be reminded that they really are just ignorant gossip mongers).

    • george

      What an ignorant comment. Jane Austen is a giant of our liberal quarter-millenium — and as such is obviously well over your head. Pornography is not harmless, and in fact is nasty hurtful stuff. Just ask the ‘actresses’ who ‘perform’ in it.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I must say in my ignorance that I would have thought videos of men raping children might be harmful. To the children being raped for a start. But I take it that’s not the porn you mean. You are talking about NICE porn. How much on the net is NICE and how much is NASTY?

  • The Elderking

    It was recently reported that whilst 10% of men are addicted to porn 17%, yes 17%, of women are.

    Further more they get flatulence. No, really.

    • Fergus Pickering

      But only if they are addicted to porn, I take it.

  • StephanieJCW

    I doubt it. Namely because most porn is created with a male audience in mind. It’s a bit like expecting men and women to watch Sex and The City in equal numbers. I do enjoy porn but most of my female friends go out of their way to seek out porn made for females (frequently by females.)

    • Eddie

      Women have emotional pornography; males have visual physical stimulation. This is because – shock horror – men and women are not in fact equal or the same, but are utterly different biologically and physiologically (and emotionally and mentally) because that is how evolution created them – for utterly different roles in life. (Does not mean males and females should be treated unequally of course, but males and femals, speaking generally – as all feminists do too – men and women are not equal or the same, which is why they don’t have the same outcomes – pardon the pun…)
      The bare fact is: women are born to give birth; men are born to impregnate. No amount of Jane Austen and silly Sunday Evening women’s romantic dramas can erase that fact from the world.
      But lots of women hate S and the City too. Common and vulgar and crude and words many women would use – especially older women who don’t see having multiple partners as a tickety boo empowering thing.
      But yes, it is escapism – and that is like porn to men: it is not meant to be realisim, and the hysteria we see now is just yet more evidence of the ‘silly-fication’ and parallel feminisation of our politics, culture and media.

      • StephanieJCW

        “Women have emotional pornography; males have visual physical stimulation”

        Emotional pornography?

        What nonsense are you talking about? This is about porn. Actual porn. Not something you have made up in your head. Sex and The City / Jane Austen / Romantic Dramas these are not porn.

        Porn is sex. Visual depictions of sex. I doubt women watch it as much as men, not because of your weird beliefs that women require ’emotional’ stimulation, but because most porn is aimed at men. Not because it is visual but because 95% of heterosexual porn is basically a man wanking using a woman’s body instead of his hand. It’s about the man as evidenced by the fact that the “climax” (pardon the pun) is typically when the man climaxes, female participant be damned.

        So it is not interesting for many women. Porn where the woman’s sexual desires are held in equal value to the man’s is more popular – hence why women seek out porn made for women or don’t bother.

        “This is because – shock horror – men and women are not in fact equal or the same, but are utterly different biologically and physiologically (and emotionally and mentally) because that is how evolution created them – for utterly different roles in life”

        Blank slate nonsense. I agree that conditioning certainly leads to some observable differences between men and women, but this isn’t all men and all women and the science as to whether this is innate/biological or social conditioning is still up for debate.

        “The bare fact is: women are born to give birth; men are born to impregnate.”

        Yes women are born with the capacity to give birth and men are born with the capacity to impregnate. How on earth is that soundbite relevant to discussing whether women watch porn as much as men?

      • Marietta Sojourner Truth Higgs

        What’s happened to “Sarah”? I used to enjoy your little spats.

  • StephanieJCW

    Oh and 50 Shades was crap and barely ‘porn’. I couldn’t even finish it.

  • William Reid Boyd

    Tell your Romanian donkey fancying readership not to bother with techie experts. Pretty well any of the standard anti-virus programs, Norton, Avast, McAfee, Kasaperky and so on, will do the job and it doesn’t matter how infected your computer is because it’s the sweep itself that’s CPU dependent, not dealing with it.

    Are you into anal, by any chance James? I ask because this does now seem to be a preoccupation of modern porn, whereas I really can’t remember it featuring very much in the 1970s porn I used to watch in the sweaty basement clubs of Brewer Street. So where did that all come from? For that matter Brazilians. Porn also?

    Just curious. Your expert feedback appreciated.

  • slyblade

    Men have watch sex ever since Eve said to Adam “drop your fig leaf big boy and show me your one eyed snake.” if you don’t want your kids to watch it turn on the parental control.

  • Gareth

    I guess men in general are visual thus like porn, women in general are less so and respond more to how they are treated by men so less inclined to look at porn.

Close