Women

… Look at porn, that is. From threesomes and spanking to, term, sex with gnomes you’re (nearly) all at it. But love it or hate it, everyone has an opinion on porn. We decided to find out what you think, quizzing more than 2000 readers about how it makes you feel, how it shapes your relationships and, of course, what really turns you on.

Description: 29% of you like seeing or reading about girl-on-girl action, and porn has inspired 9% of you to try it in real life

29% of you like seeing or reading about girl-on-girl action, and porn has inspired 9% of you to try it in real life

Liz, 23, is more open about porn than the average woman. She and her friends talk about it unlike three quarters of GLAMOUR readers, who’d rather flash their pay slip than tell their friends they watch the occasional dirty movie. But where she is typical is in how she feels about it, because Liz, like a whopping 87% of you, has used porn. Pretty regularly in her case (“when masturbating and occasionally with boyfriends”), and certainly enough to know what she likes. “I prefer the woman not to look too fake, and to look like they’re enjoying themselves,” she says. “It often takes me quite a long time to find a video I like.”

If you go by what you hear from MPs and campaigners, pornography is responsible for everything from marital breakdown to the premature sexualisation of children. Some women believe it’s degrading both to the people being filmed and the audience who watch it. And even David Cameron is weighing in, meeting internet service providers to discuss whether customers should have to ‘opt in’ to see it (with the aim of protecting kids). In among all of this, there’s a persistent assumption that it’s only really men, not women, who are into it.

But that’s not what you’ve told us. Like Liz, 60% of GLAMOUR readers have been turned on by porn. And you reflect a big shift in attitudes over the past 20 years. “In the 1990s, it was incredibly difficult to get women to talk about porn – it really did feel taboo,” says Dr. Clarissa Smith, a lecturer at the University of Sunderland and researcher at pornresearch.org. “Now, it seems much less so. That doesn’t mean all women like it, but the idea that women never look at it has changed.” Has it ever. For some, the answer is not less porn, but better porn. Philosopher and founder of The School of Life Alain de Botton recently announced that he’s working on launching a “better” porn site. “We shouldn’t have to choose between being human and being sexual,” he says. As long as it involves hot naked guys, we’re OK with that.

Description: “In the 1990s, it was incredibly difficult to get women to talk about porn – it really did feel taboo,”

“In the 1990s, it was incredibly difficult to get women to talk about porn – it really did feel taboo,”

Why we’re watching it

Let’s repeat that statistic again: 87% of GLAMOUR readers have looked at porn. You may not use it regularly only 30% of those who responded said they used porn once a month or more but the stereotype that only men like sexy pictures? Officially over.

You’re not doing it for men, either. When we asked you to share your reasons for using porn, only 16% said you did it because your partner liked it. And while 55% of you have watched porn with a partner, more of you (65%) use it on your own. Women still use porn in lower numbers than men or, at least, are less willing to talk about it. Of nearly 5,500 responses to the Porn Research Online survey by pornresearch.org, only 31.6% were from women. But even that can be exciting, says Harriet, 31. “There’s a sense you’re trespassing in a male domain.” And our numbers suggest a generational shift: younger women are not only slightly more likely to have used porn; they’re also using it on a more regular basis.

What we’re watching

For the most part, your tastes are simple, but occasionally, you go for something a little more out-there: Nadia, 29, recalls watching an animated film featuring a cartoon princess getting it on with a gnome, a robot and a flower pot…

Male nudity 46%

Female nudity 39%

Oral sex 31%

Sex in unusual places 27%

Masturbation 26%

Role-play 24%

Spanking 16%

Anal sex 10%

Man-on-man sex 5%

How we’re watching it

“Skype sex is really just phone sex for our generation. I find it exciting and new and really enjoy it” Kelly, 27

If you – like Laura, 33 think that porn is just “men with big penises banging young hairless women and jizzing on their faces”, you might be a bit confused as to why any woman would want to look at pornography. But what counts as ‘porn’ depends on who is doing the defining, says relationship psychologist Susan Quilliam. “Most people would accept that porn that promotes violence is not acceptable,” says Quilliam. “It’s the huge grey area in between that’s interesting.” Those who haven’t used it may imagine it’ s all slickly produced flicks full of fake boobs and thinly veiled misogyny, but porn also encompasses erotic fiction, amateur videos and even sexing.

With so much debate over that “grey idea” (including the smash hit novel Fitty Shades of Grey), it makes sense that the number one reason GLAMOUR readers cite for their own forays into pornography is “curiosity” (46%). Other reasons include to get yourself in the mood for sex or masturbation (37%), because it feels “naughty” (32%) and for ideas or inspiration (23%). But while 26% of Glamour readers look at online porn at least once a month and 13% read erotic fiction, DVDs are the choice of only 6% of you.

How it’s shaping our relationships

Given how many of you report positive experiences with pornography, it’s no surprise that for the most part, Glamour readers are happy for their partners to use it as well. The majority of you (60%) told us you “wouldn’t be bothered” if the person you were in a relationship with used porn; only 4% think it’s worse than cheating.

Description: How it’s shaping our relationships

Of course, there’s often a gap between how we predict we’d feel and how we react when it really happens. Bronwen, 35, recalls an ex-lover whose “obsessive” use of porn ended up meaning his sex drive was depleted by the time they were in bed together. “I tried not to let it bother me, but I found it frustrating when it impacted on our sexual relationship,” she recalls.

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