#LadyPornDay and The Male Gaze

I went on a hunt today for porn for heterosexual women. And I have to tell you, I was pretty disappointed by what I found. I’m not sure whether I’m just a very odd woman, or there is a conspiracy out there bent on denying me what I want, but either way, it’s a desert out there, ladies.

First, I just googled a bit. And unless you are a gay male, you’re shit out of luck.ย  I don’t know about you, but I can tell gay male porn. I can’t explain why, but it speaks to my chemistry and says – very loudly – this is for another man, not for you. As a woman, it shuts me out. Also, the preoccupation with hard bodies and youth that pervades most of gay porn means that I’m really not seeing anything that turns me on. The other problem is with erection sizes – they are all either WAY too huge to contemplate for masturbatory purposes, or almost pre-adolescent.

Notice that even in the picture I’ve posted above (which is undeniably yummy) where the fuck is his leg hair? He’s shaved, for god’s sake! And, not that I’d deny anyone their kink, but shaved legs just don’t shout out TESTOSTERONE to me.

Maymay has written a good article on ‘Women with Male Gazes‘, and this took me over to ‘Lady Porn Day‘ by Rabbit Write. Well, I thought, THIS will cinch it! But what do I see? Almost all the banners for Lady Porn Day feature …naked women! Only three even have men in the picture and not a single one has an erection.

How is it that my consumption of pornographic material, as a hetero woman, is limited to artistic pictures of women – WOMEN!!! I’m sure this is sexy to lesbians with a predilection for pre-pubescent girls, but it doesn’t do a fucking thing for me.

Here’s what happened when I googled ‘Porn for Women”: www.wannasnuggle.com featuring a picture of a man vacuuming (not a euphemism – that would have been alright). Jesus Christ! I don’t want to SNUGGLE! I want some sexy, aroused hot man with an erection in his hand, not this soppy CRAP.

I don’t know if I’d describe myself as having a ‘male gaze’. I think I’m just perfectly happy to gaze on the male body as an object of desire and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I don’t want to be reminded of love, or housekeeping, or happily forever after. I want a nice big pic of a hard, veiny, erect cock that is not in imminent danger of going into another man’s mouth. And I’m stunned, because I can’t seem to find that unless it’s also accompanied by a plasticized woman with fake breasts, Lucite heels and a dangerous manicure. Is that so much to ask for?

A couple of women have tweeted me stating a preference for showing some sort of ‘experience’ or emotional maturity in the object of desire. And perhaps this goes some way to explaining why there isn’t much porn for hetero women. It’s pretty hard to show ‘experience’ in a single still picture. And the whole point of pornography is that it focuses on the physical, not the emotional.

Personally, I don’t need the touchy feely stuff. I’d just be happy with a picture of a reasonably hetero-looking male wanking.

EbonyHampl reminded me that Filament Magazine does contain visual eye-candy for women. And indeed it is, and I’m a subscriber, but it isn’t porn. It’s very ‘tasteful’ and there’s a scarceness of erections there too. I gather from an earlier discussion with them on twitter that it’s very hard to get erections printed in the UK.

Addendum: There are two things I feel I haven’t adequately expressed: I have nothing against gay porn, but there are conventions within that genre of porn that identify it clearly as being by men for men.

Equally, although there is some perfectly sexy porn for straight men, it also has its own conventions. There is a heavy emphasis on oral sex. It’s not that I don’t like a picture of a woman sucking cock. It’s just that, after the 100th, I’m bored. As intellectually stimulating as the contemplation of sucking cock might be, I don’t have a clit in my mouth. I’m sure that men would be bored with interminable close-ups of tongues on clits, too. Hey, we just want our own specific itches scratched.

  39 comments for “#LadyPornDay and The Male Gaze

  1. February 20, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    That wannasnuggle.com link is absolutely hysterical, just so incredibly funny.

    And yes, anyone with a picture of a reasonably hetero-looking male wanking, please send it to me. Thanks.

  2. February 20, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    First time posting. Hi!

    I agree with a lot of this – particularly, the main points about the dearth of images of hot men in porn available to women, and the irritating expectation (or apparent expectation) that women of all sexualities will be just as happy looking at other naked women.

    Interesting point about the picture you’ve posted. I’m pretty happy with shaved as well as not shaved – but think the photo would also benefit from a better look at his face. Cock, legs and torso are lovely, but it’s pretty awesome seeing a guy’s expression when he’s turned on as well. Provides a bit of context which this picture is really lacking – something else I’d probably prefer in it was a sense of it not just being a random photo studio. I suspect, though, that scene-setting is probably more a job for erotica – which you allude to in your comment about porn being about the physical rather than the emotional.

    That said…if, say, a hypothetical photograph of a man jerking off in the shower shows us a bit of what he’s thinking and feeling at the time beyond ‘just’ the arousal, does that cross from porn to erotica, even if it’s still as visually graphic as you would otherwise see in porn?

    • February 20, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      My sense is that you are wanting something beyond the purely physical realm, and that this does carry over into erotica because you’re after something more multidimensional.

      It’s not that the shaving bothers me – it’s that the only picture of this type I could find, is one with a shaved up guy, which is definitely a fetish / gay porn convention.

  3. Edmund
    February 20, 2011 at 8:52 pm

    RG, you may want to look for CFNM, sounds like it’s something you may like.

    Also you can make your own by handling the camera during sex. This will give a woman only POV.

    • February 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      Well, no. CFNM is a very specific fetish that caters to dominant females and submissive males. There is a definite power imbalance at play in this sort of porn, and it’s not my cup of tea. I’m wired quite in the other direction.

      I could take pictures of other people, but then it wouldn’t be porn for me, now would it, because then the relationship with the subject is multi-dimensional.

  4. February 20, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Thanks for the mention of Filament ๐Ÿ™‚ I think you’re totally right, it’s not porn as most people would understand the word – it seems to be usually used to mean ‘material that explicitly depicts sexual acts for the purposes of arousal’. Next issue looks set to contain some racier pics though – it will be interesting to see what readers and censorship make of those.

    • February 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      I can hardly wait. Oh, wait, I WILL have to wait, because my issues of Filament go to my mother’s house. ๐Ÿ™

      I really don’t want to even attempt to clear your magazine through Vietnamese customs. That’s a fate worse than death.

  5. February 20, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    While I am (clearly) a girl who enjoys looking at other girls, I say here here! I am bi, and sometimes crave some hot boy porn too–but I’ve yet to find it ๐Ÿ™ Everything is clearly gay and that to me says “this is not for you”.

    The only thing I would recommend to you is Filament, which you already mention. And maybe vintage Playgirls? I will tell you one of the projects for Lady Porn Day involves a lot of vintage playgirl hunks and their cocks. But if Filament is too watered down for you, well I don’t think this will get you off either.

    If you do find some hot boy porn, send it my way! Would love to include it in LPD’s “Jilling off Hall of Fame”. Thanks for starting this discussion, a lot of my posts next week actually deal with this too, hope we can keep it going!

    • February 20, 2011 at 11:50 pm

      The problem with vintage Playgirls is…no erect cocks. And what woman on earth fantasizes about flaccid men? I mean really – what the fuck is up with that?

      Women have bodies that can hide their arousal, hence a lot of the porn-for-men contrivances, to convince consumers that the women in their porn are ‘hot for it’.

      Men, on the other hand, are pretty much an open book. If they’re hard, they’re horny – or on drugs – and frankly, I’m not after romance, so I don’t care much which it is. But presenting me with a panoply of men with flaccid penises…well, jesus, what a total turn off that is. If they’re clearly NOT aroused, how the hell am I supposed to be aroused by them?

      Why is it that explicit porn for men features LOTS of hard cocks, while porn for women is full of floppy willies?

      It just boggles the mind. I don’t get it.

      • February 22, 2011 at 12:00 am

        You could try Candy Rain Magazine – their by-line is For Women who love the D. I haven’t seen a copy yet (got one on order for their latest issue) but going by the tagline I’d expect it to be a lot more cock-centric than Filament.

  6. February 21, 2011 at 12:08 am

    LOL. I certainly don’t fantasize about soft cocks, and I would venture to guess that doing so would be a pretty niche fetish… I’ve got my fingers crossed that during Lady Porn Day someone will step up to the plate with the porn you describe wanting to see, but you know the old adage, if you don’t see it, it’s up to you to make it! And I’ve got to say, what a fun project THAT would be.

  7. February 21, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Yes, you’re absolutely right. What is it about the male member that is so hard to make it, um, hard? It’s not as though men have to look at it. Having said that, I do rather like some gay porn. What’s wrong with seeing a cock on it’s way to a man’s mouth? Hmm. :-$

    • February 21, 2011 at 12:51 am

      Absolutely nothing…but it’s not made for me. I can’t fantasize that the desire is for me, because…er…it’s about to go into another man’s mouth. Does that make any sense?

      • February 21, 2011 at 11:36 am

        Oh yes of course, I was asking the question more rhetorically for my benefit. :p

  8. Deliriumtree
    February 21, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Wannasnuggle.com is freaking hilarious. It’s nice of guys to clean, but as porn, really? I didn’t notice the shaved legs until you pointed it out. (Maybe he’s a professional swimmer in need of extra cash?) That took me right out of the image for the most part. I like body hair, especially on legs and chests. Not the face though. It is hard to find the sort of images your seeking, unless they’re self shot. I’ve seen some good self shot images. But, there’s far more awful ones (think craigslist posting style disembodied cock with no context). And lucite heels and squared off nails just scream schlocky to me. Are men even into that? Why? hehe

  9. February 21, 2011 at 3:26 am

    I am going to stand up for gay porn here.
    I do not feel excluded by it one iota. It is not all to my taste but that is to be expected.

    I just don’t know how I would distinguish between porn for ‘women’ and porn for ‘gays’ . It is cock. It is hard bodies. It is power dynamics. What is not to like?

    How can looking be ‘gay’ or ‘male’ or ‘female’? we all have eyes, don’t we?

    • February 21, 2011 at 8:19 am

      “How can looking be โ€˜gayโ€™ or โ€˜maleโ€™ or โ€˜femaleโ€™? we all have eyes, donโ€™t we?”

      Oh, come on girl! I thought you were critically-theoried up feminist! “Looking” is utterly different depending on how the semiotics of any given ‘text’ speak to you, and genders and sexual-orientations do, to a surprising extent, see differently! It’s certainly possible to have an aesthetic appreciation for a sexual language other than your own, but it’s NOT your own. One can adopt it in solidarity. One can appreciate it, and be very aroused by it voyeuristically. But you don’t have a cock that ejaculates.

      I’m just a tad surprised you feel the need to ‘stand up for gay porn’ on my site, considering some of my erotica. I’m not condemning it or criticizing it at all. But, in gay porn, the object of desire is unavailable to me because I’m not a gay man. I have a cunt and tits and, despite my best efforts, have been culturally and socially affected by having them. The men in the porn can’t ‘want’ me or feel lust for me, because to ‘read’ gay porn and imagine those men lusting after me is a blatant denial of who they are and what their sexual orientation is. In a way, it would be deeply disrespectful of their orientation.

      David Chandler has a fantastic undergraduate online course on ‘The Gaze’ http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/gaze/gaze.html. Also, check out John Berger’s Ways of Seeing. But any basic Gender Studies text is going to give you a pretty good run-down on why ‘looking’ can and is ‘gay’ or ‘male’ or ‘female’.

  10. February 21, 2011 at 3:53 am

    You are definitely not alone here, Remittance Girl. I have been noticing the very same dearth of content for quite some time. I have ranted about it quite a bit on my LiveJournal. I also did an interview with Good Vibrations about it last Spring.

  11. February 21, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I concur. For instance, I love watching guys masturbate. It’s the hottest thing. Yet when I look up movies and pics on the subject, they always seem like they’re aimed toward a male audience. I can’t put my finger on it, but it just doesn’t do it for me.

    Nice pic up top ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • February 21, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      I agree. I love watching a man masturbate. And I DO do it, in person. But you’d be surprised how many men are incredibly shy to do it. It’s a state of vulnerability, so it takes an incredibly sexually confident man to do it with gusto. To me, the sight of a man masturbating says: this is how much you turn me on. But to a lot of men, masturbation is still considered something only losers who can’t get laid all the time do.

      Of all the men I’ve ever watched, the best masturbators are the ones who are confident enough to lose themselves in front of you. The ones who can just give it all up, and put their self-consciousness aside. Ironically, they make the best lovers too.

      • Morag
        February 21, 2011 at 6:27 pm

        Oh yes, RG. My partner is very keen to finish himself off by masturbating, and I just love the vulnerability. And I love how he loves it. It takes a special degree of trust for a man to let go like that, I think (and a woman as well, no doubt – no idea – when I get my fingers on my cunt, I don’t care who’s watching!).

      • February 21, 2011 at 6:35 pm

        Two people masturbating simultaneously, each watching the other, is extremely hot in my opinion. Indeed, simply hearing the other person is delicious, as one still senses their pleasure. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • February 22, 2011 at 2:30 am

        I second the motion ๐Ÿ˜›

      • SlowNLower
        February 26, 2011 at 2:23 am

        I would take your comment and echo it completely from the male perspective. Watching a woman masturbate does the same for me as watching a man does for you and for all the same reasons. I’m talking about real masturbation not faux or performance based as most porn portrays. There are a few well known sites for men that are able to capture the essence of female masturbation and I’ve often wondered why the same doesn’t exist for male masturbation aimed at women. Masturbation before a partner displays the ultimate vulnerability for both hetero men and women.

      • Jean Baptiste
        March 19, 2011 at 11:11 pm

        That’s an interesting observation regarding men that are prepared to masturbate in front of women being confident. From the male perspective I have found that it takes a very confident woman to watch a man masturbate. Those (women) lacking confidence feel that it is their lack of sexuality or ability to arouse a man to the state of orgasm that drives a man to masturbate rather than it being a mutual, visual, activity.

        • March 19, 2011 at 11:26 pm

          Personally, as a practitioner of this very activity, I’ve always seen it as a sort of gift. That they were ‘letting me in’ to some glimpse of their sexuality. So men who are quite confident about it and see it as having value are much more comfortable doing it than men who are ambivalent about their sexual appetites. Ultimately though, because I don’t physically participate in any way, it IS a gift and not a trade, since I don’t offer the same stimulus back.

        • Jean Baptiste
          March 20, 2011 at 3:10 pm

          I know this is getting off the track of your discussion, but I find it incredibly interesting, not to say erotic.
          I understand exactly what you mean when you talk of a gift. I feel it is the same as going down on your partner with no expectation of anything in return: just doing it, suddenly, for the sheer pleasure of giving.
          I am interested in your view of phone sex? Knowing that your partner is masturbating for you, or you for them, but many miles away is stimulating…
          By the way, there was no reply button on your post, that why I’m talking to myself…

          • March 20, 2011 at 7:25 pm

            Well, Jean Baptiste, I think your habits might be a little healthier than mine. I’m not particularly interested in reciprocation. I just want to watch, so the phone thing doesn’t really do it for me. And the mutual thing holds no attraction. I can’t retain images in memory well when I’m too engaged in sex myself. Hence my tendency towards voyeurism.

  12. February 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I have studied the gaze too. Also I am not a feminist any more.

    And, I don’t look at porn with my cunt. I look with my eyes.

    And, in my psyche, I identify a LOT with ‘homos’. I do not have a cock. But I do have an anus.

  13. February 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    P.s. quite a lot of men in ‘gay porn’ identify as ‘straight’…

    • February 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

      And a not inconsiderable number of women who work in porn are lesbians. But producers of porn know their target audience very well. I’m glad what is available out there suits you. That’s excellent.

      It doesn’t suit me.

  14. ell
    February 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    Made for a gay audience but lovely for a straight girl – http://www.adultdvdtalk.com/reviews/read_review.dlt/sku=5307/good-morning-men.htm

    • February 21, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      Ell, I’m not complaining about this but it’s made for a gay audience.

  15. ell
    February 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Oh, forgot to say, the fellows who populate Erika Lust’s films are usually a pleasure to behold.

  16. Md. Nurul Islam Siddque Lablu
    February 21, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    I enjoyed the comments and two pictures.

  17. February 22, 2011 at 4:25 am

    gay porn sells so well because a lot of its viewers are not gay- and the film-makers know that and accomodate for it I believe.

    But if there is such a thing as ‘hetero women’s porn’ I will be interested to see it.

    • February 22, 2011 at 10:26 am

      I’m sure you’re right about viewers.

      However, working at a highly-trafficked sex store, I cannot think of a singe time in years that I’ve sold a man-on-man porn to a woman.

      So I don’t know how much gay-male-porn producers factor in the female audience during filming.

  18. Mia
    February 22, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Your post has made me think about hard cocks in porn. I would say that seeing hard cocks does not give me a hard on, but maybe I am just not being presented to in the right manner. A hard cock in person makes me tingle and on occasion an image of one does too. Mostly, I find I enjoy the bulge emerging from tightie whities or jeans.

  19. February 24, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    “Almost all the banners for Lady Porn Day feature โ€ฆnaked women!” Something I noticed myself, and the ladies just don’t do anything for me. Oh I can appreciate female beauty and artistically I find some photos very erotic…but they don’t ‘get me off’. I’ve never been that interested in porn myself because I too have only found snippets that turn me on. I’m into BDSM and am a switch, I have found some femdom porn that has been okay, but on the whole the woman is still the main focus and I just find the stereotypical look of the scenarios again do nothing for me. Turning the tables, well I don’t want to watch close ups of female submissives sucking cock, etc and again the focus being on them. I get a few ideas now and again, but rarely do I come across anything that really turns me on. Like some people have already mentioned, nothing beats watching a hard cock (either masturbating or the exclusive view of him entering you), the enjoyment and determination on a man’s face and hearing the grunts and groans. I personally also love the begging, whimpering and submission of a man (a ‘real’ man, not a scrawny looking boy) and the look in his eyes. Maybe someone should try just strapping a small camera to the woman’s forehead and filming that perspective ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ll stick to erotic fiction and my own imagination for my main enjoyment, and maybe one day I’ll stumble across something where I’ll go, ‘Wow, perfect’.

    P.S. Love your writing and am enjoying nosing around your site!

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