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13 February 2006
Female Sexuality And Pornography
by Katherine Burnett-Watson

Over 13,500 sexually explicit adult movies were released in 2005, (that’s 37 movies every day!) and over one billion adult movies were sold, but how many of those titles were made for women? The answer is, very few. Pornography for women – it’s almost an oxymoron isn’t it? In fact, there are only a handful of adult movie directors and producers who create movies with women as the target audience.

One of the problems with almost all mainstream porn movies (and by mainstream I’m referring to titles that don’t involve whips and chains) is that they’re made by men, for men. And men consume them by the truckload. There’s a multi-million dollar porn industry out there, churning out movies faster than a porn starlet can fake orgasms.

Another problem is the vexed issue of quality in the adult movie industry. The digital technology available today makes movie making much less expensive than in the days of film, and the lower production budgets have impacted everything from storylines to sets. In the days of film, adult movies were expensive to create, and they had to be good enough to make a return for their investors. Now, with a budget of only a few thousand dollars, adult movies can be made with the view to a quick buck, without the necessity of a quality end product.

The end result is that these el cheapo productions are more likely to make us gag, rather than get our juices flowing. Women are very quickly turned off by porn if they see something they don’t like. How many adult movies have you watched where everything seems to be going swimmingly, you’re getting your groove on, and then something annoying about the film just throws you? Like the dialogue is really clunky, or you’re put off by the boob job scars around the actress’s nipples, or those high-pitched, repetitive “oh, oh, oh” noises supposed to indicate sexual pleasure grate on your nerves like fingernails down a chalkboard, and you know she’d rather be getting her bikini line waxed than getting a shafting.

And it’s all about close up crotch shots, or the “money shot”, and the kissing is all just slack-jawed tongue swiping, and the foreplay is non-existent, and the oral sex involves guys chowing down like they’re at a pie eating contest, and there never seems to be any intimacy, and the girls are never wet!

Phew, well now I’ve gotten that off my chest, I thought it was about time I found some quality adult movies for women that were sexy, explicit, had good scripts and believable plotlines, and which revolved around women’s pleasure. And let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy task.

The sheer quantity of adult movies out there is enough to make anyone balk at the task, and what one woman might find sexy doesn’t necessarily translate to all women. But, with my self-appointed mission to find some decent porn, I decided to get a little help from the experts. Aphrodite’s favorite adult product web site for women, Libida.com, is a fantastic resource for women looking for everything from pleasure toys and adult DVDs through to advice and information about all things sexual. Dr. Petra Zebroff, co-founder and CEO of Libida.com, explains her reasons for creating Libida.com, “After finishing my doctorate [studying women's sexuality] six years ago I was frustrated with how difficult it was for women to access sexual products and videos without entering an embarrassing and potentially unsafe male-oriented adult store. The Internet was just taking off and it offered women a private and anonymous place of their own to find sexual products and information in an elegant, female-friendly atmosphere focusing on a woman's experience of sex, not as a sex object, but as a participant in the sexual act.”

Libida.com’s range of adult DVDs and videos are chosen and reviewed by their female staff with the idea of creating a selection of adult movies that women want to see. “Depth of character and an understanding of why the characters are having sex,” said Petra, highlighting one of the main elements that make a good erotic movie for women. Women don’t get turned on by storylines featuring the pizza delivery guy turning up, dropping his pants and boning the chick. When I order from Pizza Hut, I want to see the pepperoni on the pizza, not in the delivery guy’s pants.

Secondly, Petra cites the importance of “incorporating sensuality into a film.  This doesn't have to be rose petals and bubble baths, but women think of sexuality with their whole bodies, not just their genitals." Most porn films focus on crotch shots and the action going straight to the actors having sex, without any foreplay. For a lot of women, watching this kind of sex isn’t a turn on, because women can’t easily translate what they’re watching into real life. Women like to imagine themselves in the scenario, and if that scenario doesn’t make them feel sexy, the movie isn’t going to turn them on. Similarly, the close-up genital shots aren’t such a turn on for women, because we don’t actually see ourselves from those angles when we’re having sex, and therefore don’t relate to those images in the same way men do.

Women also like to see “a variety of sexual acts with different degrees of explicitness. Too many filmmakers catering to a couples audience make the mistake of thinking women want romance only.  This is not true. Many, many women like explicit films with hardcore themes,” Petra explained.

Unfortunately for female viewers, many adult movie directors present the idea of hardcore in misogynistic ways that are degrading to women. Big turn offs for women, according to Petra, are, “having the women be the visual focus of every shot. Most women like to look at male bodies too. Seeing unrealistic pleasure [and] fake bimbo-esque bodies is also a turn off.”

So, how do you weed through all the crap and get to the female friendly adult movie gold? I’ve put together a few “Favorite Flicks” lists - with the help of the girls at Aphrodite and the experts at Libida.com - to give you an idea of the hot and sexy viewing that is available for women.

Aphrodite Favorites

Bad Wives
AVN’s Film of the Year for 1999, Bad Wives is the tantalizing tale of two bored and lonely wives who are determined to give their cheating husbands a taste of their own medicine.

Marilyn Chambers stars as a sexually insatiable woman in one of adult's most famous films. Chambers acts out the fantasies of every woman who's ever wanted to submit, succumbing to a rough-handed gardener on a pool table while he whispers sexy scenarios in her ear. Lots of explicit, go-for-the gusto sex, from romantic to hardcore. A classic from 1980, this movie has stood the erotic test of time.

Taxi Dancer
Top-rated thriller combines great acting and rewind-worthy sex. Don’t miss the unforgettable lap dance and intense bathroom sex scene.

Libida.com’s Favorite “Made By Women” Movies

Eyes of Desire Part 2 – Candida Royalle
Director Candida Royalle's lush, woman-focused style reaches perfection as a woman's forbidden fantasies are realized by a voyeuristic stranger. The on-screen couple are played by a very sexy real-life husband and wife, and the scenes range from tender toe-licking to taboo verbal demands, each one featuring a long build-up, teasing, foreplay, and an overflow of intimacy.

One Size Fits All – Candida Royalle
A raunchy purple dress becomes the ultimate sex toy in this female-directed sex comedy. The dress transforms five different women into irresistible sex kittens, and unfailingly inspires male lust. Director Candida Royalle manages to thread plot and passion into an erotic work of art.

Ecstatic Moments
Three vignettes up the ante of what constitutes women's erotica, combining the staples - sensuality, foreplay and a focus on women's pleasure - with more challenging content, making the taboo seem undeniably seductive and accessible.

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