Male gays in the female gaze: women who watch m/m pornography

Neville, Lucy (2015) Male gays in the female gaze: women who watch m/m pornography. Porn Studies, 2 (2-3) . pp. 192-207. ISSN 2326-8743 [Article] (doi:10.1080/23268743.2015.1052937)

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This paper draws on a piece of wide-scale mixed-methods research that examines the motivations behind women who watch gay male pornography. To date there has been very little interdisciplinary research investigating this phenomenon, despite a recent survey by PornHub (one of the largest online porn sites in the world) showing that gay male porn is the second most popular choice for women porn users out of 25+ possible genre choices. While both academic literature and popular culture have looked at the interest that (heterosexual) men have in lesbian pornography, considerably less attention has been paid to the consumption of gay male pornography by women. Research looking at women's consumption of pornography from within the Social Sciences is very focused around heterosexual (and, to a lesser extent, lesbian) pornography. Research looking more generally at gay pornography/erotica (and the subversion of the ‘male gaze’/concept of ‘male as erotic object’) often makes mention of female interest in this area, but only briefly, and often relies on anecdotal or observational evidence. Research looking at women's involvement in slashfic (primarily from within media studies), while very thorough and rich, tends to view slash writing as a somewhat isolated phenomenon (indeed, in her influential article on women's involvement in slash, Bacon-Smith talks about how ‘only a small number’ of female slash writers and readers have any interest in gay literature or pornography more generally, and this phenomenon is not often discussed in more recent analyses of slash); so while there has been a great deal of very interesting research done in this field, little attempt has been made to couch it more generally within women's consumption and use of pornography and erotica or to explore what women enjoy about watching gay male pornography. Through a series of focus groups, interviews, and an online questionnaire (n = 275), this exploratory piece of work looks at what women enjoy about gay male pornography, and how it sits within their consumption of erotica/pornography more generally. The article investigates what this has to say about the existence and nature of a ‘female gaze’.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
A. > School of Law > Femgensex
Item ID: 17524
Notes on copyright: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Porn Studies on 03/07/2015, available online:
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Lucy Neville
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2015 11:47
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 22:39

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