Sex industry

What Do Women Really Want to See in Porn?

Published: APRIL 22, 2024 | Updated: APRIL 22, 2024
Research reveals some very interesting insights about what women and gender non-conforming folks want to see in pornography.

What do women and gender non-conforming (GNC) folks truly desire in pornography? To answer this question, Lustery, a Berlin-based ethical amateur porn streaming platform, launched an ongoing research initiative into the preferences of individuals within the female and queer spectrum regarding pornography, particularly their inclination towards homemade content over other adult genres. Lustery offers a curated platform for couples worldwide to share homemade sex content freely, aiming to normalize porn as a component of sexual self-care and exploration among consenting adults.

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As part of its research initiative, the company recently conducted an anonymous survey of their non-male subscribers, 81% of whom self-identified as women, and 19% of whom self-identified as gender non-conforming (19%: nonbinary, genderqueer, and agender individuals).

What the research reveals

The results of this survey revealed some interesting insights. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 83% of respondents love to see real intimacy and sexual connection that feels authentic and people who are really enjoying themselves.
  • For 72%, amateur porn tends to be less focused on the male POV and more on mutual pleasure.
  • For 36%, the variety of real people and body types in real-life couples porn challenged their view of what they find attractive.
  • For 44%, watching real-life sex makes them feel safer and less ashamed than watching most free online porn.
  • 22% said they have better orgasms when they see real orgasms.
  • They overall feel good about watching porn made with fair, equal pay and transparent negotiations.

Interestingly, all of these responses demonstrate a clear preference for amateur porn among women and GNC folks. So, explore that.

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Amateur pornography is a realm where women and their pleasure reign supreme. It’s also all about real people having real fun. Unlike traditional porn, amateur content is created by everyday folks, not professional actors or filmmakers. From intimate moments to wild adventures, amateur porn covers a broad spectrum of sexual acts and genres. It's authentic, homemade, and packed with genuine passion.

Read MoreLights, Camera, Action: How To Make Porn - And Keep It Private

As one respondent eloquently expressed: "Sex is messy and imperfect [...] rather than perfect people making perfect sex. Bodies are more realistic than the majority of us imperfect humans. It's refreshing and it turns me on more."

What the experts have to say

Gigi Engle, a certified sex and relationship psychotherapist and sex expert at the LGBTQIA+ dating app, Taimi, asserts that the representation and celebration of authenticity and diversity that draws women and GNC folks to amateur porn is exactly what makes this content so important to them.

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"We want to see people with bodies like ours enjoying sex because it feels more authentic to our own experiences. It can help dispel shame and foster inclusivity." She adds, "Everyone deserves good erotic material made for them."

The results of Lustery’s survey also reveal that women and GNC people value pornography that centers pleasure for everyone involved and decenters the male gaze and male perspective. This finding aligns with previous research published by the British Sociological Association in 2020. In that study, Dr. Karen Ciclitira explores the complex feelings many women have about pornography – acknowledging its anti-feminist implications while also acknowledging the pleasure it brings.

Consequently, some women seek out explicitly feminist pornography to fulfill their desires. Lustery’s research confirms this, as seventy-two percent of respondents said they opt for ethical amateur porn, which typically prioritizes mutual pleasure over the male point of view.

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Engle finds it interesting that 22 percent of people said they had better orgasms as a result of watching ethical and more inclusive porn.

"I think this highlights the reduction in shame and the better connection of mind and body when we're watching something we know was made ethically and that everyone in the film is enjoying themselves," says Engle.

Bree Mills, Chief Creative Officer of Adult Time, observes that the overall tone and intent of the pornography women and GNC people consume matters a lot, adding that an emotional element and a sense of authenticity are essential for many femme and queer porn fans.

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"You know, having an emotional element to a scene and really feeling that the pleasure that you are watching is authentic and that the connections are, if not real, then certainly realistic," Mills explains. "These are all really important ingredients that a lot of female porn fans look for."

Mills went on to say that scenes in professional pornography often lean towards fantasy or porn tropes rather than prioritizing realism or authenticity. She believes that if more studio porn explored realism, it could garner increased viewership, especially from women and GNC folks, in the future.

At Adult Time, Mills has focused on developing fictional series that explore realism, such as her latest studio brand, Up Close, which spotlights female pleasure and emphasizes authentic emotions within scenes.

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Read MorePorn: Love It or Leave It?

Likewise, at ERIKALUST, there's XConfessions, films inspired by amateur sex tapes. Although ERIKALUST typically doesn't work within the amateur category, Erika Lust recognizes that many women and GNC folks are drawn to amateur porn for its realness.

"Many women find it more relatable and less scripted than other types of erotic movies," Lust notes.


She underscores that amateur porn provides a platform for personal expression, allowing individuals, including women, to explore their desires and fantasies – on their own terms. Ciclitira’s research echoes Lust’s sentiments, revealing that pornography consumption helps women develop a deeper understanding of female sexuality and inspires them to explore it in new ways. She asserts that pornography can be a significant way for women to explore their sexual fantasies, learn about their bodies, and experiment with partners.

So, what do women and GNC folks really want to see in pornography?

Essentially… themselves. They want real sexual experiences that reflect their own sexual experiences, and center the pleasure and feelings of people with vaginas. Given those preferences, it’s no wonder amateur porn, or studio porn that mimics amateur porn, is consistently a favorite of women and GNC folks.

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Ryn Pfeuffer

Ryn Pfeuffer is a versatile print and digital writer specializing in sex, lifestyle, and relationship topics. She got her start in the mid-90s at the Philadelphia Weekly, managing a 10-page section of the newspaper and more than 500 lonely hearts.Her professional stock skyrocketed when she started writing a saucy (and pre-Carrie-Bradshaw-era) dating advice column called “Ask Me Anything.” She appeared regularly on local radio stations and late-night TV as an expert on everything from grooming...

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