This node was a response to some now non-existet things, but I hope it's still of interest.

Well, if we're going into stereotypical thinking, take this for a stereotypical thought - women want men's company and emotional support, while men want women's bodies. I know many more men who would like to sleep with two lesbians than women who would like to sleep with two gay men, but I know more fag hags than dyke tykes. Makes you wonder
lioncub - I don't really think that partial suspension of disbelief leads to male attraction in this case. While social factors are obviously involved, our brain does sometimes work in a simple, stupid way. The simple excess of arousing visual stimuli is enough to account for the attraction the man may feel. So I agree about the difference in the dominant stimulation type for most fe/males, but disagree about the suspension of disbelief point.
Although I don't for a minute doubt the validity of this statement I'd like to offer my own slant on this particular peculiarity.

Firstly I'm not sure that guys particularly find lesbians per se a huge turn on, I believe it's more to do with the willing suspension of disbelief that men seem to be capable of when watching pornography coupled with the fact that lesbian acts in porn are rarely performed by genuine lesbians - I'll elaborate.

Men are turned on by pornography in general more than women as they are more prone to graphic visual stimulus than the fairer sex (ie: we're all pervs). Secondly the male pornography viewer is capable of allowing themselves to think the the women involved are actually enjoying themselves when in reality the female protagonists are, by and large, heterosexual. The fact that they are heterosexual and are usually seen later on in said porno copulating with a man can allow the male viewer to beleive (or at least fantasize) that he might at some point in his life be lucky enough to indulge in a similar menage a trois.

Conversely, male actors in gay movies are usually homosexual due in no small part to the disgust (largely nutured by society) instilled in a heterosexual male at the thought of indulging in sexual acts with another male.

The fact that the protagonists in a gay male movie are usually gay doesn't leave the female viewer with much of an option to imagine herself joining in.

I doubt very much that if a guy was to see two genuine lesbians 'getting it on' that he would be as excited about the idea as if he knew that they might really be interested in men.

Footnote: I conceed to girlotron that I am generalising somewhat (if only for the sake of brevity) but I still contest that the majority of female porn protagonists are straight, and to quote Phoebe from 'Friends' "And then there are bisexuals, but some just say they're kidding themselves".

I have to question the universality of this nodetitle's assumptions. In my experience (and admittedly mine is limited, as is anyone’s) there are at least many women who do find gay men a turn on, though perhaps not in the same way as men are turned on by visual portrayals of sex between women.

Examples of women writers who have drawn erotically tinged portraits of gay men, whose readerships tend to be predominantly female would include Anne Rice and Mary Renault. (This particular phenomenon is considered in greater detail elsewhere.)

Among the complications I see in trying to approach this question are many issues relating to the "closet." After all, there are many examples one can name of gay actors who played (supposedly) straight heartthrobs, perhaps the most ironic being Rock Hudson in all those Doris Day films. Sixties and Seventies television is also rich in these examples, from Robert Reed in The Brady Bunch to Dick Sargeant in Bewitched.

Granted, in these cases the gay actor is, at least superficially, playing a "straight" role as husband or potential mate. But did such straight men exist outside of movies and television? I don’t recall seeing anyone act this way outside of the screen fantasy world.

This may be a highly subjective interpretation, but I know I grew up thinking that these fantasies must have something to do with the common experience I noted among my girlfriends of "falling for" unavailable men who were either unequivocally gay or who were widely assumed to be so. Perhaps this is something that has changed markedly since I was in my teens and twenties, given that these days it is sometimes more self-evident who is and is not unavailable — gay males are less likely than 20 years ago to pretend to be straight? Or maybe I just had very different assumptions than most?

This all may also relate to differences in what turns on women as compared to men? As others have noted, it may be more prevalent that women’s attractions are tempered by a more subtle combination of physical and emotional factors, with greater weight given to intangibles and to factors that do not reduce to purely visual cues. My sense is that much of the erotically tinged material aimed at women takes the form of romance novels and related fiction. While some is very explicit, much is less so, and rarely have I come across material aimed at women that feels as clinical, as focussed particular acts or body parts as seems often to be the case in porn aimed at a male audience. Most material that seems to be "made for women" assumes that there needs to be at least some emotional connection (even if sometimes a very negatively charged one) before going on to a description of lascivious acts and heaving flesh.

This is not to say that women aren't turned on by visuals (and I've had conversations with girlfriends who are turned on by gay porn.) But visual entertainment of the sort assumed to appeal to women is often more suggestive, less explicit, whether or not there is a real correlation between what is aimed at them and what turns them on.

This may have much more to do with the producers' prejudices and assumptions about what their audiences want to see, however, than with any real differences in what an average woman or man wants to see.

Whatever the cause, there certainly seems to be an assumption where "couples" films are concerned, where the typical differences tend to lead to films that are more about plot, and less about an anatomy lesson. I know that I personally find films that seem to be a visual catalog of positions and body parts not so much offensive as just a bit boring.

Getting back to the point of the node: How one gets turned on has a lot to do with what sort of images are going to appeal. It's not safe to assume — even if one could prove conclusively that women are not consumers of gay porn — that straight women are not attracted to gay men, or do not at least have fantasies that involve some sort of interaction with gay men.

Perhaps many of those Doris Day films contain a subtext of "seducing" the unavailable (gay) male, the male unwilling to be "domesticated" — these men, in the 40s and 50s were discretely and ambiguously presented as the "confirmed bachelor" and not necessarily (or at least not explicitly... many viewers may well have read between the lines) as "gay."

Maybe this also relates to why "lesbian" sex in male-oriented porn has little resemblance to life and love between women, since it usually seems to be mostly about "converting" those women to an attraction to men? Like much material where one can see a "gay subtext" but which was clearly aimed at a straight and often feminine audience, the typical "girl-girl" scene in male-centric porn is a fantasy of lesbian sex that is displayed to conform to male fantasies, and holds little interest (at least from what I've ever heard) for most women, whether lesbian, bi or straight. (Views to the contrary are more than welcome, though, I'm always open to fascinating exceptions or a good counterinterpretation.)

I have seen some pretty scathing comments from people (who represented themselves as men) about the few videos I've seen that actually portray something resembling lesbian sex as I understand it. Like films made for a gay audience, bona fide lesbian films do not seem to appeal nearly as well to straight men as do those fantasy "girl-girl" scenes that appear in many films aimed at straight male audiences.

Maybe the real question here is Why is there little erotica available that portrays common women's fantasies about gay men?

I think it would be fair to say that in fact that the opposite (of the node title) is true; as lioncub alluded, not many men are actually attracted to lesbians per se, and I know of very few men who look at someone and think that she's a lesbian and that she's hot (they'll think she's a lesbian if she looks butch and usually think she's attractive if she looks femme, in which case they have little reason to assume she's a lesbian unless, say, she's walking down the street with her partner - and let's face it, men can be pretty dense even in situations such at those.)

The difference is that women are attracted to gay men and men are attracted to women they find attractive having sex with each other. Women will be turned on by and fall for Real Live Gay Men(tm), whereas men will jerk-off to pornstars licking each other in ways that are quite likely not even pleasurable; that is not a portrayal of lesbianism, regardless of the gender attraction of those performing the act (which, incidentally, in the case of pornstars, quite often identify themselves as bisexual when asked.)
This is an expansion of Ebbixx's point about universality. I have read (possibly in books by Poitras, Levy, Napier),(but have yet to see) that there are many quite explicit homosexual anime and manga whose target audience is female, and that this practice is considered entirely normal. I am no expert on Japan or Japanese culture, but this example definitely points toward a lack of universality on a cultural level.

Perhaps this fits with lioncub's argument that women may not be turned on by gay porn because there is no hope of joining in. cartoons are imaginary people who are neither gay nor straight in "real life", and as long as the viewer suspends their disbelief far enough to be turned on by animation, this difficulty of imagining oneself into the sex disappears.

As a straight man I find myself not turned on at all by lesbians. As a teen I was, mainly because there was a pro-lesbian sub-text in much of the soft porn I was exposed to.

In my late teens and early twenties I got to know a few lesbians, with getting to know them came the realization that things are only like porno's when someone's getting paid. Neither lesbian sex nor gay sex are ever as they are portrayed in movies.

Sometime later I came to the realization that straight sex is never as it's portrayed in movies.

How is this relevant to the topic in hand?

The statement:

Men get turned on by lesbians much more than women get turned on by gay men

should be

Men get turned on by the image of lesbians as presented in porn much more than women get turned on by the image of gay men as presented in porn.

Looked at this way the reason is simple --- the porn industry's ideas of lesbians and gay men is perverted by the gender of the overwhelming majority of it's customers.

Most porn is created for men.

Much porn apparently created for women is created for men and disguised as porn for women to increase the men's voyeristic pleasure.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.