Where To Find Porn For Women and Female-Friendly Erotica That Won't Turn You Off

We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we actually hear the nitty-gritty details of how we might actually achieve those things? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a licensed sex psychotherapist based in San Francisco, to help us out with the specifics. This week’s topic: How to find porn and erotica for women that you'll actually like.

Q: I'll admit it: I read 50 Shades of Grey and secretly loved it. I’ve always been curious about other types of erotica and porn, but never had the nerve to look into it that much. Where do I start? I'd rather not have to sift through male-oriented porn sites. 

A: Welcome to the wide and wonderful world of smut! 50 Shades of Grey definitely catapulted erotica into the mainstream, and as a result, there are more options than ever for curious people such as yourself.

There’s so much erotica out there that it’s useful to try to identify some of your interests or curiosities before you start searching. Did you like 50 Shades because of the power play dynamics, or simply because it was naughty? Is there a certain fantasy you have that you’ve never really explored? Maybe the old cheerleader-quarterback roleplay, bi-curiosity, or a threesome?

Erotica can be a great way to engage with some of the fantasies that you haven't enacted in real life, so give yourself permission to get as smutty as you’d like! Once you've thought about what you might like, here's where to take it from there. 

Pick Out Some Books

If you liked 50 Shades, I suggest starting with more adult novels. Many women prefer reading erotica to watching porn. You can check out a compilation of erotic short stories, like the Best of American Erotica series

The Internet is of course a treasure trove of erotica. If you have any favorite shows or fictional characters, odds are that there are dozens of erotic fanfic stories available for free. Another genre to consider is the autobiographical sex story. There are websites that have user-generated submissions of their first or hottest sexual experiences. Who knows how “real” most of these stories actually are, but many of them can be pretty damn hot! 

Amazon is also another great place to look. They have a massive selection of erotic e-books available for as little as a few bucks each. Read through the description and reviews (of which there are many!) before selecting something that sounds appealing to you.

Get Creative

You may also find it hot to write your own dirty stories. You can write out fantasies you’ve always had, or describe some of your hottest sexual encounters. You can also take some of your past experiences and jazz them up a bit. Was the last guy you dated ridiculously hot, but kinda boring in bed? Turn him into your own personal Cassanova with a few strokes of a pen.

There are a lot of sexual technique how-to books that can be quite arousing as well. On more than one occasion, I have assigned one of my male clients a book on performing oral sex on women, only to have his girlfriend tell me a few weeks later that she read the book and found herself totally aroused. These kinds of books serve a dual purpose of turning you on and teaching you something useful!

Test The Porn Flick Waters

Now we get to videos and movies. If you're a porn newbie, trying to find something you like can feel overwhelming. Take some time to consider if authenticity is important to you, or if you’d rather get lost in the fantasy aspect of sex.

Mainstream porn is more likely to fall into the latter category. Unless you already know that you want to explore some of the hardcore stuff, I suggest that you Google the term, "Female friendly porn," or look up the Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards recipients. Look at the screenshots to find actors and actresses that you find attractive. The good thing about porn is that it’s usually pretty up-front about the acts highlighted in the film, so you can eliminate options based on their descriptions.

Consider Alternative Films and Shows

If you’d like to see more authentic portrayals of sex, you’ve got a few options: If you liked the idea of how-tos, you can seek out instructional sex technique videos. You can also look for documentary-type flicks like the old Real Sex series on HBOGo. There's also an exciting new genre of indie porn producers. The people behind indie porn are trying to create adult movies that are more authentic and artistic. (You'll see fewer fake boobs and a lot more diversity.) You’re more likely to find storyline-driven movies and some semblance of emotional connection between the actors.

I always encourage women to allow themselves the freedom to experiment with the content of their erotica. You might get turned on reading about or watching an act that you wouldn’t want to do in real life, and that’s perfectly OK! You can enjoy getting aroused without putting pressure on yourself to take action in real life. (Girl-on-girl action and threesomes are great examples for a lot of women.)

Enjoying Erotica Alone

If you're single, treat yourself to a sensual solo date night in. Set up a nice atmosphere, take a relaxing bath or have a glass of wine, and take your time enjoying your discoveries. So many people use porn to help them get off quickly, but there's a lot to be said for indulging yourself and going slow.

That being said, erotica can be immensely helpful for women learning how to reach orgasm. Recent studies have found that thinking sexual thoughts can help women become orgasmic more easily. If you haven't had an orgasm yet, try adding some erotica to your masturbation routine. The added stimulation of mental fantasy or visual arousal is just what a lot of women need to finally propel themselves over the edge.

Enjoying Erotica With a Partner

If you have a partner, you can share your favorite kinds of erotica with each other. Give yourselves permission to share what you like, and don't tease or shame your partner if he or she likes something you're not into. You can take turns reading your favorite stories to each other, or watch a movie together and imitate what you see the actors doing. You can also use erotica as a good springboard for conversations about sex in your relationship.

Happy exploring!

Image: Bryan Brenneman/Flickr, Giphy

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