[italic]A straight woman has a thing for guy-on-guy action and wants to know: "What's up with that?"[/italic]
By Tracy Clark-Forey, Salon.com, 10.13.2011
Iâm a straight woman, but I like watching gay male porn, especially where the men are supposed to be straight. It isnât something Iâd want to pursue in my real sex life (I shudder, in a bad way, to think of my boyfriend hooking up with another guy), but in pure fantasy, it turns me on like no heterosexual porn ever has. Whatâs up with that? Am I a freak?
Just the other night, I had the bizarre experience of co-judging a classy, high-brow event called the Air Sex Championships. At one point during the show, a man going by the pseudonym âSir Fucks A Lotâ climbed onstage wearing a baseball cap, a muscle-hugging V-neck, cargo shorts and a cocky Casanova smile. He looked like a straight frat boy stereotype, but to everyoneâs great surprise he began enthusiastically enacting a gay sex scene â and, reader, it was hot. For the only time that evening, the all-female judging panel leaned forward â instead of recoiling in disgust â to get a better look.
This was just my most recent brush with straight-female sexual appreciation of gay men. Iâve come across variations on your question â both in talking to female friends and in the short time that Iâve been fielding reader questions â countless times before. (It isnât just heterosexual women â remember the scene in âThe Kids Are All Rightâ where the lesbian couple puts on some retro gay smut to get in the mood?) There isnât any reliable data on just how common your interest is, but Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, who analyzed Web searches in âA Billion Wicked Thoughts,â report that âover the past four years, gay porn has surged in popularity among heterosexual women and doesnât show any sign of having peaked.â It doesnât stop at hardcore videos, either: Consider the thriving online world of explicit slash fiction, in which fans of various items of pop culture ephemera write scenes where straight-male leads â from âStar Trekâsâ Kirk and Spock to âTwilightâsâ Edward and Jacob â get it on. In Japan, there is a comic book equivalent called yaoi (or âboy loveâ) with a similarly female-dominated audience.
So, no, you are hardly âa freakâ â at least not in any negative sense. Now as for the tougher issue of âWhatâs up with that?â I took your question to award-winning gay-erotica author James Buchanan, whose audience is largely female. âThe men are free to explore their roles and enjoy each other without this omnipresent sound track of what society âexpects,ââ Buchanan said. âAnd female readers can choose to identify with either, or both, protagonists in the story.â Fantasies are supposed to allow us to escape our usual roles, after all. Speaking of roles, a study published in 2004 by a psychologist-anthropologist duo theorized that part of the female attraction to slash is that itâs âbased on shared adventure, and its protagonists slay each otherâs dragons.â The authors write, âAlthough the heroes of mainstream romance novels are âwarriors,â the heroines are not warriors, no matter how intelligent, well-educated, fiercely independent, professionally successful, and spunky they may be.â They surmise, âThe typical slash fan may be a woman who is psychosexually unexceptional but who, for whatever reason, prefers the fantasy of being a cowarrior to the fantasy of being Mrs. Warrior.â Maybe you want to be the pornographic equivalent of a co-warrior â a co-screwer instead of a screwee?