What does ‘female gaze’ mean?

Image by the brilliant Stuart F Taylor

“Argh you’ve ruined porn for me.”

This is often how conversations begin in my house. After talking to the boy about traditional pornographic tropes, and the way some pornographers are challenging them by making ‘female gaze’ porn, he says he cannot see a traditional extreme porn close-up shot without thinking “oh, that’s very male gaze.”

Hence, I have ruined porn.

Thing is, I find it hard not to notice this stuff too. Having learned a bit about female gaze porn (and as most of what I’m learning about porn I’m learning from Pandora Blake, it’d be remiss of me not to link you to her excellent discussion of female gaze in art and pornography), I’m trying to work out exactly what it is that I like about certain scenes and films that utterly turns me off about others. It’s hard to explain exactly what ‘female gaze’ is in just a few words – the idea is that much of our art and entertainment uses a ‘male gaze’ perspective – in which women not so much ‘portrayed’ as ‘ogled’. ‘Female gaze’ on the other hand, tends to take a different approach – trying to use images and story that would work to tell a story either from a female perspective or to a female audience. In ‘female gaze’ porn, it often translates into wider shots, more dialogue, more rounded characters or a greater focus on female pleasure.

What interests me, though, is that while video porn is something that – although traditionally assumed to be a male product – is now being targeted at both genders, when it comes to written erotica, the vast majority of it is marketed solely at women.

Which is ridiculous, when you think about it. Porn is a genre of entertainment like anything else – open to different interpretations and nuance and style, each of which will appeal differently to different people. Like the difference between a traditional retelling of Shakespeare and a Baz Luhrmann film with guns and stabbings and car chases, what makes porn sexy for one person but shit for another often just comes down to how you tell the story.

Here are two stories. Which do you prefer?

Version 1: A story about fucking

Girl meets boy. She’s wet. Soaking wet so you can see the slickness dripping from her open cunt. She’s smiling, enjoying it. Cupping her own tits in her hands as she lies back on the bed. Open. Waiting. Eager.

He’s hard – his broad hands stroke his fat cock as he stands over her – taking in every inch of her silky, taut, nakedness. Her nipples are hard, and he teases them with his prick. Rubbing the end over them as she moans faintly. The wetness from the tip of his cock leaves a trail on her chest, and she runs a finger over it then licks it off. She smiles.

He moves down her body, touching each bit of her – squeezing her tits, pushing the palm of his hand onto her stomach, running his fingers down through her wet slit. She moans. Kneeling between her legs, he spreads her thighs wide, holding the tip of himself against the entrance of the hole he’s about to fuck.

“Please fuck me.” No pause, straight in. The request made and granted almost simultaneously. He plunges himself into her and she squeals, reaching down to grip his arse with her hands. He fucks her – swift strokes that make her tits jiggle and her breath quick. She gasps, moans, and looks down to see his thick cock pushing into her.

In. Out. Again. More. Harder.

She flips over, presenting her arse for him to fill. As he slides his cock in his big hands grip her, slapping her and leaving red imprints. She moans again, arches her back, pushes herself onto him as he gets closer to coming.

In. Out. Again. More. Harder.

And it’s there – he pulls out, his dick twitching and glistening with the juices from her cunt. He grips the base and – with measured strokes – rubs out arcing ropes of spunk. They splash over her – drops and pools of come all over her arse. A river drips down the crack of her arse, mixing with the wetness in her cunt. His dick twitches a few more times: a few more drops.

And they’re done.

Version 2: A story about fucking

Girl meets boy. She’s halfway between nervous and excited: watching him undress has her nipples feeling tight and cold, and her cunt aching to be touched. She pulls off her knickers and lies on the bed, all the better to take in the view as he pulls off his clothes. His dick’s hard already – thick and pronounced through his tight black shorts. He hooks both thumbs under the waistband and pulls them down – grinning as he watches her eyes grow wide.

She’s touching herself – she can’t help it. The sordid hotel room and the look of this guy and the excitement of knowing she’s doing something new. She’s squeezing herself – teasing her own nipples as she hopes he will soon – hinting that she needs him near her.

She wins. With his dick in his hand he approaches her on the bed, not bothering to hide his enthusiasm – she likes that. He’s stroking himself and wants to touch her – as he rubs the tip of his cock on her nipples she can’t help but let out a moan. No words as such, but they both know this is a ‘yes please’ moan – an ‘oh God do more’ moan. So he does it again, and she moans again, using a finger to trace the wet trail he’s left on her nipple, and licking it off. Revelling in the fact that she’s done this to him.

He moves down her body, touching every inch of her – making the most of what they both know will only happen once. He cups her tits in his hands and squeezes, the firmness and her moaning making his cock twitch and his stomach kick with excitement. His palms flat on her belly, his fingers trailing down to her cunt – he doesn’t know which of them is more excited. Which more aroused. It probably doesn’t matter: all either of them wants is the culmination of this night: the tipsy flirting, the hands-under-skirts under the table, the whispered ‘fuck me upstairs’ that she gave him in the lift. The ache he’d been carrying, semi-hard, in his trousers from that moment.

He’s kneeling between her open legs, savouring the look of need in her face, the way she arches her back ever so slightly to make it easier for him to enter her.

“Please, fuck me.” She begs, half-smiling half-frowning as she thrusts herself towards his dick. He does – long, hard strokes, filling her up and making her cry out with satisfaction. She shudders with the delicious feeling of fulfillment, and glances down to watch as he works his cock in and out of her.

In. Out. Again. More. Harder.

He’s close, he can feel it – deep in the pit of his stomach he can feel climax rushing through him. He should pause, he knows, and wait until she’s had more pleasure from him. But the sight of her face twisted into lustful satisfaction, and the sight of her tits jiggling up and down with each stroke it’s… close. It’s tricky. He wants so much to come but he wants to watch her for a bit longer, hear her cries of joy a few more times. Know that he’s doing this: he’s making her cunt twitch and her eyes light up and her nipples tingling and hard.

She flips over, and he takes a second to calm himself. He squeezes the base of his cock. Blinks once, twice, breathes deeply. She’s doing the same – breathing deeply. Reveling in the power she has to take his orgasm from him. She arches her back, pushing her arse out towards the tip of his cock. Groaning loudly as he enters her.

In. Out. Again. More. Harder.

He bites his lip as he comes – a last-ditch attempt to hold himself back and give himself more time. She grips the pillow with her hands, squeezing it as she’s squeezing him, wanting to milk every drop of enjoyment from this evening. He pulls out, gasping as he reaches the peak of his climax, shooting ropes of spunk over her – twitching from his dick and signalling the end he didn’t want to reach just yet.

She feels the jets of spunk hitting her arse – forceful, strong, and copious – and she aches with delight. She locks the feeling away in her head, as she’s locked the sounds of his grunting gasps and the sensation of his cock tracing the outline of her nipples.

While he’s wishing he’d had more time, she’s pulling up her knickers and wishing herself home. So she can relive her triumph alone.


  • advizor54 says:

    Both versions are great and made/kept me inappropriately hard for an airport shuttle bus, but they weren’t that different. I am finding myself money aroused by videos that show faces more than body parts and would it kill anyone to through in some dialogue ?

    I want more than the “in and out”

    • Girl on the net says:

      Ah, I agree. I love a bit of proper dialogue. I tried to keep these stories exactly the same in terms of what happens, but the former was focused more on simple physical descriptions while the latter had a bit more motivation and sensation.

  • Richard P says:

    Speaking as a heterosexual male I find a lot of porn to be somewhat clinical. I’m sick of extreme close ups and lingering shots of penis’s thrusting into vaginas. Personally I find the single hottest part of a woman to be her voice.
    To provide a great example the first real celebrity crush I had was for an actress from a video game. I didn’t find out what she looked out until several years later, but it doesn’t really matter to me. Her voice saying sexy things does more to get me going than all the cumshots on the internet. Hell she doesn’t even have to be saying things that could be considered sexy. In a separate game she was giving a speech about duty and honour and, well let’s just say I had to sit down for several minutes.

    • Girl on the net says:

      I’m totally with you on voices. Whether it’s a sexy accent, a gorgeous turn of phrase, or just a kind of gruff deep sexiness that I can’t quite put my finger on: voices can be incrediby hot. There should be more audio porn, I reckon. I’d be well up for that.

    • Bee says:

      Was it Claudia Black?

      • Richard P says:

        Jennifer Hale actually. Femshep from mass effect is probably the sexiest character in fiction. Particularly when she’s in her battle armour. Though it helps that women in armour is also a serious turn on.

        • Ezequiel says:

          Damn. Here I thought, like Bee, that it would be Claudia Black. That voice is far too sexy for anyone’s good.

          • Richard P says:

            For the record I am in no way stating that Claudia Black’s voice isn’t sexy, let’s face it the scene of Morrigan seducing you from dragon age origins is hot beyond all reason.
            Hell I could run off a list of voice actresses who make me go weak at the knees without me ever needing to see them, Jennifer Hale just happens to be at the top of that list.

  • Alex says:

    I’m still none the wiser as to what female gaze means??? Sorry, did I miss something or am I just unusually ignorant….probably the later, lol.

    • Girl on the net says:

      Yeah, my bad – I’ll add a para in there. This one got chopped a lot in editing and I didn’t realise I’d left a chunk out =)

  • Stephanie says:

    I love erotica when it’s well-written. Kudos. I’m tingly and wet.

  • Azkyroth says:

    I don’t know what kind of gaze this is, but my ideal [video/visual] porn: male/female “amateur” couple with average-to-curvy body types, camerawork/etc. by someone with professional experience who enjoys the “amateur porn” aesthetic. Anal sex. Four-way split screen; two views of the whole couple from different angles, one view a close-up of the penetration (maybe changing among three angles every few seconds), one view a close-up of her face (fine, GOTN, we can have it alternate between their faces). Webcam-quality images are plenty fine and will help with all the angles…

    Oh, and visible lube slickness and a position that people actually use outside of porn. And filming until he comes, inside.

    Now if only there was some way to get red-eye effect in video….. :3

  • LoopyLou says:

    Being a horny male I obviously like porn but do not get as turned on with the ‘woman is an object not person’ type porn. This is why, don’t judge, I have occasionally watched gay porn. It is more like the female view you described before. Now that I’ve heard of that I’ll be sure to look into it.

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