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5 reasons why men watch porn more often than women

It is no secret that men are, by far, the largest consumers of porn. It won't be an exaggeration to say that almost the entire porn industry seems designed to cater to the desires of men. Even married men and men in relationships look at porn, much to the chagrin of their partners.

In this article, we explore 5 major psychological reasons (rooted in biology) why men like watching porn.

1) Stronger sex drive

Men, on average, have a greater sex drive than women. They think about sex and fantasize about sexual encounters more often than women. This comes from the evolutionary pressure of wanting to sire as many offspring as one can. This way more of a man's genes can be passed on to the next generation.

Of course, if you’re thinking about sex more often it follows that you’d watch porn more often to give more life to your fantasies.

2) Men are visually stimulated

When it comes to sexual arousal, men are more stimulated by visuals than women.1 This is in line with the fact that men value physical beauty the most in a potential partner. A woman’s physical beauty is an indicator of her good genes, fertility, health, and youthfulness.

Porn is all about visual stimulation. Countless solo videos are made by women where they twerk, wiggle, and highlight their bodies in different poses and angles. You never see male porn actors doing this type of stuff in pornos. There's simply no demand.

porn cartoon

3) Coolidge effect

Calvin Coolidge, a former US president, was once visiting a farm with his wife. Mrs. Coolidge observed that a rooster was mating with a large number of hens on a nightly basis. Impressed, she asked the farmer to make the president aware of the rooster’s sexual potency.

Mr. Coolidge asked the farmer if the rooster was paired with the same hens every night. The answer was no. The rooster always had a new flock of hens to mate with. Mr. Coolidge then asked the farmer to make his wife aware of this fact.

The desire to seek novelty in sex, combined with a loss of interest in the same-sex partner, became known as the Coolidge effect. It is largely restricted to males and is observed throughout that animal kingdom- in mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and invertebrates.

After humans have sex, the man becomes exhausted and his penis becomes flaccid. After rats mate, male rats show similar behavior.2 They’re unwilling to copulate again even if the females are insistent. However, if a new female rat is introduced, the male rat is invigorated and ready for sex.

The human penis is shaped the way it is because it’s effective in dislodging sperm from a woman’s reproductive tract. This evolutionary strategy helped our male ancestors to remove sperm from other males that may have been present in a woman’s reproductive tract before depositing their own.

The reason why a man's penis becomes flaccid after sex is that it's disadvantageous for him to dislodge his own sperm from the woman's reproductive tract, with whom he just had sex. However, there's no scope of such a disadvantage if a novel female is introduced.

Porn provides men with endless sexual novelty. One day, a guy might watch a clip of a blonde and the next day he might prefer a brunette. There are no risks and costs involved that would normally screw things up for him if he pursued such a strategy in real life.

4) Rapid insemination

This again has got to do with the sperm competition between the sperm of different males in the female reproductive tract. If a man sees a couple having a sexual intercourse, he feels motivated to deposit his own sperm into the woman before the previous man’s sperm has the chance to fertilize her egg. 

The quicker he ejaculates after the couple has had sex, the greater his own chances of fertilizing the egg.

Therefore, men are wired to get sexually excited when they see a couple having sex. This could also be the reason why it’s absolutely necessary for men to immediately masturbate after watching porn.

Interestingly, such behavior designed for rapid insemination is also displayed by rats, monkeys, and birds. Male birds, for instance, on seeing their partners having sex with another male, fly straight at that male and knock him off. They then immediately inseminate female.3 

5) An opportunity to learn

Men, along with some other male mammals, have to learn the sexual technique even though sexual arousal and erection happen automatically. This is part of the reason why men are so curious about sex from an early age and why they start watching porn as soon as they hit puberty.

Since humans have the capacity to learn an act by watching others perform it, porn provides men with an opportunity to master their moves.


1. Hamann, S., Herman, R. A., Nolan, C. L., & Wallen, K. (2004). Men and women differ in amygdala response to visual sexual stimuli. Nature neuroscience7(4), 411.

2. Fiorino, D. F., Coury, A., & Phillips, A. G. (1997). Dynamic changes in nucleus accumbens dopamine efflux during the Coolidge effect in male rats. Journal of neuroscience17(12), 4849-4855.

3. Baker, Robin. Sperm wars: Infidelity, sexual conflict, and other bedroom battles. Basic Books, 2006.

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