Monday, May 2, 2011

"What the Internet reveals about sexual desire"

A Q&A from an interview in Salon with the neuroscientist authors of A Billion Wicked Thoughts, a look at the Internet and human sexual behavior (I'm finishing reading Sex at Dawn right now; the article provides an interesting complement to that book, if you've read it):
As far as men's interest in pornography goes, what of your findings were actually surprising? Because a lot of it -- like the interest in large breasts -- is totally expected.

I'll give you the top three. No. 1 is that men prefer overweight women to underweight women. There are almost three times as many searches for fat women as there are for skinny women, and lest you think that's some way we treated the search data, this is also reflected in popularity on adult sites. There are many more video sites devoted to overweight women than underweight women. Now, I should say as a caveat that men prefer healthy weight women overall. But if the choice is between a woman with a few extra pounds or a few less pounds, most guys will choose more pounds.
I'm not choosing to see this as evidence that all men Really Prefer Fatties (although many more do than admit it or are aware of it, I think)--the images we ingest and fantasy we pursue is not the same thing as known physical preference--but it is quite interesting.

As somebody who spent a significant amount of time in recent months combing BBW porn sites to illustrate this book (there are just a few illustrations, but very specific ones) I can tell you that nothing about this fact surprises me. For a lot of reasons, but mostly because: more happens in fat porn. If what you want to do is look at (sexy) things, there is more to look at in fat porn. More movement, more shapes, more dangle, more jiggle, more flesh, more cause and effect, more postures, more difference in postures, more textures, more change in body shapes from moment to moment, more body size differences, more contrast, more kinetic energy, more finagling, more acoustical sound, more force, more More. More (I'll just say it) PHYSICS! Physics in action. Mmm...physics.

The illustration for the article (at left) is a MILF. It's interesting that Salon didn't choose to show a big girl, which maybe highlights (to my mind) part of what's being talked about here: because images of fatness are ritually excluded from the media, another reason men (who may not be that into fat girls in real life) like fat porn is that there is the jolt of the "unfamiliar" in it. You don't see naked fat bodies online/in print as often, so they seem more naked when they are. They look more unclothed. A naked thin body is more of a known quantity. The shapes and forms of the fat body depart from the iconography of Naked Lady and that can bring additional attention, good or bad. Fat bodies are going to lose some of their currency as unknown quantities once they get let out of the media cellar a bit.

Anyhow, the book looks interesting. Shall add it to the list.

No comments:

Post a Comment