I didn’t agree with everything written in A Billion Wicked Thoughts, though it contained many interesting bits of information. The authors, Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, sifted through over 400 million Internet searches and found that 55 million of them (about 13 percent) were for erotic content. Who is doing these searches? You guessed it: guys (mostly). Though more women seek out erotic stories than men, Ogas and Gaddam determined that men preferred viewing erotic images and movies more than women six times to one. Indeed, on popular paysites like Brazzers and Bang Bros, the audience is about 75 percent male, but when it comes to actually paying for porn, only 2 percent of all the subscriptions are made on credit cards in women’s names. “In fact,” they said, “CCBill [a popular billing service used by adult sites] even flags the names as potential fraud…”
Why the differences? Certainly there are many women porn connoisseurs and men that enjoy erotic literature. Ogas and Gaddam delve into men’s ability to be aroused by “or” and women’s need to be aroused by “and.” They explain that men have single-cue arousability – nice breasts or a round butt or a hot MILF will do, whereas women need multiples cues – attractive and nice to children and self-confident. Though most women are actually physically aroused by just about any kind of porn, they only become psychologically aroused when the “and” threshold is met. The woman herself must also feel safe and irresistible and physically healthy. In stressful environments, for example, a man’s libido goes up while a woman’s libido goes down.
Though the Power of Or means that men have little trouble getting aroused, it also means that men are not very flexible in their sexuality. In contrast, the Power of And means that female sexuality is far more plastic. Psychologist Roy Baumeister was one of the first scientists to focus attention on female sexual plasticity, emphasizing ‘the female sex drive is more malleable than the male in response to sociocultural and situational factors.’ But the Power of And also means that women have a harder time getting aroused. They simply have more cues to satisfy… On the other hand, since women are not tied to any particular cue, they have much greater flexibility in getting aroused – including greater flexibility in the gender of their partners… Studies have found that high sex drive in women is associated with increased sexual attraction to both women and men, while high sex drive in men only enhances attraction to one or the other, depending on a man’s sexual orientation. Many female-targeted porn sites, such as NoFauxxx, East Van Porn Collective, and Crash Pad Series proudly claim to offer a wide variety of models, situations, and sexual orientations […and politics]. Male-targeted paysites, on the other hand, almost always focus on a single, specific cue… The female brain splits conscious psychological arousal apart from unconscious physical arousal, while the male brain unites them. But the male brain splits apart two neural systems that are united in the female brain: sex and romance.
Simply put, men and women pick up on different erotic cues, have different ways of processing those cues, and behave differently in response to those cues. It is interesting to consider this information when you think about how many women’s sexual fantasies revolve around “letting go” and “losing control” and letting the midbrain take over while many men’s sexual fantasies focus on enticing objects and visuals (hence the larger number of porn subscriptions). It also explains why women – and not men – made the Lulu app (personally I think the app is insulting to both men and women, however I can appreciate that the makers were trying to create accountability in dating).
Frankly I found the book worthwhile despite the speculations and generalizations by the authors; check it out after reading The Erotic Mind, as The Erotic Mind helps you discover what you like, but A Billion Wicked Thoughts offers more of an explanation as to why you may get turned on by certain things under certain conditions.