Lesbians in non-Western cultures

Since we’re all responsible, mature adults here, I feel comfortable submitting the following question that has vexed me for some time and only the vast resouces of the SDMB might answer. :smiley:

There’s no question that lesbian erotica holds a very special place in the “hearts” of the typical American/European male. Does the same hold true for Asian, African, and Aboriginal cultures, thus implying a biological basis for it, or is it a cultural construct? Also, how was it viewed historically?

I need to know whether to tell my fiancee whether it’s genetic or cultural imperitives imprinted on my fragile little mind that make me order from the Spice channel every blue moon.

Uh, no. Lesbian erotica is, if anything, a complete turn-off to Western men. What you’re thinking of is “girl-on-girl pornography,” which ain’t lesbian and is not necessarily erotica.

Whether men from other cultures are turned on by women pretending to have sex with each other is something others must answer, but let’s start by being honest.

I can’t answer the OP (being a Western male), but I’m a little puzzled by Nametag’s post. I’m no connoisseur, but I’m not sure I would be able to tell the difference between “lesbian erotica” and “girl-on-girl pornography”. In addition I have a hard time believing that “lesbian erotica is a complete turn-off to Western men”.

It certainly is possible that I’ve led a sheltered life and have no idea what constitutes “lesbian erotica”. Let me think. The only turn-offs I can think of offhand are a) blood and/or violence, b) waste products, c) no nudity. And I’m not even certain of (c). :slight_smile:

Nametag is referring to the differences between lesbian porn intented for a lesbian audience and “girl-action” porn that is specifically constructed for the gratification of a straight male audience. There are significant differences.

Compare an issue of “On Our Backs” (a lesbian publication) to straight porn that features girl-on-girl action and you can get a better sense of the differences.

In my experience, the straight men I’ve known who have seen bona fide lesbian porn (intended for a gay female audience) were uncomfortable rather than turned on.

Interesting. I sense a need to conduct a personal experiment.

From what I can see from the On Our Backs website, it looks a lot more to my liking that the typical Californian girl-on-girl product. Nametag was incredibly arrogant, making a sweeping statement about all Western men. Many men’s ‘lesbian fantasies’ have absolutely nothing to do with the blond-hair-fake-tits-high-heels tedium obviously being referred to.

I disagree that Nametag was “incredibly arrogant”. She or he simply pointed out a misuse of the word lesbian in reference to certain porn. Her or his projection that a portrayal of lesbian “action” as opposed to “male-directed girl-on-girl action” action may have been sweeping, but it was not arrogant. BTW, OTOH, I am not an expert, since IANA lesbian, and IANA male who is turned on by girl-on-girl action, if you get my drift.

This is silly. I think we all know what the OP was referring to; that said, I’ve encountered it in a number of other cultures (Japan, in particular, comes to mind). I also visited the ‘On Our Backs’ website, and while the magazine is clearly aimed towards lesbians – it would also be perfectly consumable by men. The photos, anyway.

I would posit that, if the women in the depiction are performing the same actions that “real” lesbians might perform when having sex, then those women are no more “pretending to have sex” than the male and female actors in the hetero scenes are
“pretending to have sex”.

Unless of course, you’re drawing a distinction between “having sex” and “making love”.

Ever seen the movie When Night is Falling? What’s that count as? Erotica, “girl-on-girl porno,” or just plain Romance?

Well, that was kinda the point. While lesbians seldom invite spectators, they do, from time to time, bitch about the phony sex that men watch in “lesbian” porn.

GorillaMan, every population has its outliers. Howevers, I’d be pretty surprised to meet any man who’d routinely jack off to “On Our Backs.”

Wait a minute. I don’t think you understand a good % of the male gender’s ability to make a sexual fantasy out of just about anything. A knot hole in a fence can arouse some guys, so I’m sure “On Our Backs” would be high on the list of erotic entertainment.

a) I think it’s more appropriate to interpret the OP in terms of fantasies rather than erotica. What’s being discussed is the idea that Western men have a predisposition to fantasies about sexual acts involving two women. The realpolitik of the actual instantiation in pornography is beside the point

b) [nitpick]Fair or not, the English third-person subject pronoun of indefinite gender is “he”. Similarly, the third-person posessive pronoun of indefinite gender is “his”.[/nitpick]


OK, so can we skip the semantic and tedious arguments about what does or doesn’t constitute lesbian/girl-on-girl/sapphic erotica/pornography/fantasies/sex and get down to the question, which is whether straight men in cultures of non-Western (“Western” being defined here as linked to Western Europe) origin find the idea, depiction or reality of two or more women having sex arousing, or if it is a culture-specific phenomenon?

A very quick perusal of the net would seem to indicate the Japanese – or at least their porn creators – share the inclination to some degree.

How technical do you want to get on what defines Western cultures? Slavic nations, IME, are the same as western on this. Lots of Czech porn is girl-on-girl, same with Russian. South Africa has the same, but the whites are so close to Southern US folks its scary. We need to hear from some South American Dopers and folk from the Mid East…

This just in: A guy from class sitting behind me is from India. While porn is illegal to sell (mags, etc.) there is an underground market for it…and yes, girl-on-girl action is hot. Indian guys like to see two nekkid girls just as much as the next guy.

Maybe that is it- you double your watching pleasure when looking at lesbian porn. Two nekkid women in a state of arousal doing things to each other and themselves gives you twice as much bang for your buck. I don’t think it is that hard to comprehend.


Nor me. I certainly find it arousing myself, including some of the stuff from On Our Backs (but some of the stuff I didn’t find arousing was weird; what do lesbians get out of looking at two women pretending to be gay men?), but the question wasn’t “why” but “if”. And the answer seems to be “yes”.

It occurred to me that I have a personal point of reference that might bring me in line with Nametag’s point of view.

I’m what’s called a “spanko” - I am aroused by spanking. It’s an important part of my sexuality. I also have a strong interest in BDSM. When I look at spanking erotica, or visual depictions of BDSM scenes, I and most others like me can easily identify the “fake” stuff. It’s very easy to tell the difference between a scene depicting actors who are truly part of the spanko community, and a scene depicting actors who are simply posing. For one thing, the “posers” tend to look just like your typical porn stars - fake breasts, big hair, too much makeup. And their facial expressions are usually a dead giveaway. By contrast, the “real” actors tend to look more like average people, with average bodies. And “real” actor in a scene is not going to leer into the camera while he or she is administering a spanking. Facial expressions are appropriate to the scene.

Have I hit on what you were saying, Nametag? Is the difference something that you won’t pick up on without being an actual member of the target audience?

Well, now that the “if” is out of the way, what about the “why”? Why would the sight of two chicks making out be such an intense turn on for a straight male? Technically, the whole purpose of getting aroused is so that nature can trick us into siring a screaming, bloated larval human that we then have to provide for (or not, if you can outrun the female’s relatives) in order to perpetuate the species. Logically, only the things that make it more likely to create a viable larvae should turn us on.

Which begs the question, how the heck do lesbians improve our chances of making babies? Why would two chicks making out with each other be more arousing than two chicks who are hot for you but otherwise ignoring each other (I’m speculating on the latter scenario, since I’ve yet to experience it)? At best, the lesbians would ignore us. At worst, they’d mutilate us so that any future siring would be impossible. I can’t believe the best scientific minds of our time aren’t addressing this.

Maybe we’re all hpping that they’re really bi, and that if they’re emotionally close enough to be making out, they’ll probably share the burden of caring for any larva that spring forth form your frolic. At least. that’s the most reasonable hypothesis I can come up with.

And yes, by “lesbian erotica” I meant XXX lesbo porn. I wuz tryin’ to be all sofistimocated.