It’s no surprise that many straight women enjoy watching adult films that feature male same-sex interactions. The natural masculinity and obvious arousal are undeniably appealing. However, many cultures view the concept of heterosexual men getting off to male same-sex activity as taboo. Queer men enjoy watching men have sex with men, and straight men are obsessed with boobies and girl-on-girl action, right? Sure, but a recent study found that many men who identify as straight watch gay porn.
In a new survey published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers discovered that the behavior is somewhat common. The study investigated the porn preferences of gay, straight and bisexual men, and attempted to answer the question of how men feel about seeing condoms in adult entertainment.
Led by Martin J. Downing, Ph.D., the researchers examined 821 men and their porn consumption tendencies. They noticed that 55 percent of gay men reported viewing straight porn in the preceding six months. Meanwhile, 21 percent of straight men recounted seeing same-sex porn in the six months prior.
Also, men who identified as bisexual watched same-sex porn at a rate of 96 percent, which is nearly as much as gay men at 98.3 percent. Interestingly, they watched straight porn at a rate of 88.3 percent, which is slightly lower than their straight counterparts at 98.5 percent.
The 21 percent of straight men who watch gay porn surprised the searchers. Downing told Cosmopolitan.com, “Sexual attractions and behaviors are more than just identity.” He added, “Research has shown that some gay men are attracted to or find heterosexual and masculine men more attractive.”
Downing also explained that identifying as straight is not limited to those who have never had a same-sex attraction. Ironically, the study found a commonality in men regardless of their sexual identity; the majority of men prefer condom-free pornography
A separate study from the University of Portsmouth in England revealed the reason many straight men have same-sex fantasies and attractions. According to that research, progesterone, a hormone found in men and women, contributes to the desire to form social bonds which often increases the willingness to engage in same-sex sexual behaviors.
The report’s author, Dr. Diana Fleischman, explained the behavior in detail saying, “From an evolutionary perspective we tend to think of sexual behavior as a means to an end for reproduction.”
“However, because sexual behavior is intimate and pleasurable, it is also used in many species, including non-human primates, to help form and maintain social bonds. We can all see this in romantic couples who bond by engaging in sexual behavior even when reproduction is not possible,” she added.
Fleischman continued, “Having some degree of attraction to the opposite sex is a type of adaptive behavior, and in any adaptive behavior you will see extremes of the spectrum; hence some people will only be attracted to members of the same sex. The research suggests that having exclusively heterosexual thoughts is a disadvantage — it’s better to be a little bit attracted to the opposite sex.”