Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 153-169

First online:

Women's sexual and emotional responses to male- and female-produced erotica

  • Ellen LaanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Amsterdam
  • , Walter EveraerdAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Amsterdam
  • , Gerdy van BellenAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Amsterdam
  • , Gerrit HanewaldAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Amsterdam

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Whether erotic films made by women are more arousing for women than erotic films made by men was studied. Forty-seven subjects were exposed to both a woman-made, female-initiated, and female-centered, erotic film excerpt and a man-made, male-initiated, and male-centered erotic film excerpt. Photoplethysmographic vaginal pulse amplitude was recorded continuously. Self-report ratings of sexual arousal and affective reactions were collected after each stimulus presentation. Contrary to expectation, genital arousal did not differ between films, although genital response to both films was substantial. Subjective experience of sexual arousal was significantly higher during the woman-made film. The man-made film evoked more feelings of shame, guilt, and aversion. Correlations between subjective experience of sexual arousal and photoplethysmographic measures of sexual arousal were nonsignificant. The largest contribution to female sexual excitement might result from the processing of stimulus-content and stimulus-meaning and not from peripheral vasocongestive feedback.

Key words

female sexual arousal vaginal plethysmography erotica emotion concordance