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James Delingpole

Do women really watch as much porn as men?

3 August 2013

9:00 AM

3 August 2013

9:00 AM

You may be aware that David Cameron — as part of a secret, Lynton Crosby-inspired operation codenamed Suck Up Shamelessly To The Embittered Authoritarian Killjoy Harpies At Mumsnet — has decreed that as from next year the default option when you sign a contract with your new internet provider will be ‘No porn in this household, thank you. I think it’s a disgrace.’

Superficially (and does this coalition ever think any other way?) I can see this makes a lot of sense. After all, what do a growing national debt, falling living standards, rising inflation, skyrocketing energy prices, out-of-control immigration, Weimar-style money-printing, a burgeoning new housing bubble, a failed health service and a collapsing infrastructure matter when you’ve got the most important problem of our times, so to speak, in hand, viz. blokes sneaking a quick one off the wrist while their missus has popped down to Waitrose to stock up on Mabel Pearman’s Burford Brown eggs, Isigny Ste Mere unsalted butter and that Duchy Originals cider on special offer at just £1.45 a bottle?

What I don’t think Dave quite appreciates, though, is how much friction this scheme is going to cause in households across the land.

She: ‘You accidentally ticked the opt-in box. Luckily I spotted just in time.’

He: ‘What!

She: ‘Well you can’t seriously think we need pornography on our home network. It won’t be long before Johnny starts looking for this sort of thing — in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he isn’t already.’


He: ‘So what if he does? Boys will be boys. He’s got to learn sometime. At school we all used to have dog-eared copies of Penthouse with the best pages stuck together…’

She: ‘Yes, but that was aeons ago. Now it’s all donkeys and underage girls and rape porn. You’ve no idea what terrible stuff they show on the internet these days.’

He: ‘Well you’ve no idea, clearly. Where did you read all that rubbish? Jan Moir’s Daily Mail article?’

She: ‘And since when were you the great expert on internet por… Oh my God. You don’t? Surely you don’t…?’ Etc.

That dialogue, I must confess, I plagiarised shamelessly from a much more explicit column I wrote on the subject of men and masturbation at (appropriately enough) Bogpaper.com. But I think it’s worth repeating a) because most of you don’t read Bogpaper, b) because I’m on holiday in Salcombe and the more words I can get out of the way quickly the sooner I can pop down to the Victoria Inn for one of those great value Mojitos they do and c) because thanks to that piece I’ve learned some fascinating new things about porn which I’d like to share with you.

The main one is this: women, it turns out, can be just as mad for internet porn as men. No, I didn’t believe this either. Of course, I knew that most women are passionately — and frankly, disgustingly — into poorly written bondage fantasies, hence Fifty Shades of Grey. But I thought rudey-rude close-ups of male and female naughty bits doing filthy things on a screen was the sort of thing women only really watched on sufferance to please their men as a consolation prize for not agreeing to rope in their best girlfriend for a cheeky birthday-present threesome.

And I didn’t think this, by the way, because I’m under the illusion that women are any less depraved than blokes. It’s more that I’ve always assumed that girls are a bit less basic. With us chaps it’s the pure, grubby, carnal physicality of the sexual act that gets us off (‘Oh look it’s one of those things like you see in a porn mag, only for real and I’m about to stick my wotsit in it. How great is that?’) whereas with girls it’s about the mood, the ambiance, the heady peripherals… (Hence the need for all that rigmarole beforehand where you have to go through the tedious business of persuading them that they want the thing that you could have told them half an hour ago they wanted and saved yourselves an awful lot of bother.)

But according to some of my techie friends, this isn’t the case at all. They’re the ones who have to clear up all the viruses which you accidentally invited into your computer along when you were trying to Google the weather and mistakenly typed in ‘Romanian donkey babes xxx hardcore’ instead.

Here’s what one of them has to say: ‘The very worst I came across was a shared houseful of young ladies. It took over eight hours to do just the first pass with the antivirus software. That pass removed over 58,000  pieces of malware and spyware, and just under 2,000 viruses. It took all the next day to finish cleaning their computer. I told them it was the worst case of an infected computer I had ever come across, and one asked how it had happened for it to be so bad. Easy I said. Porn sites. They all went bright red and then the hilarity ensued, as the finger pointing started.’

Yes all right, that’s just one case, cited in one email. But I’ve had confirmation of this from other techies, not to mention various female readers — one of whom wrote indignantly to object to my characterisation of women as porn-shunning prudes, another of whom wrote from the US to say how, having read my piece, she’d bought her hubby a premier porn subscription and, my, what joy it had brought them both.

I realise, of course, that there are still plenty of puritans out there who feel differently. To them I quote first Thomas Sowell: ‘What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don’t like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don’t expect freedom to survive very long.’ And second, Pastor Niemoller: ‘First they came for the wankers…’.


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