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The Positive Effect of Pornography: Consumers of Women’s Pornographic Manga in Japan

Sun, June 26, 10:30am to 12:20pm, Shikokan (SK), Floor: 1F, 119


There are two significant genres of pornographic manga for women in contemporary Japan. One is called “Ladies’ Comics” and the other “Boys’ Love”. Both are disseminated through magazines. The purpose of this paper is to clarify the characteristic traits of readers of such magazines. These magazines typically consist of around ten different manga describing female sexual fantasies, and also contain many letters from readers with comments about the magazine and accounts of the readers’ own sexual experiences and fantasies. A publisher I interviewed explained that initially the pornographic content of these magazines was not explicit. However, by popular demand on the part of women readers, the pornographic content escalated. In addition, many kinds of fantasies were requested, and the publishers tried to cater to as many of them as possible. Based on these letters, I first discuss what the readers' perspectives on pornography are. Secondly, I show the characteristic traits of women who engage in masturbation while reading pornographic magazines according to the seventh National Survey of Sexual Activity of Japanese Youth (2011). These are conducted every six years by a research group of the Japanese Association for Sex Education (JASE), of which I am a member. Comparing women who had and had not masturbated, the former (36.2% of respondents) had a positive image of sex, while the latter’s image of sex tended to more negative. The former also demonstrate more knowledge of sex. Extrapolating from this data, I argue that pornography for women has a positive effect.