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Study Analyzes Sexual Dysfunction in Female Adult Entertainers

Almost a quarter of female adult entertainers have some degree of sexual dysfunction, according to a recent anonymous survey.

This rate is lower than the estimated 43% sexual dysfunction rate for women in the United States, the researchers noted.

Adult entertainment is a broad industry that includes the making of pornographic films. Actors in such films may be expected to perform sex acts as part of their professional activities. Until this study, it was unclear to what extent female adult entertainers experienced sexual problems.

In collaboration with the Free Speech Coalition and the North American Trade Association of the Adult Industry, researchers sent anonymous online surveys to a group of female adult entertainers. They compiled the results from 96 respondents.

The women’s ages ranged from 20 to 66, with an average of 34 years. They all had biological vaginas. In other words, they had not undergone male-to-female gender affirming surgery. About 15% of the women had gone through menopause.

In general, the women said their personal sex lives were more satisfying than their professional sex lives.

The survey included an assessment tool called the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI), which is commonly used in studies of women’s sexual problems. Women whose FSFI scores are 26.55 points or less are considered to be at risk for sexual dysfunction. Just under a quarter of the women fell into this category, reporting less personal sexual satisfaction, less frequent sex, and fewer satisfying sexual encounters than women without sexual dysfunction.

“This trend suggests that engaging in professional sex work is not strongly associated with FSD [female sexual dysfunction] in these women; biopsychosocial factors, which drive FSD in the general population, may be driving FSD in entertainers as well,” the authors wrote.

“Given the explosive growth of pornography production and use in the Internet age, there is an imperative to study the impact of pornography, not only on those who consume it but also on the growing population of men and women in front of the camera,” they added.

The study was published online in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in April 2019.


The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Dubin, Justin M. MD, et al.

“Evaluation of Indicators of Female Sexual Dysfunction in Adult Entertainers”

(Full-text. Published online: April 4, 2019)