Lesbian Sex in Mainstream Cinema and Audience Enjoyment

María T. Soto-Sanfiel, Adriana Ibiti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York. We explore factors affecting audience engagement in mainstream movies showing explicit lesbian sex. A total of 236 participants of different genders and sexual orientations completed a questionnaire measuring factors related to enjoyment immediately after watching La vie d’Adèle in commercial cinemas. Statistical analysis confirmed that positive audience engagement is explained by several factors: viewers considering that the sexual intercourse portrayed is not excessive, the artistic–dramatic justification of the scenes, the inspired appreciation, the perceived realism of the sex scenes and the sexual arousal experienced. Results also show that the use of lesbian sex as a lure is a crucial factor for eliciting enjoyment and appreciation of movies featuring images of explicit sex.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-578
JournalSexuality and Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016


  • Enjoyment
  • Explicit lesbian sex
  • Lesbian representation
  • Mainstream cinema
  • Sexual arousal
  • Sexual orientation


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