“GIFs take these moments of ephemeral pleasure, a passing facial expression, a particular movement or jiggle and de-contextualize the moment. And then repeat itself,” said Helen Hester, a senior lecturer in media and communication at the University of West London and coauthor of the article Giffing a fuck: Non-narrative pleasures in participatory porn cultures and female fandom, to be published in the journal Porn Studies.

Of course, porn GIFs don’t appeal only to women, but the “microporn” does appear to have struck a unique chord with the ladies, according to Hester—an audience known to feel alienated by mainstream porn, historically geared toward men. Spend five minutes on Tumblr, and you’ll find yourself sucked into a pulsing subculture of porn GIFs curated for women…”

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