UK
03/03/2015 10:47 GMT | Updated 03/03/2015 10:59 GMT

BBC's Jane Garvey Calls Hardcore Porn 'Not Sexy' And 'Upsetting'

The success of '50 Shades Of Grey' may have made you think porn has become vanilla and mainstream, but the reaction of one BBC journalist shows hardcore sex still has the power to shock.

Jane Garvey, who hosts Radio 4's Woman's Hour, said watching the hardcore pornography for research purposes left her "upset", adding: "I do not want to watch women in pain."

She made the comments during a debate on the question Can Porn Empower Women?', to be broadcast on Radio 4 on Sunday, International Women's Day.

"I have to say I spent an informative hour or so last week watching porn at work. I don’t want to miss Call The Midwife," she said, according to The Daily Mail.

jane garvey

Jane Garvey

"When I watched it last week, if I am really honest with you, I am probably a bit naïve and vanilla in my taste, I don’t think upset is too strong a word, but I was upset by the expressions of some of the women. I do not want to watch women in pain. It is not sexy. I don’t get why I should be expected to get that. Why should I?"

Ms Garvey, 50, was joined on the panel by producers of porn, who defended pornography's effect on women.

Pandora Blake, who describes herself as a feminist porn performer, told the panel: "Porn is not a genre. It is a medium like film or television. Saying it is degrading is like saying all of TV is degrading just because you have watched Top Gear. I would say don’t throw the baby out with the bath water."

Ms Garvey added access to porn had changed drastically since she was a child, saying: "When I was a child you might find a school friend’s dad’s copy of Playboy in his bedroom and have a blooming good look and be slightly amazed and a bit stunned and a bit baffled if you were me.

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"It was not everywhere and now it is. It was not so easily accessible. Surely that has made a difference?"

The story of 50 Shades Of Grey may not have converted her but internet porn searches suggest it has converted a lot of other people.

US porn site Pornhub released statistics about how the premiere of 50 Shades Of Grey had coincided with a 20% increase in the number of searches for 'spank', 'bondage' and 'submission' in the US, and a 40% increase in the amount of times women searched for these terms.

"Our female users have definitely been channeling their inner Anastasia Steeles," the site said.

The site also published a breakdown of which BDSM search terms had increased worldwide since the film was released, showing 'submission' was in the lead with a 55% increase.

pornhub search terms

The 50 Shades Of Grey Effect