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Women’s erotica is any erotic material that caters specifically to heterosexual women. When erotica is directed at lesbian women, it is referred to as lesbian erotica. Women's erotica is available from a variety of media including websites, books, short stories, films, photography, magazines and audio. The content may cover many aspects of sexuality, from relationships to fetishes; the main idea being to convey sex from a woman’s perspective, or to feature female sexual fantasies.
Because of the privacy and anonymity offered by the internet, women have increasingly embraced erotic material online. In 2003, Nielsen Netratings noted that more than a quarter of all porn surfers were female. The first women’s erotica subscription-based website, Purve, was launched in 1998. The site featured photos of nude men culled from gay sites, articles and sex advice. The first women’s adult directory was Ladylynx which featured links to galleries and site reviews. Kara's Links, a similar directory site, began operating soon after.
The first publishing imprint of erotic fiction for women was Black Lace, launched in Britain in 1992. It remained unique in publishing for over a decade and was only recently joined in the marketplace by big-name publishers Harlequin, Kensington and Avon who have released their own “black label” lines for female readers.
The first series of books to feature erotic short stories for women was Herotica, first published by Down There Press in 1996. Author and sex activist Susie Bright founded the series and edited the first three volumes. A similar series is Best Women’s Erotica from Cleis Press which has appeared annually since 2001.
Internet-based publisher Ellora's Cave produces what it calls "romantica" - romance novels with explicit sex scenes. The company originally produced e-books but has now moved into printed publishing.
Women were not acknowledged as a potential audience by pornographic filmmakers until 1985 when former adult star Candida Royalle created her first adult movie for women, Femme. The movie featured explicit sex but focused on the woman’s pleasure and refused to include "pop shots" (external ejaculation scenes). Since then she has made 16 adult films for women. In April 2007 she launched a new line of films, Femme Chocolat, which depicts the sexual fantasies of black women.
For many years Candida Royalle was the sole producer of erotic films for women.
In 1997, Oscar-nominated director Lars von Trier started the company Puzzy Power, and together with Lene Børglum started producing pornographic films for women, starting with Constance (1998) and Pink Prison (1999). In July 2009, women's magazine Cosmopolitan (German edition) ranked Pink Prison as #1 in its Top Five of Die Besten Frauenpornos (best women’s porn), calling it the "Vorbild für die neue Porno-Generation" (role model for the new porn-generation).
In the 21st century a number of other women have stepped in and created their own vision of women’s erotica. These include:
In 2006 Playgirl in partnership with adult company Wicked produced and released their own line of adult films for women.
In 2009 Dusk! TV starts in the Netherlands with a 24 hour linear television channel with only erotica and porn for women. All the above mention films are broadcast. More women are starting to produce erotic films. Mostly small, independent products and usually from a sense of dissatisfaction with mainstream porn. The content of the television channel is judged and chosen by female audience via Dusk! panel website.  
Cosmopolitan was the first magazine to include a nude male centrefold – Burt Reynolds bared all in April 1972. Australia’s Cleo magazine followed suit in November 1972 with a spread of actor Jack Thompson.
Playgirl magazine, an answer to Hugh Hefner’s Playboy, first appeared in 1973 and offered a full-nude centrefold with its second issue. The magazine regularly features nude male models, erotic fiction and sex advice. While ostensibly aimed at women, former editor Michelle Zipp has said that around 80% of the readership is gay men.
Women’s erotica magazines currently in print include:
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