On This, The Lord’s Day, We Choose To Speak Of Porn

I like to think of myself as something of a pop culture examiner. I like to sift through its dust and detritus and see what shiny baubles or squirming beetles my fingers can find, and really, what’s more pop culture than porn? Because, y’know, erections. See what I did there? Pop culture? Erections? Pop culture? Like, pop goes the boner? Sproing? Maybe? No?

Feh. Okay, I was overreaching. I haven’t had the morning coffee yet.

Anyway. Let’s talk about porn. Let’s have a pornversation.

Porn — man, maybe I’m just getting older. Maybe I’m just getting wiser. Could be that I’m just getting crankier. But for all the myriad ways we can now receive our pornography (I, for instance, just had a tall frosty glass of pornography with my oatmeal, and later I will receive one free porn video downloaded straight into my nipples when I buy a Venti Mocha at Starbucks), I’m getting kind of weary of it all.

By golly, I have complaints. Porn industry, are you listening? Are you listening to the complaints of this humble, brilliant man? Will you at least hear my plaintive complaints?

Will you hear the lamentations of my women?

Let’s get down to it. Let’s bitch and moan about pornography! Yeah! Woo!

The eXXXtreme Closeup!!1!

Listen. Listen. See this flower? It’s beautiful, isn’t it? White petals. Velvety folds. A burst of color near its center. Now, let’s take this beautiful flower, and get closer. And closer. And closer. So close, in fact, that we are smooshing the flower under the grinding sensation of the camera lens, smashing it into the sidewalk, back and forth, back and forth, until it’s all just a meaningless smear.

The vagina is like a lotus blossom, and the penis is like a… well, I don’t know, it’s hard to think of a beautiful metaphor for a penis, so let’s just go with “shiny rocketship.” But, man, same rule applies. You keep getting closer, and closer, and closer, and eventually I don’t even know what I’m looking at anymore. I have no context. I just see warty pink parts colliding. I see fluids collecting like run-off from a broken air conditioner. I see veins and crevices. It’s like someone’s smashing two piles of cold cuts together.

I don’t need to live down there. I don’t need to hang out where the sexy parts meet. Stop showing me five minute swaths of time where that’s all we get: smash, smash, smush, smush, squish, squish.  You’ve ruined the vagina. I’m not a baby coming out of there. I don’t need to get a close-up of her C-section scar. I don’t need to see the labial pores. Oh, and damn. The dick is worse. You get too close to a dick and that thing looks like a knobby knee of Cypress wood. It’s horrifying. It looks like the insides of an exploded deer. It’s a hot dog left too long in the microwave.

At a reasonable distance, a lot of things are beautiful.

But man, you get too close, oooh. Shudder. No. No! No.

You want to go in for a quick zoom, like a plane flying low over a majestic ridge, go for it. At least I still have context. But you linger down there for minutes at a time, and I lose all sense of visual meaning.

Where’s the Story, Morning Whorey?

Am I weird that I want story with my porn?

Is it just because I’m a writer? Do I instinctively look for the story? For the context? The meaning?

Porn seems to have lost all sense of story. I feel like an old man on the porch regaling you with Days of Porn Past (“I remember, back in nineteen-porny-two, the porn we watched had a story! A housewife and a plumber! The seduction of a pizza boy, perhaps. Two busty CIA agents going undercover, if you know what I mean! Undercover, like, under-the-covers? Oh, you shut up! You go to hell! Get the hell off my porch or I’ll shoot a load of hot steaming lead into your rear end! What are you laughing at? Stop laughing at me! I’m old! I have a gun!”). I remember watching porn with stories. Some good, some bad, but at least I had context. It’s like Penthouse letters. The stories were generally terrible, but you could follow the narrative.

Now, it’s cut-right-to-the-chase. Gone is the pretense of narrative. Straight to the deep dicking. Right to the scissoring. Naught but a moment before the animal masks and giraffe-tail butt plugs come out.

I lament the loss of story from porn. I’m probably a rare bird in this regard.

Is it so weird that I want to know who these characters are before they get down to the rumpy-pumpy, to the slap-and-tickle? Is it weird that I call it “rumpy-pumpy” and “slap-and-tickle?” Is it weird that I have a growth growing out of my lower back that looks like a tiny version of me? And it has a face? And it whispers vile things? Shh. Shhhhh. It tells me how to end the world. Listen.

Revenge of the Naughahyde Balloon Women

Two words: natural women.

That’s what I want. I want women who look like women. I do not want women who look like emaciated tackle dummies wrapped in vinyl and filled with silicone in all the “right” places. I want women who were born out of a human uterus, not out of some plasticky robot “birth-chute.” I fear breasts that look so swollen, straining against the flesh, that it looks like they’ll explode if someone touches them. That’s just nasty. And weird.

They look comical. Cartoonish. Bony thin here, bloated and ballooned there. Skin pulled taut. Inhuman smiles. It’s like, HR Giger’s version of people.

Now, I’ll admit: the porn industry is probably the leastmost offender here. You look at models, you look at straight-up Hollywood actresses, and I think the problem is endemic there more than it is here.

But even still, here I have to see them naked.

And if they look more like CGI and Photoshop than, say, “human being,” I’m far likelier to send out an extermination squad to eliminate you and your SkyNet sisters from my television screen lest you all finally decide that humanity is no longer useful to you.

Please, more human beings in my porn.

Thank you.

Ambush Porn

Let me define “ambush porn.”

You’re watching. Everything seems good. “Oh, okay. She’s getting naked. She’s preening. This is good. This is fine. Oh! Oh, what’s this. A knock at the door. Mm-hmm. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, go answer the door. Who is it? Is it the plumber? Is it the pizza girl? It’s — oh god. Sonofa–! It’s a naked old man! And now she’s on her knees and licking his frosty gut hair, ohh, no, no, I didn’t ask for this! He’s like a gnarly old hobbit! A salty boat captain, his flesh worn raw by the briny sea! I didn’t order this! I didn’t want Old People Porn!”

In other words: abort launch.

Ambush porn: the “art” of sneaking in shit you didn’t really ask to see. Scene’s going along at a nice clip, and before you know it, someone’ s peeing in someone’s mouth. Wait! No! I’m not knocking anybody who wants that. Hey, you want pee-pee erotica, more power to you. You want to get all hot-n-greasy checking old some old dude going at a “barely legal” girl, hey, that’s your bag of tricks.

It’s just, I don’t want that. And I don’t want it randomly appearing before me.

See, that’s the tricky hell of hentai. You’re like me, you think, “Okay, fine, at least this has a story. I’ll watch.” And some of it does its duty admirably. But a lot of the time, it’s soul-crushing and boner-deflating. Once again, everything seems to be going fine until — wham. A hard left turn into horror town. “…I’m pretty sure he’s raping her. Yep. Yes. This is rape. It’s not even like, a rape fantasy. I need to turn this off now. Oh. Oh no. He’s growing demon wings. And he’s got tentacles. And they’re ejaculating some kind of demon fluid. This is fantastic. Please stop. Please stop. Why won’t it stop?” *claw eyes*

Oh, And Speaking Of “Barely Legal,” Ew

“Barely legal” is code for, “Congratulations! You’re almost a pedophile.”

It’s creepy.

Stop it.

Ew.

I Should Never Yawn While Watching Pornography

Jesus Christ, pornography is getting boring.

…and yes, I did just evoke the Lord’s name in describing porn. What? Shut up. He’d think so, too. He’d yawn and be like, “It’s a miracle I’m still awake. I mean that. An actual miracle. Write it down.”

I feel like I’m seeing the same thing over and over again. An endless parade of samey-same sexy-time. Nobody really looks into it. Everybody looks fake. They’re all shot in the same California mini-mansion or in the same dingy apartment. I’ve seen that same set of bedsheets again and again.

By the way, this, this is why people go to the really wacky holy-shit-what-the-fuck porn. Because they’re bored. “I want to see a girl make love to a ghost. No! No. Two ghosts. And there should be a cup. And the ghosts should excrete extoplasm into the cups and pour the ectoplasm back and forth into one another’s mouths. Two ghosts. One girl. One cup. So hot. So hot.”

No story, no context, no quality, no nothing, total boring.

Yawn. Naptime.

You Stay Classy, Pornography

Arty porn. You don’t see much of it. In photography, yes (and are people still calling that “erotica?”). With the written word, too — once in a while you get some surprisingly well-written stuff out there. But video? Nehhh. Not so much. It’s all cheap-looking. Harsh lighting. Overhead view. Garish and glaring. Sterile, awful, suburban, dull. Why can’t we get some high quality arty stuff? Doesn’t have to be top dollar — heck, you can do indie films for the cheap, why not indie porn? Is there an indie porn industry? Am I missing it? Am I asking for too much? Will I be mocked? Run out of town on a rail?

Porn feels trashy because it’s basically trash. Lowest common denominator.

C’mon, people. Let’s treat our porn better. Let’s dress it nice. Let’s elevate its self-esteem. Let’s give it something to feel good about!

Let’s put art into porn.

Or, porn into art.

Or something into something.

(And while it’s ancillary, let me also lament the loss of quality sex scenes in non-porn films. Hollywood loves explosions and blood squibs, but has fallen prey to the Moral Censors and no longer shows truly sexy stuff in film anymore. Kind of sad, really. We’re a nation supposedly scared of sex, and yet, and yet, we spend billions on porn. Ahh, sweet, sweet repression.)

I dunno. What about you, Internets? Porn good? Porn bad? Porn skeeve you out? You okay with the lowest common denominator feel of it all?

20 comments

  • This is going to sound weird.

    (Yes, I know, Josh you always sound weird, ha ha, shut up.)

    But when I think ‘classy’ in terms of sexiness, when I think ‘natural and celebrated’ instead of ‘silicon-injected and objectified’ when it comes to the ladies…

    …I think Playboy.

    Now, I know, it’s not the way it was in the swingin’ 60’s, and yes, some of the girls in those glossy pages have had a little work done. But they don’t look gross. They’re not there just to get a deep dicking. Sure, you might whack it while eyeing up the centerfold, but there’s no extreme close-ups, no old man’s wrinkly warty cock, no implication that these babes are getting used or raped or anything like that. They’re there because they’re beautiful. They’re there because they choose to be. They want to be celebrated for being who they are.

    Call me a starry-eyed optimist if you must, but that’s how I see ‘em.

  • Through the miracles of OnDemand and a TV in the bedroom, we occasionally partake of the porn. But it’s -boring-. It’s -formulaic-. It’s no longer really all that sexy. And they don’t really seem to realize that women are their market as well as men.

    The typical ending for couples — and I use that term loosely GEDDIT? LOOSELY? — really bothers me. I don’t know if “bother” is really the right term, but it’s close enough, I guess. Man, woman, positions… and when the dude’s about to blow, the woman climbs off him, kneels before and gets a face full of Zod.

    It’s a female-subjugation fantasy, and I for one am tired of seeing it in my erotica. It doesn’t turn me on, it in fact does the opposite. It doesn’t turn Rick on, and even if it does, he says absolutely nothing about it like a smart man who wants to keep getting laid.

    Noisy porn. Women who sound like banshees being put through a rabid threshing machine while they’re fucking. God, does anyone find that appealing? Except maybe other banshees with injury fetishes?

    “Pretty language porn”. Please, for the love of god, don’t call it a Love Rocket or a Meat Missile or a Beaver Cave or a Honey Pot. It’s a cock. It’s a pussy. You can use those, or the clinical official terms. We won’t get offended, we promise. Penthouse Forum, I’m looking at you.

    • @Maggie:

      It’s time to make known that your comment made me shit my pants it was so funny.

      Kneels before the face of Zod. Priceless.

      And no, that doesn’t turn me on, either. Actually, jizz in general is not particularly appealing. I mean, I’m not against it — I have some, after all, an ever-replenishing supply to call my own. But it’s not like, “Wow, semen is sexy.” Semen is the end result. It’s the product. (Well, the baby is really the end result, in a biological ideal.) I don’t get turned on *by* semen. That’s just silly. It’s like getting sad because you see tears rather than because you see something sad. “Awww. Fluids!”

      And, after “Beaver Cave,” I now want to write a post about porn euphemisms.

      Beaver Cave. Makes me think of a dank, wet rocky enclosure. In the dark, I see the glowing eyes of hungry beavers. This is not a sexy image.

      — c.

  • I will say that the outright porn I’ve seen in my life has looked so… clinical and not sexy that it does nothing for me.

    Probably related to your first item up above.

    I remember seeing the Playboy pictorial that Gabrielle Reese did and thinking, “Now THAT is hot.” Natural, well exercised body, nothing injected, nothing fake, no ridiculous come-hither poses or expressions…

    More of that type of thing would be nice.

    Now pardon me. I need to go suck on this Tootsie Pop while leaning on a deck rail in my seatless Daisy Dukes.

  • I can not support my woman in her bashing of genitalia euphamisms. Most of what they come up with is funny, and some of it is downright clever. More love rockets. More bearded tacos.

  • Being the elder statesman of the group, I was raised in the era where porn was carved on stone tablets, and you had to ride your Schwinn down to Shaefer’s Drugs and sneak furitive peaks through the stone skin rags if you wanted any virtual nookie. Now my wife, being a good Catholic girl, has no exposure to porn. But one day, maybe 20 years back, we were in some hotel in some Bible-beltish area, and they had ADULT MOVIES offerred on the TV, and yeah, maybe she was a little liquored up, and she made the plunge. Except they’d edited all the genitalia out. Seriously. You’d get your boobs, long shots of humping ass, but when it was time for Ms. Triple D’s to start munching down on some keilbasa, BANG, cut to next shot. Now this was at the same time that anatomically correct dolls started appearing in some locales. I remember thinking to myself, what kind of country is this when children’s dolls are anatomically correct and your porn isn’t?

  • I think the kind my dad used to watch involved a hand cranked projector.

    NO, not that kind of hand cranked projector.

    Gutter dwellers.

    • You’re all deeply disturbed. More so than I. In comparison, I have the brain of freshly-polished linoleum. Squeaky clean.

      I’ll comment more later, but for now, House Fixing calls.

      Be assured, though, I will have words about “beaver cave.”

      — c.

  • I think part of the problem with the internets and the constant availability of porn is I for one have become inured to plain old regular porn. “Hey, here’s a man and a woman having sex.” is no longer new and exciting. “Hey, here’s two naked women wrestling and then the winner fucks the loser with a strapon” and it’s like “Ooh, hey, you don’t say?”

    This is a dangerous and slippery slope. Because eventually wrestling strapon porn will get boring, and I’ll move on to I don’t know, giant robot porn or something. Then I’ll become a Roboty, and have to go to conventions and shit for fellow robot porn enthusiasts.

    • @Shawn:

      Word. But, you hang out long enough with the freaky stuff, coming around again (er, no pun intended) to the normal stuff is suddenly all new again.

      Also, it’s why I think that more story would alleviate this condition. Story is multifarious.

      Also, I’m a secret Roboty.

      Also, I know that site you’re talking about with the wrestling ladies. Don’t think I don’t, pal.

      — c.

  • Are there so few comments due to it being Sunday, due to the subject matter, or due to the fact that this subject was broached ON a Sunday…?

  • Shawn is so right. Last night I watched a banana violate a peach while several apples spied on them from the bushes. Shameful…

    The whole “barely legal” thing is a complete paradox for me. I want to watch actresses that have no tattoos, natural breasts, and no plastic work. Sadly the younger actresses are the only ones that seem to fit that mold. So I find myself trying to find girls that at least seem to be in their 20’s. Thankfully I’ve found a couple of actresses that I gravitate towards now that fit the mold I look for.

    Something that has helped my plight is the emergence of older women in porn (30’s and 40’s). The “Cougar/MILF” is a welcome scene as a lot of them seem to be natural, for the most part. I admit it…I have a thing for older women. Don’t judge me! Amen for natural, regular women.

    I agree with you on story to a degree. I don’t need anything creative. The old “Plumber fixing the leak while the husband is out of town on business” routine works for me. I don’t need anything as “elaborate” as a “Debbie Does Dallas” story…I’ll just fast forward past most of the crap anyway.

    As for art in porn. It’s called “Glamour” porn, Chuck. I would recomend to you anything out of Private Studios. A lot of it is Czech, but dubbed over for English speaking audiences. The woman are gorgeous, the filming is excellent, and there’s no worry of being ambushed or yawning.

    I’ve revealed far too much about my porn knowledge to feel anything less than seedy. I’m going to go scrub myself with steel wool while I tell myself that I’m a good person.

  • Amateur porn is where it is at. People with their home-video cameras/cellphones, having the sexy-time with each other and not worrying about it too much. Takes a little more work to find, but not too much. Also, Reddit’s GoneWild subreddit is just about perfect. A little too much penis for my hetero tastes, but I am undeterred.

    As for story: The Sex Files: A Dark XXX Parody. It’s kind of brilliant. Kimberly Kane is as hot as always, and the acting is (as any can be) top-notch.

    Noah

  • This is why I just like photography porn instead of movin’ pictures. I also prefer my porn dickless, so it’s usually just shots of naked women. My favourite free site for that is sportyone.com. I’ve not gotten the herp from them yet, and there aren’t any trolls like on 4chan. (Though 4chan has plenty of great porn.) One nice thing is that you can search the “model index” for whatever you like — natural tits? Hardcore lesbian? DP? Filter out shit you don’t want and voila.

    Also, this: “Barely legal” is code for, “Congratulations! You’re almost a pedophile.” made me laugh. I was 18 when Josh and I got together. Lulz.

  • @Noah: The Sex Files is on my Adult OnD atm. Haven’t watched it yet. I recommend the “Ain’t, A XXX Parody” series by Hustler. I’ve watched “Ain’t Saved By The Bell” and “Ain’t Twilight” so far. As porn goes, they’re not bad.

    Certainly better than the “Oh, you have a cock. Let me trip and impale myself upon it.” stuff so common these days.

  • I stumbled across the witty and insightful Chuck when a friend sent me a link to his “your self published book sucks a bag of dicks” post.

    Of course, as a writer of erotica that I would preferably call “porn” for it’s lack of story line and explicit sex, I was immediately drawn to the tag cloud off to the side that had “sex” floating around as a topic.

    Oohhh… sex… he covered something right up my alley (no pun intended) and I must click it and read some posts immediately.

    All I can say is — WELL SAID! You cover almost everything I hate about porn as well, and even mentioned things that were awful that I had never quite put a name to. Like some of your commenters, I can do without the long story line, after all it’s not their acting skills I’m drawn to. BUT, I do hate the scenes where the people are obviously just going through the motions.

    Where is the passion, okay *faked* passion? Don’t they even want to be doing what they are doing? I mean hell, at least the guy should be into it. But often it seems like a marathon sex scene that has been spliced together to show maximum thrusting time — followed by the ubiquitous cum shot. Oh boy! Yes, please show it to me in slo-mo.

    No one mentioned the sound tracks that don’t jiv up, or the incredible fake responses from all the barley legal women, so it must be me who notices that stuff.

    Now, when you all get tired of the bad movies, may I suggest some really well written “erotica”? You may find the many fun and dirty stories there are out there help to define a mood just as nicely and don’t have the eww factor as much as some of those ambush scenes you mentioned — it takes just one of those scenes to ruin a moment with your partner completely!!

    Thanks again for a well written piece, Chuck.

  • I’ve come to this post several years too late, but I still feel like I need to share my bit of a porn anecdote…

    I’m not sure if it’ll help or hinder, but I should preface by saying my college friends were my fellow Rocky Horror Picture Show performers so hardly guy/gal-next-door types in the first place.

    When I was in college, my friends and I would routinely gather for “porno parties”, which are exactly what they sound like. We’d bring our liquor of choice, gather in a friend’s living room, and one of the guys – who would eventually be my for-a-time boyfriend – would bring a box of VHS tapes his father had collected from various flea markets and whatnot, and we’d just choose the one that had the most ridiculous title and sit around, drink, and laugh at it. But the point is that we /could/ just sit around and enjoy it for entertainment value and not for getting-off value. Because it had a – oftentimes ridiculous – plot and cheesy dialogue and reminded me of the porn I dug out from under my older cousin’s bed when I was probably too young to be watching porn but did so anyway because why not.

    These days I’m an erotica writer – well, a horror writer with a heavy dose of erotica because, again, why not – and when I go looking for porn and all I find is wham bam no thank you ma’am, it’s sort of disheartening. Because I remember when I could be /entertained/ by porn. I’m not /that/ old, I shouldn’t be sitting on my front porch complaining about the good ol’ days yet. But here I am. Even written porn is so boring. In looking for something novel I’ve probably wandered down a few paths I shouldn’t have, and seen things that cannot be unseen, but what else are you going to do when your only other alternative is the same damn thing you’ve already seen fifty times just with new bodies to replace the old ones.

    Dull.

    It’s a sign of the times, though. With almost every form of entertainment, I’ve found the mediocrity just sells better. Anything that errs to far to either extreme makes people feel uncomfortable (I don’t know why, maybe it’s just because we’ve been programmed by media to accept the cheap thrills and not ask for any more, maybe it’s just too harsh a reflection of our own repressed desires). Music, movies, books, and porn as well all fall to this trap. Get it done the fastest, cheapest way possible, and make the most money you can from it. That’s why it’s so exciting to find something great – or even /good/ – because it’s so rare.

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