Pornography: Discovery of a Lifetime
posted by Eric and Mickey on 4/18/02
Pornography... it's something that, as the one and only Dave Macchia says, "was just always there." Well, that's the way it seems, anyway. Whether it be in magazines, over the Internet, on videos, on pay-per-view, or on late-night television, this form of adult entertainment has many faces, and is viewed, in some form, by 94% of all people. Porn is no doubt the way most people discover sex, and the way that even more people learn different styles and techniques in their own sexual escapades.
It all had to start somewhere, though. How did it get to the point where pornography is such a common and accepted part of our lives, and just when exactly did sexuality in today's society become so overwhelmingly accepted? Everyone has a unique story on how they first discovered this blessed sin, a story that has no doubt directly affected their lives and the way they perceive sexuality... and today, two of Whatever-Dude's most sexually open and, dare I say, experienced writers discuss their first experiences with unadulterated filth and the events that happened as a result of partaking in the devil's business.
After telling all my friends and family to visit this site, you can imagine it was with great pleasure that I received an invitation from Eric to write about my early experiences with pornography, as I am sure everyone who knows me will be just as anxious to imagine me as a sullen 14-year old boy poring over back issues of “Penthouse,” as everyone who doesn’t know me will be. And I’d like to send a special greeting out to my Mum. If you are reading this, Mum, do something else instead.
At the time I was growing up, even the mildest softcore magazines were banned from sale in Queensland, Australia. If you wanted to buy an issue of “Playboy,” the only way to do it was to go to New South Wales, or somewhere else. When they decided to bring out an Australian edition of “Playboy” the question of whether or not it ought to go on sale in Queensland was debated most vigorously. It was suggested that, perhaps, if the nudity were to be omitted, then it would be appropriate for the publication to appear on Queensland newsstands. The publishers wanted to maximise sales by making the magazine available to the citizens of Queensland, while not alienating the smut-loving readers of NSW, Victoria, South Australia, West Australia, Tasmania and the Territories, who, for goodness’ sake, wanted to see some nipples in the magazine at the very least, not to mention pubic hair.
My guess is that Eric’s first experiences with porn may have involved videocassettes. It wouldn’t be true to say that when I was growing up there was no such thing, but it was before they went down in price to the extent that most families had one.
I went to Marist Brothers College Ashgrove: a Catholic boys school. In the school library it was pretty easy to locate the books with sexual content. You looked at the reverse of a book’s spine. If one or two pages of a novel looked to be extremely grimy, it was a pretty fair bet that these were the pages with the hot stuff on them. There was “Jaws” with the scene where a woman lies in bed listening to one of the shark-hunters urinate with her newfound knowledge that “all men have big bladders.” Hot! There was an Irving Wallace book of some 700 pages or so, which contained a single scene so spicy that the page on which it occurred was almost crumbling out of the volume. Hot! There was a novel the name and author of which I forget with a scene where Nazis raped and murdered the inhabitants of a Ukrainian village. It was unbelievably yucky and I fear for the psychic health of anyone whose sexuality was shaped by those pages. Not hot! Absolutely foul! And, of course, there was the final page of John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” where a mother who has lost her child suckles a starving derelict. Hot! And that was pretty much it as far as erotic material went.
Notwithstanding the ban on the sale of adult material, my father had a stash of pornography. I rather think he didn’t intend for this stash to operate as a lending library, but obviously this is just what happened, whenever I got the chance. He had American magazines: “Playboy” and “Penthouse”s. These were kept in my parent’s bedroom, supposedly under lock and key. Hah! Meanwhile, in with the other books in the closet we called the book room, alongside about a thousand copies of an Italian text called “I Promesi Sposi” (which for some reason my father had a mania for collecting, but that is another story) and the collected works of Alistair MacLean there were books like John Cleland’s “Fanny Hill,” an unillustrated edition of “The Kama Sutra,” Terry Southern’s “Blue Movie,” and, hottest of all, the book I am about to describe.
I lost my innocence to a book called “The Wholesome Hooker” by Kristen Anderson. To tell you the absolute truth I remembered the name of the book but not the name of the author until I pumped “The Wholesome Hooker” (exact phrase) into a search engine as my sole piece of research in writing this article, and then I was rather shocked because easily the most significant relationship of my life in terms of longevity and emotional consequence was with a person named Kristen. The search engine revealed that a second hand copy of the book was available to shoppers at Barnes & Noble, or somewhere, and directed shoppers to the Women’s Studies section. I make no claim for the book’s literary worth. It was smut. K.A. came from Norway or Denmark or Sweden, I forget which. She was at pains several times to point out that her memoir had not been inspired by Xaviera Hollander’s best seller, “The Happy Hooker.” I suppose this is why she decided on the strikingly original title, “The Wholesome Hooker.” The copy to which I lost my innocence had a brown cover, on which was imposed a photograph of a not unattractive Scandinavian-looking maiden (straight blonde hair) casting a sort of saucy Ann Margaret look at the reader. The climatic scene (not of the book- it is early on in the book) involved Kristen Anderson narrating her early experiences with Sapphic alternatives. When I tried to imagine Scandinavians surrendering to the throes of rapture, I suppose I imagined them making the same kind of noises as the Swedish chef on “The Muppet Show” when he is particularly pleased at the outcome of a recipe. I had been sneaking to the book room, collecting this volume, and reading over this scene for weeks while rubbing my penis to a point of agonising pleasure, when suddenly, and much to my amazement, it appeared to sneeze. Out throbbed this jet of silvery matter, and there I was, technically at least, a person with reproductive potential.
Xaviera Hollander, Happy but not Wholesome
I don’t like most pornography very much. OK, let me be honest. I don’t like chocolate much either. Some people I know really like chocolate but I am not one of them. That doesn’t mean I never eat chocolate. It doesn’t mean I won’t buy a bar of chocolate if someone in my office is selling it to raise funds for their kid’s school or the Cancer Council or something, and once I’ve bought it, I will consume it. In the same way, if someone in my office is selling pornography to raise funds for their kid’s school or the Cancer Council or some other worthy cause, then I’ll buy some, and, what is more, I will consume it. But I am uncomfortable with just about all of the pornography I see.
I particularly don’t like pornography if it is too gynaecological. I don’t own any hardcore pornography videos. (I don’t want to sound too puritanical. I do own “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 93” and “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 94” and no human being has ever placed either of these VHFs into even the proximity of a video player with any entertainment intent other than masturbation). As for Internet porn, I have had hardly any experience of this through the simple stratagem of not owning a computer. I scratch out pieces like the one you are reading on the backs of old envelopes and type them up in Internet cafes. If I was to decide to break off right now, for instance, for a recreational wank, it probably wouldn’t go down too well with the other patrons of the café (mostly English backpackers who are either hotmailing their families, or trying to find out the second-division soccer results).
For me, the golden age of pornography began in the Ford administration and went all the way through the Carter administration and then stopped. The sexual revolution that began in the late 1960s was not really reflected in mainstream media products until about that time. “Playboy” started in the 1950s but was as antiseptically un-sexual as it was possible for a magazine devoted to showing women’s breast could be until it entered into a market competition with “Penthouse” and, a little later, “Hustler” magazines. My guess is that “Playboy” and “Penthouse” started showing pubic hair in around about 1975 with “Penthouse” graduating to beaver shots shortly thereafter. The first movies to feature sexually explicit material, from stuff like “Deep Throat” to ambitious stuff like “Last Tango in Paris” (ambitious crap in my opinion, but this isn’t the place to go into that) came out at around the same time.
Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford: Presided over the Golden Years of Pornography
The crucial thing for me, is that for those few years, in the middle of and through the second half of the seventies, the goofy Bob-Carol-Ted-Alice idealism of the 1960s was still reflected in sexually explicit material. There was a sense- and I think the film “Boogie Nights” tried to show this- that sexual liberation and artistic liberation were both meant to be just that, and were meant to follow, one from the other. I am not saying that there was no element of exploitation; that has never been absent. I am trying to say it was probably less pervasive then than has been the case ever since.
I like seeing women being sexual. I would say I am like most straight men in that. I never like seeing women being degraded. I hope I am like most straight men in that. There is this haughty, sneering expression that most women who are involved in pornography wear (or for that matter, most fashion models) that is supposed to be sexy but that to me is the complete opposite because the look always registers to me as a defence mechanism. It is the look that says, “You can look at my body but you can’t look at me.”
And I’ve also got to admit that I find nothing quite so de-tumescent as the very idea of silicone implants in breasts. I don’t believe Ronald Reagan passed legislation requiring women involved in the adult industry to have implants, but he may as well have done, given their overwhelming ubiquity in what I have seen of 80s and 90s pornography.
“We were thinking of having a threesome later,
but first we wanted to know if your breasts are real.”
So, there you have it. If I sound like I don’t know what I’m talking about, that is probably true. It isn’t an easy topic to talk about, especially if you think your mother might be reading. But I’ll stand by what I have said.
Also let’s face it, presidents were hotter then. The idea of Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter sharing long deep and increasingly urgent French kisses with one another, while fumbling with each other’s safari suits is a pretty arousing image. No wonder I like the movie, “Point Break” so much. Ex-presidents! OMG! Speaking of which, I’ll have to put up my article about “Point Break” soon since there is a joke in it that won’t be nearly as funny if Ronald Reagan dies before it comes out.
I was, at 7-years old, what you would call a "typical" little boy. I played with my friends both outside and inside, playing with our toys and games, watching television and movies, playing sports or exploring; basically whatever we could do to occupy or entertain ourselves is what we did, and we loved it. I was a normal young lad. I had the ideal closely-knit family with no divorces or hatred, and we lived in the suburbs. I was your average all-American boy.
As a child, I made my main pastime professional wrestling related… and to this day, pro wrestling remains one of my favorite things. I had every single wrestling action figure released since 1985, and rarely did a day go by when I didn't have them out, set up in tag teams mind you, making my own pay-per-views and having more title changes than Jews wear coasters on their heads. I loved my wrestling toys, and continued to collect them up until a few years ago until I realized that getting excited about a new set of wrestling figures coming out wasn't cool for a 17-year old. Not only was it an expensive hobby when you needed money for a social life, but it was pretty embarrassing as well being the only junior in high school still collecting toys. But this situation was 10 years prior to that one, and I really would have rather died than part with those damn toys.
My pro wrestling obsession wasn't limited to toys, though. I was constantly renting old wrestling videotapes and taping any wrestling shows on TV that I could find. I would watch the same old shows, the same exact matches from the all the same events, over and over again to the point where I could call word-for-word play-by-play along with the event's announcers. And my wrestling clothes were by far my favorite ones. Oftentimes, I would run to our old clothes hamper and wear the same dirty Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, or Jake "The Snake" Roberts T-shirts day after day, simply because I couldn't part with them for a week waiting for the laundry to be clean. At any rate, I think you get the point now --- professional wrestling was a huge part of my life. Little did I know that one afternoon in the middle of the summer, because of my love for wrestling, my life was about to change forever…
The day started out like any other, except for today I got to go visit my grandmother. My father had to work, and my mother... well, who knows what the fuck she was doing. Anyway, I got ready and packed up all of my wrestling toys, and off my dad took me to grandma's house. My grandmother saw a lot of my grandfather in me as a child, mainly because of my love for wrestling. When my grandfather was alive, he went to the matches and watched the televised events loyally, and loved them. He was actually the person responsible for my becoming a fan in the first place. As we would watch wrestling together, he would explain who the guys were and what was going on to me and tell me that he wanted me to become a wrestler when I grew up so he could watch me on TV. Unfortunately, he died a year prior to the time this story had taken place. My entire family, while remembering my grandfather, always call him "an Archie Bunker double with love for his family and professional wrestling." God, I miss him.
But as I mentioned, my grandmother always saw a lot of him in me… so even though my parents weren't thrilled that I chose wrestling as my passion, she supported 100% with my hobby. Every time I spent the entire day with her when I was young, she would always get some of my grandfather's old wrestling tapes out for me to watch. I would usually set my wrestlers up and begin to play, she would pop my pap's tape in for me, and normally would go do her housework or watch her soap operas in another room.
As usual, I got all of my wrestlers out and prepared my playing atmosphere. I asked my grandmother to grab one of the tapes for me, but she was busy doing something so told me to go get it myself... after all, I was a big boy now. Anyway, the tapes were kept in my father's old room, as was a lot of old crap with nowhere else better to collect dust. So I ran up to the room that my dear old dad no-doubt had many cherished and private moments with his right hand in, then proceeded to get into the closet where the tapes were. I grabbed one of the tapes from an old box with no label on it, because my grandfather rarely labeled any of his wrestling tapes for some reason. At any rate, I grabbed one of the unlabeled tapes and ran back downstairs to the living room, and popped the tape in the VCR… only to receive the shock of my life.
This was a day that I'll never forget… the first time in my life that I was ever exposed to pornography. I sat on the floor in awe, surrounded by the likes of Greg "The Hammer" Valentine and Andre The Giant, while some hairy guy banged the bejesus out of a fairly attractive woman right in front of my innocent, wide eyes. Keep in mind that this was a really old porno, one from the golden age of smut in the '70s, before those limey bastards of the adult industry in the '80s had the idea of editing out some of the hardcore scenes at which time it was only the Canadians who stayed true to what uncensored physical love really was. At any rate, there I was... a little 7-year old boy, watching a hardcore porn movie in my grandmother's living room, when all I had hoped for was to see a match with Ricky Steamboat or Ric Flair in it. As my grandmother was busy doing whatever it was that she was doing, she was nowhere to be found which meant the show would surely go on.
The first couple was now done, and after a few stupid advertisements, we got onto the next set of horny people preparing to get it on. I don't remember the details of this exactly, but I do remember one guy and two girls, one of which was black. On the same day I've been exposed to hardcore sex for the first time in my life, I'm now seeing bi-racial sex andlesbians getting it on, in a 3-way no less. I was fucking astounded. I didn't know any of the normal sex was possible in the first place, and now I'm seeing two girls and a fat guy mounting the black chick while she was eating out the white girl. I was completely dumbfounded. On top of all that, the things they were screaming while performing these acts on each other would become parts of my regular vocabulary from that day on, and soon-there-after part of my friends' vocabularies. Little did I know, though, that the longer I was exposed to this adult entertainment, the more fucked up I would become as a result.
I eventually just didn't know how to take it all in anymore, and went looking for my grandmother. "Grandma," I said, "I'm tired of watching him fuck her in the ass while she licks my cunt. Can you find a wrestling tape for me now?" Amazed at the language that had just come out of her young grandson's mouth, she ran into the living room and saw what I had been watching. I remember the look on her face, and it was a look that I'd never see from her before or after that day… one of embarrassment, anger, shock, and confusion all at the same time. She then told me that what I had been watching was a bad tape that was the devil's work, and she didn't know why it was in the house or who it belonged to, but I wasn't supposed to be watching that kind of thing. She threw out the tape at that point, and asked if I was ready for lunch. I said that I was, so she put a wrestling tape in and continued making lunch for us. As far as I can remember, that was the last time she and I, or any adults I that I knew, ever spoke of the situation. It was almost as if it never occurred, but the proof was deep inside my now warped little mind that it had indeed happened.
From that day, my every-day behavior had become more disturbing to say the least. But it started soon after during my "playing" habits. Wrestlers weren't the only type of action figures I enjoyed in my youth. Superhero figures, both DC and Marvel, would have to be my second choice, and I'd play with them often. I had always made storylines during my playtimes, usually with my play-session ending during the climax of the big fight between the enemies. That aspect was still normal, but the reason for the fight had now changed. Wonder Woman and Cat Woman were now seen by their cohorts as nothing but tits and ass, and got bent over and banged by just about every available guy in Metropolis and Gotham City. That of course lead to everyone's hatred for one another, mainly due to their jealousy, and eventually war was the only answer. Clark "The Cock From Krypton" Kent always ended up with Wonder Woman… well, because he was Superman. And for some reason, The Joker always ended up with Cat Woman… I think because all women love when their men can make them laugh. Well, either that or the fact that he wore make-up and I was more deranged than I ever imagined. At any rate, when Spiderman and Captain America would try to move in on any of the ladies, wars would break out all over… good vs. evil, DC vs. Marvel, and pretty much anything else you could imagine. All that over those 5-inch, plastic sluts.
It wasn't long after that before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and of course Master Splinter, were gang-banging April O'Neil in the sewers of New York, and all of G. I. Joe's wars had a brief time of peace for huge orgies in the orient. Then, to determine who really was The Master of the Universe, He-man and Skelator took turns screwing the hell out of She-rah, which was kind of screwed up on He-Man's part as he and his new lover were cousins. Actually, the only action figures that I owned that we're constantly screwing each other were my wrestlers… because back then, there were no female wrestling figures. No matter how strange I may have been, these acts of mine prove that even from a young age, I knew gays were fucked up somehow.
If my "playing" like this in the first place wasn't bad enough, I strangely had no problems teaching some of my friends about my discoveries. My reasoning for exposing my friends to such raunchy acts? Well, when they were having Leonardo and Raphael double teaming Shredder to save the world, and I had Michelangelo and Donnatello getting head from and eating out April respectively, I needed to give some explanation… and the only thing I could come up with was the truth.
Of course this set a trend, with each of the five or so friends that I told, they told five more kids who also spread the word. Something that came from my desire to watch a wrestling video was now corrupting children throughout my entire elementary school. While all of my young friends were in amazement of the true story behind the birds and the bees, I just kept spreading the word and snooped around my grandmother's house for more porn.
AIM: WD ECF