Once upon a time, before the Internet, hotel porn, blue movies on CD’s or DVD’s, if you wanted to see hardcore porn on film the only option was a visit to your friendly neighborhood, singleplex porn theater.The neighborhood wasn’t yours, of course, and it certainly wasn’t friendly.After you paid an outrageous sum to a man in a stained shirt, with a weak chin, three day stubble, dirty finger nails and dull eyes straight out of Deliverance, you could spend a couple of hours in the sour smelling, darkened interior nervously watching halfway attractive women doing wicked things with tattooed unattractive men.
I never masturbated in the fetid darkness – I never brought my raincoat. Nor did I want to do anything to draw the attention of the dozen or so other men: rumpled silhouettes against the under lit screen.Those might be queers or homos. I didn’t exactly know what queers and homos did to each other but I knew it was a disgusting abomination and would damn you to endless hellfire if you did it. I’d just sit in my broken down seat in the back row, furtive and still, and gaze intently at the semi-silver screen, half aroused, half repelled by what I saw.
At least in Knoxville’s porn palace the variety of porn was pretty tame (at least compared to today’s cornucopia of digital BDSM, T-girls, Bukkaki, MILF banging, scat, golden showers, anal fisting, bestiality, and other similarly wholesome activities). In those days the action consisted of fucking and sucking interspersed with laughingly bad dialog and acting. Some films had no sound, or horrible lighting; others only flirted with crisp focus.
Of course, once porn went legit with the advent of the VCR, sex films started being made with big budgets, passable acting, and an actual plot. The industry even developed its own convention and award show (and the winner for the best actress in a lesbian threesome fisting scene is…)
When porn moved out of the shadows is became much easier for its patrons, especially women. Instead of taking chances in a big dark spooky room full of potential perverts, you could slip through the curtain and into the clean, well lit adult section of your friendly neighborhood video rental store (which was really friendly and maybe even in your neighborhood). The choice was much wider; you could find almost legitimate movies with professional lighting and cinematography, and real plots about pretty, promiscuous women giving themselves – with articulated, proper motivation – joyfully to handsome men, or other women, in pretty places and sporting a title evoking a popular book or film (Thunder Balls, Big, Whore and Piece, Catch 69, or Beverly Hills Cock). If on the other hand, you just wanted pure, unadulterated sex with no pretensions of plot, dialog or locale, there were tapes for you like Best Brazilian Blowjobs of 1985 , Stuffing Slick Snatches #41, or John Holmes Cumshot Compilation (four hours!)
Now the Internet has killed the porn business as it existed from the late seventies through the early oughts. Porn now wants to be free – and mostly is. My porn budget was always modest: a Penthouse Forum or hardcore magazine every other month or so, and maybe three or four DVD’s (at fifty to sixty bucks each) a year (tip: never go to the porn store drunk).
I haven’t paid for porn in years. When the net was new the early porn sites made tons of money, particularly those catering to men enthralled by one or more of the more popular kinks.Popular web sites insisted you sign up for a year or more, and pay upfront, demanding your credit card information. I was too cheap – and too parenoid – to indulge my own particular kinks. I stuck to brick and mortar erotica. Now sex sites beg for a dollar a month and put out free porn hoping to entice you to part with some money. The more porn sites go online, and the more freebies they offer, the less anyone has a reason to pay.There are, for instance, about a million lesbian porn flics on Porn Hub.Their quality might not be high def – even medium def – but every one is free, gloriously free! Just Google your dong’s desire and in less than a second your screen will fill with a list of hundred of links.
Today, if I feel the need, I can enjoy all the free Internet porn I want – text, photos or video – of any kind, of any length, featuring any fetish or outrageous sexual activity (straight, gay or bi). Thanks to the rather puritanical Steve Jobs, I can now watch, or read, porn on my iPad 2 in the privacy of my bedroom while snacking on a roll of Ritz crackers and a pint of skim milk (and with a small box of Kleenex on the bedside table for my after show sanitary needs). How, I ask, could life be better?
Best of all? Most days I don’t even mind anymore that I’m alone…
For photo credits and creative commons license click each image
Read all of VISIONS