"I just watched porn." These words were uttered recently on National television by the perky Jess on the hit new show New Girl. I imagine many veiwers shouting, "Get real! What rock have you been living under?"
We are living in an unprecendented moment in history. Porn is everywhere. You can pull it up on your computer in the quiet safety of your own bedroom or just simply watch it on cable. It's a far cry from my first experience with porn, as I am one of those who remember rotary phones and a world without ATMs. At the tender age of 7, I was upstairs playing Barbies with my friend in her mother's room. A plastic pink shoe went a flying under the bed. When I found the shoe, it was resting on a magazine picture of a vagina in close up.
Yes folks, Hustler magazine was my introduction into the wild world of porn.
Known more for its, ahem, anatomical perspective, Hustler was educational in all sorts of ways. "So that's what an asshole looks like. Hmm."
A San Francisco native who is now rather bored of porn (and who will remain nameless) remembers going to the sticky booths at the peep shows in North beach back in the 1970s. There, for a quarter, he got five minutes of sexy film. Later he would buy a pack of (decoy) gum and a girly mag at the Pride Superette next to the Lone Palm bar. The store famous for its large rubber band ball once stocked porn for those horny teenage boys. But they had to purchase it from the mother of Samir "Sammy" Keishk (the store's current owner) -- and she would yell at them in Arabic.
Joshua Silvestri's first porn experience was cartoonish -- literally.
"I found an archaic Viewfinder in my grandfathers basement with two reels when I was about 6," he says. "Both black and white, one was the infamous Bubble Dance that Bugs Bunny Parodies in Looney Tunes, and the other was girls in cowgirl boots and hats and nothing else walking around on a farm. So many sweaty nights on dusty basement steps, ears straining listening for approaching footsteps just trying to see, 'one more picture' under a single pull chain bulb. Thanks Pop-pop!"
Kammi Grosenick found her father`s stash of Playboy mags and tried to figure out what a 36-inch bust was. It was confusing but exciting for her.
Us old folks didn't have to walk six miles in the snow, but we did have to work and wait for our glimpses of naked bodies in the throes of simulated passion. These days, those younguns have regular access. Due to this, many are worried that so much available porn at such a young age might warp the this generations view of sex. Only time will tell.
With all this proliferation however, porn has found a new audience. Women and girls. Few women in the past decades were brave enough to go into the back section of the video store. But today, sexy images are just a click away. Gender equality has entered the porn world. Now that women have the opportunity to know where so many of those men get their ideas from perhaps it will enhance the sexual conversation.
"Stop trying to put my legs over my head. I am not a professional."
For those who want more radical and female friendly fare in their porn, visit Madison Young's erotic website The Women's POV. The site is queer focused, and this is important as the proliferation of Internet porn has also benefited the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. In the past and sadly still today, searching out gay porn in the world can expose a person to harassment and arrest, and cable also doesn't offer it.
The Sweet Spot is a blog column about alternative sexuality by Ginger Murray who is also the editor of Whore! magazine. Check back next week for more.