Pornography, the way God meant it to be
You know what’s wrong with pornography today?It’s not dirty enough.Maybe you’re one of those “There’s nothing dirty about sex. It’s a beautiful expression of love between two people” types. Well, fine. I’m open-minded. You can believe that if you want to.But never mind that, because – whatever you think about sex – we’re talking about pornography. And pornography is supposed to be dirty. After all, the very word itself – “pornography” – comes from the Persian “pornagrafos,” meaning “Don’t do that! You’ll go blind!”But these days, pornography has moved to the Internet. People are getting their porn online.Think about that. Pornography on a computer. Cyber-porn. Techno-sex.Could two things be more incompatible? Clean, sleek, modern computers. Ancient, dirty, sleazy pornography.There’s nothing new in pornography itself. People have been doing the same weird, twisted (and I mean that in both the psychological and acrobatic sense) sex acts since the beginning of time.There’s nothing new under the sun – or under the sheets.What’s new is the high-tech presentation – brilliant colors, vibrant details, beautiful bodies! And all of it in the comfort and convenience of your home. On your computer screen.It’s all so terribly wrong.When I was a boy (don’t you just love stories that begin that way), porn was porn. No, we didn’t have to walk five miles through the snow to get a dirty movie, but still … it was dirty. And that’s the way it was supposed to be. Let me tell you about my first (and for some strange reason, my only) experience with a hard-core pornographic movie.This was back in the early 1960s – about a decade before they filmed “Deep Throat” or “Behind the Green Door.” There were no “X-rated” stores selling “adult movies.” There weren’t even any peep shows – “Peep-O-Rama!” “Booths for Couples!!!” – on Times Square.Dirty movies were hard to find.My porn encounter happened in an appropriate place: a greasy automotive machine shop, in a shabby cinderblock building surrounded by auto junkyards. For blocks in all directions, the landscape was filled with piles of junked cars behind chain-link fences, protected by vicious dogs. There were piles of trash, puddles of muddy water and, all day long, the roar of machinery and shriek of torn metal.I spent a lot of time working on cars in those days and I’d found that the guys who ran this shop were skilled, honest and willing to put up with a nerdy suburban kid like me.One dark winter evening, a friend and I drove down there to check on some work they were doing for me. The job wasn’t finished, but they urged us to stick around. “We got a movie,” the boss snickered.At 5 o’clock, they locked the front door and turned off the lights in the office. We all went into the shop in the back. It was a jumble of industrial machinery and greasy car parts. They hung a once-white sheet on a filthy cinderblock wall, moved a pile of broken car parts off a workbench and set up an old movie projector.They turned on the projector and – with much whistling, snorting, jeering and snickering – began to show a grainy, herky-jerky black and white movie. A silent movie.I can’t, in a family newspaper, give you any real details about the content of the film, except perhaps to say that it involved a thoroughly unattractive, pudgy woman and a man delivering a bucket of eels.Halfway through the movie, my friend ran out of the building and vomited in the alley.A while later, the sheet fell off the wall and they showed the last few minutes of the movie directly against the blackened cinderblocks.When it was over, no one had much to say.I went outside and found my friend, who was sitting in the car, shivering in the freezing cold. He still looked a little pale. We drove home in silence.Now that’s pornography. The way God meant it to be.Filthy.Andy Stone is former editor of The Aspen Times. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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Some days, I miss being back in the saddle. I miss making memories.