Porn

80s movies, weird X-Men powers and finding a textbook erotic; OR: How pornography gave a queer young man hope in a bleak Northern mining town. Think Kes, but with a lot more wanking. 

 

Transcript

I was feeling a little frisky the other day, and Grindr was being its usual waste of time, so rather than spend the whole day talking to randoms who don’t want to commit to actually meeting another person, I decided I’d speed the whole process up and watch some porn. Finishing myself off is usually how these things end anyway.

So, yeah, I popped some porn on, and my favourite kind are the ones where there’s a proper plot, and these poor guys, who only really signed up to have sex with other hot guys, are suddenly forced to act out a scene in a bank or pretend to be a handyman or a priest or whatever.

This particular one was the “Straight guy seduced” kind of thing. One character’s new roommate or sister’s boyfriend, or whatever arrives, and they talk about sportsball and call each other ‘bro’ a couple of times, then start talking about boobs, which makes them horny, because they’re both proper straight guys, and straight guys always get horny whenever boobs are mentioned,obviously. Then someone notices someone else’s boner and then suddenly they’re on each other like your mum on chips.

And then there’s lines in there like “Ohhh, you’re better at that than the wife!” which made me laugh. Y’know, not my wife, but just the wife… It just made me think of old men down t’pub with their flat caps on, and their tankards of real ale. I guess this is why you don’t get so much regional porn. You’re only a small step away from “By ‘eck, tha’s better - I say tha’s better at that than ‘er indoors!”

Anyway.

I probably watch a bit too much porn at times. It can warp your brain a bit. Like, when I hurt my knee and went to see a physiotherapist. The handsome physio was working on it, he never once slid his hand up my leg. I was quite hurt. Or when I went to a new, expensive gym, and there was absolutely no-one having a huge orgy in the showers. Part of me wanted my money back.

I had to remind myself that no, Scott, that’s not why most people go there, you’re getting a bit weird (getting?) and you should probably actually spend time around real people for a while.

And, y’know, I’m a grown up, physically, at least. I’ve had sex with real people before, sometimes without either of us crying afterwards. Well, not much, anyway.

But then, not everyone is me. Which is a shame. The world would be a lot more fun if everyone was me. Although I doubt we’d get much done. Anyway.

My point is that if  too much porn isn’t healthy for a grown man, it’s certainly not going to be good for anyone younger.

My first understandings of sex didn’t come from porn, but not far off. I never got The Talk from my parents, or at school. I think I was off sick that day. And all they did was show you a video about periods and pubes anyway.

For me, one day when I was about 14, my mum heard that I had a girlfriend, so when I got home from my theatre group (bit of a clue there, mother.), there was an Usborne Book of Your Body and a leaflet about condoms on my bed. That was it.

The only addition to that knowledge was riding my bike with my friends for an hour to look at an old magazine someone found in a hedge, and I enjoyed the bike ride, but didn’t really know what we were looking at, or how I was supposed to react to it.

To be honest, I found the Usborne book more erotic. There was a section on how everyone grows differently that showed three different guys in the shower together, all with different shaped bodies. Anyway.

After that, and slowly working out how to masturbate, I was left to my own devices until I was about 16 and dial-up internet came along. I remember one of the first porn photos I downloaded. It took about half an hour, and it was an old Bel Ami shoot, I think. Two young men, naked, kissing in a field. Which probably doesn’t seem like much, but the reason I remember it so well isn’t because it was super sexy (although it was sexy) or even that these boys were nude. It was that they were happy, and kissing and entirely unashamed of their sexuality. And to a teenager in the North of England, growing up in quite a rough town with no positive gay role models, or even anyone to talk to about this sort of thing, that was more shocking and exciting than seeing two naked boys. So thankyou, Johann, of 90s Bel Ami fame. You did more for me than I think anyone was expecting.

So, yeah, porn isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it does get a bit worrying to think that nowadays kids much younger than I was have access to an unending supply of really hardcore boning.

For example, in the seducing a straight guy video I was watching earlier (and again just now when I had a little ‘research’ break), one of the guys says “Oh, yeah, stick that dick in me. Take my ass virginity, big boy!”

First off, anyone saying “Take my ass virginity, big boy” and meaning it would be laughed out of the bedroom. Or at least I’d have to stop for a bit until I could reliably stop giggling.

And secondly, he just pops it in and off they go, both of them getting all acrobatic like Energiser Bunnies on a trampoline. And from my experience, even when it’s not someone’s first time, it’s always a lot less “Uh! Boing uh boing oh yeah give it to me uh uh yeah baby” and a lot more “Ow! Oooh! Sorry! Wait, SLowly. SLOWLY. Fuck. Ow Stop stopstop OW. Take it out for a second.”

Ugh. I’d tell you my “first time” story, but I feel that would be oversharing, even for me. And anyway, which one? First time with a girl? First time with a boy as a top, first time with a boy as a bottom? All you need to know about those, is that they were awkward, clumsy, mildly embarrassing and extremely private.

And, y’know, “sex is not like porn” might seem like a fairly obvious thing, it’s fantasy - it’s not meant to be real. My favourite unrealistic thing about porn is spontaneous condoms. The way, just as Mister Happy is closing in for his Very Special Hug there’s nothing just throbbing flesh, then the camera angle changes and suddenly a condom has magically appeared. If only that was a thing in real life - no awkward moments of fiddling with wrappers in lubey hands, trying to put it on, getting it the right way around, putting it on, getting back into position, more lube, bit of a fiddle to get things going again… None of that, just BAM! Condom. That’s one X-Men power that never makes it into the movies. I am CONDOM MAN! No! Wait! Johnny Rubber! Yes!

Or maybe it’s like his bumhole has a smaller version of one of those christmas tree netting machines. Y’know, just shove the tree in one end, and it comes out the other all wrapped up and ready to go…

Anyway. Porn not being real. That was my point, I think. But if you’ve had access to hardcore porn since before your big-boy hairs appeared, then that line becomes very blurred. Hell, it’s not even just porn. Movies with sex scenes too. I remember watching My Stepmom Is An Alien when I was about 7 years old and there’s actual fireworks when Kim Basinger has sex for the first time. The closest I’ve come to that was lighting a candle because I was trying to be Romantic, and almost setting the curtains on fire.

I’ve mentioned before how most guys get their ideas about dick size from porn, but apparently it’s not just dicks - apparently there’s been a huge rise in the number of girls who want surgery on their lady parts because they hate they way they look, and they want them to look more like the way lady bits do in porn, so there’s a lot of body issues and glorification of unattainable bodies that comes from porn, and that’s before I even mention the general attitude towards women in porn. Titles like “College stud fucks horny slut” tells you plenty about that sort of thing.

I’m not saying porn is bad. I don’t want to be that guy, especially when I enjoy it, and like I said earlier, for a young me, it was a huge revelation that being gay in public didn’t just mean a quick peck on the cheek, followed by hoping like hell that no-one saw and you’re not about to get your teeth kicked in. But porn out of context, too much porn and stuff liek that can be a bad thing. Much like sex. Doing it too much makes it get boring, you stop enjoying it and it becomes really mechanical and dead-eyed.

So, yeah. Porn needs to be kept very squarely in the ‘occasional indugence’ sort of area, and we need to talk more, about sex, and more openly, too. That’s kinda the point of me sitting here hungover in a cupboard, just to help people feel ok about talking about these sorts of things.

If only so that you cut down on the number of times that the screen goes dark at the end of a film, and you make eye contact with your reflection, and realise that you’ve spent a whole afternoon having a fiddle instead of getting anything done.