Porn is Weird

The basic premise of typical hetero porn is that you sit in front of a computer screen and masturbate to naked people having some form of sex with eachother or themselves on said computer screen. Despite the whole sci-fi creepiness to it, this in itself is not weird – there are, for all intents and purposes, sexual acts going on in front of you, usually by humans with well-endowed sexual organs, and so it is only natural to feel sexually excited. But it’s also paradoxical.

More often than not, porn depicts characters you would hardly consider sexually alluring in an IRL encounter. Filled with muscular douchebags, old men with ponytails, large dudes wearing hockey jerseys, 45-year-old women with massive, unnatural-looking breast implants, single moms with faces obscured by a layer cake of makeup, and ditzy white-girl cheerleaders turned vacuous suburbanite idiots, porn is produced by a class of people who, well, not too many of us choose to be around. Yet when we watch porn, we fantasize about either being or fucking these people.

Despite the very real allure of porn, I submit that it involves a massive amount of forgetting. For this, porn is weird. When we watch it, we want to be in it, getting a blow job by a woman with huge tits, bad lipstick, two-inch painted fingernails and the aesthetic of a dancer in a 90s Sisqó video – despite the fact that we’d probably be grossed out by her IRL. We fantasize about being the dude getting the blow job, who also happens to be bald, approaching his mid-50s, and altogether seems like a sleazebag we’d probably cross the street to avoid.

Like everyone, there have been (real) people in my life who I’ve lusted after. Who I’ve met and thought, “I am going to have sex with this person.” These instances were almost entirely based on some physical attribute I found intensely sexy. And if I got lucky, I had sex with them. But for the most part, it was never that great. I wasn’t short-changed or anything – it was all there, just as (if not better than) I imagined – and it was, theoretically, exactly what I wanted at that point in time. But sex is a lot more than the physical experience of another body yielding to yours, and so when the moment of truth came (ha ha), I wasn’t really prepared. There were so many details I hadn’t taken into account in my fantasies – what her face would look like, how responsive she’d be, how genuine she was, what she expected from me, the minutia of sights, smells and feelings – that it was rarely as good as I had imagined it would be.

Of course, no shit – this is why porn exists. Porn is the experience of a fantasy world. It’s an escape from the sexual deprivation of being single, socially anxious, unattractive, and self-loathing; or it’s just the escape from the everyday – a taste of what you know you’ll never have. But I think another way porn functions is to falsely obscure your ideas about sex. After a history of watching porn, you may begin to believe that all you really want out of sex is the ability to pound the shit out of some nameless large-breasted 33-year-old blond who doesn’t – and will never – speak, only cry out in sexual ecstasy. On the sidewalk you may begin to notice women in tiny, revealing shorts and think only about what those shorts are hiding. In general, you may start expecting all your sexual interactions to be like the porn you’re watching.

And I think this is why porn is weird. It immerses us in such down-to-earth fantasies, yet is so one-sided in its depiction of reality. It gives us what we want, but only after we’ve forgotten that we don’t want it at all. It tricks us into believing that we’re desirous of someone for whom we have zero desire. It makes us forget what sex actually is and replaces the idea with, basically, what it isn’t, at all. It’s a hopeless, addicting dream. But such is the way of fantasies, and on that note… I’ll be right back. TC mark

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  • fveg

    That's why I only watch porn with ugly people in it. Then I can /actually/ imagine myself having sex with the cross-eyed girl with bacne. 

    It also makes the post-orgasm shame so much more real.

  • http://twitter.com/moselmensch D.P. O'Connell

    I think the notion about the amount of forgetting involved in the use of pornography is really a good one. It reminded me of Nietzsche's comment about the amount of forgetting involved in life generally, the amount of forgetting we need to do just to survive. Very honest reflection on porn here, Brandon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=707272007 Alex Thayer

    incredibly well-written.

  • Virgin

    What kind of porn do you watch? Have you ever heard of x-art, met-art, etc? Not to mention all the amateur porn avalaible online…

  • http://glorydrugstalkloud.blogspot.com/ Laurens Verdonkschot

    Legitimate thoughts I have while enjoying porn:

    'This girl is really talented'
    'I bet she has an awesome sense of humor'
    'How the hell does he stay hard for that long'
    'Is there a way to affect the consistency of my semen to make it seem more “goopey”'

    • http://twitter.com/joshliburdi Josh Liburdi

      re 'I bet she has an awesome sense of humor': http://loveapriloneil.blogspot

      april o neil is the coolest porn star there is, ever. totally a real person.

      • http://glorydrugstalkloud.blogspot.com/ Laurens Verdonkschot

        I am led to think of the short story 'The Whore of Mensa' by Woody Allen, except with a less mensa more internet savvy twist to it. My mind and boner both thank you.

    • Ruthlezz

      re:'How the hell does he stay hard for that long'
      answer: ED pills and/or cutting away and filming more in ten minutes

    • Dan

      Legitimate thoughts I have after watching porn, in this order:

      Nothing
      “That's fucking disgusting”
      “Oh crap where are the tissues”

  • http://www.astoryunravels.com Ashley Hennefer

    There is a lot of porn out there; honestly, I rarely come across the typical fake-boobed-girl and overly-tanned-boy porn anymore. Amateur, and some more artistic/creative stuff, is a lot more effective and doesn't have to lead to feelings of disgust.

  • guest

    I remember watching a girl masturbating, and about half-way through the video she coughed. although it was only one cough, and a very tiny one, that just about ruined porn for me. I realized that these were are real people, and were much more abstract than what is being shown. but even still, I never like guys in my porn. only girls. I really don't understand why guys want to watch other guys have sex with girls.

    • klaus

      link?

    • Greg

      I can empathize with this, but to be honest, porn becomes hotter for me when their humanity is revealed. watching amateur or slightly underproduced porn is not only hot, but interesting as hell. I can't help but wonder how these people ended up in this position, filming one another?  what were they thinking? what were they doing before the porn was produced? did they break-up? do they have a family? did the video accidentally leak or did a scorned lover release the video? How old is this girl? and a million more questions

      • EvilMamaK

        I can relate. Although I think the above piece is completely relevant and well-written, I can't help but think, “Dude, you're just watching the wrong porn!”. I almost don't watch anything BUT amateur or homemade porn any longer. Maybe it's my voyeuristic side, but there is something so erotic about having that window into the sex lives of others. This, plus the ability to explore fantasies that arouse me are the main reasons why I love to watch porn.

  • Samm

    You are a horrible writer.

    • Tyler

      You are a horrible criticizer.

  • http://twitter.com/Sscottie Scott Lewis

    it's funny how feminists think porn is degrading to woman, if anything it's degrading to everyone involved. the men shave all their pubic hair off, thats not going to look normal in a changing room environment

    • Baby's Bottom

      So you’re the guy who’s looking at my sweet, slick n’ shaved package in the locker-room.

      • http://twitter.com/Sscottie Scott Lewis

        i wouldn't buy a tree with no leaves

  • xra

    i think that's the basic premise of homo porn too

    • klaus

      nope, everyone's beautiful in homo porno.

      • http://fastfoodies.org Briana

        as a person who works in the gay porn industry, i can guarantee you this is hella not true. especially some of the czech twinks.

  • macwb05

    Whoever wrote this hasn't watched porn since the mid-90s, apparently.

  • ZaneEatsWorld

    always end with a penis joke. always.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Timberman/922794 Steven Timberman

    Brandon's writing is such a pleasure to read – I'm jealous of some structural tricks here (love the opening bits) and the transitions always bounce off each other well.

    But… this feels a bit vague. How do you write a piece about the way that porn affects the way we fuck without even mentioning facials? To borrow a phrase from another writing-geek, it's literally a post-modern sex act. The money shot rose in popularity because its cinematically appealing, not because it has much inherent pleasure with it.

  • Humano

    You got skill in writing, good luck with using it well. I liked it.

  • http://www.vincentgalbo.com Duke Holland of Gishmale

    Whoa. Agreed.

  • Tracey

    Porn appeals to animal instincts to reproduce. It's primal and hormonal and makes no sense. Our brains want things to make sense within a certain context, a civilized context. Not going to happen so get your freak on and don't intellectualize it.

  • http://twitter.com/rhodeislander rhodeislander

    Tattoos ruined American pornography, and they're on their way to almost ruining actual sex as well.

  • Ldmartinezjr10

    If porn is so “weird” why do you watch it?  Why do you post comments on porn/masturbation and why do you think about what other people do? 
    Me thinks this “man” doth protest too much…..

    • brandon gorrell

      i just have opinions about stuff

  • Rayman456

    HAHAHA!! so true………

    “We fantasize about being the dude getting the blow job, who also happens to be bald, approaching his mid-50s, and altogether seems like a sleazebag we’d probably cross the street to avoid.”

  • Rayman456

    Very well written

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