CreepyScary Stories

I Stumbled Upon My Dad’s Porn Stash When I Was A Kid, But What I Found On His Computer After Was Horrifying

I must have been twelve or thirteen when I found my dad’s porn stash. The discovery was incidental; I was taking stock of the birthday and Christmas gifts my parents hid on the top shelf of their shared closet when I noticed a black shoebox. Were it not for such incongruous placement, it would not have elicited my curiosity. My dad wore a size 16; there was ample room for a lot of things in that box, enough space that my imagination ran wild with the presents my father was potentially hiding from us. It would have to be quite spectacular to warrant not only being hidden behind the rest of the gifts, but stored in a black box as well, I reasoned.

I pulled the box from its place, careful not to disturb the items surrounding it. I wasted no time in opening it once safely on the floor, knees grating against the sand-colored carpet as I flipped the lid back.

Instead of the Holy Grail of gifts I had imagined, I saw only VHS tapes—two columns of them, stacked sideways in their JVC-brand cardboard sleeves. They looked just like the ones he used to record his favorite TV shows on the nights we dutifully ate dinner “as a family” at the Chinese restaurant nearby. But unlike those tapes, the ones before me were missing my father’s meticulously, all-caps handwriting on the labels. The blankness of the stickers stood out against the black plastic sides. At the back of the box were three cassettes that were clearly not meant for recording missed television programs.

These were the real deal, complete with pre-printed labels and hard plastic cases, each sleeve emblazoned with fiery red and yellow title text over a mess of thumbnail images depicting real people engaged in acts that left nothing to the imagination.

The sound of the front door put an abrupt end to my analysis. I frantically returned the box and my makeshift ladder to their rightful places, avoiding both detection and reprimands for nosing around.

Once discovered, the knowledge of my dad’s stash started to eat at me. The passing thrill of spoiling my own gifts wore off quickly, but my curiosity about the contents of the tapes only increased with each passing day.

The second shoebox reconnaissance mission took place a week later; I knew my parents would be away for most of the afternoon, leaving me with more than enough time to inspect the videos’ coarse content.

I felt nothing as I watched the tapes on the TV in my parents’ bedroom. The videos were grainy, full of bad 80’s porn dialogue and incredibly well-coiffed thickets of pubic hair. I dutifully rewound the tapes, carefully returning them and their box to the corner from whence they came.

That night before bed, I took off my clothes and stood in front of the bathroom mirror, thinking about the women I’d seen in my father’s secret video stash. The women’s bodies were curved in all the right places, their hair big, their makeup outlandish. My shape was comprised mostly of angles; skinny arms and legs were firm proof that my body was still shackled to childhood. I wondered if my chest would be flat forever, and if round bottoms were a prerequisite for desirability.

In the years that followed I found other evidence that my parents were still sexual creatures—but nothing unexpected; rogue condoms in my dad’s dresser drawer, the vibrating plug-in massager in my mother’s bedside table, a small duffel bag beneath their bed filled with an assortment of lubes and dildos. Then again, how could I be shocked by a discovery made when I already knew what I was looking for?

It wasn’t until a few years after high school, however, that I realized my dad’s tastes extended beyond watching the occasional dirty movie on his VCR.

He was having computer problems. The crescendo of his swearing cascaded down the hall; the lunacy of listening to another human shouting at an inanimate object glued me to my seat with a looming sense of dread. When he appeared in the doorway to my room, I did not expect him to ask for my help resolving his technical troubles—this was a man who kept the door to his office locked at all times. It was a man cave of the highest order, neither my mother nor I were ever granted entry. To be invited inside indicated something beyond my father’s technical expertise had happened, something that demanded immediate human intervention. This was the first time my dad had invited me into his room, and I was dying to know what I’d find.

But I didn’t tell him that. I hid my excitement about being allowed passage into the inner sanctum, making a show of begrudgingly agreeing to try to “fix” his computer. I let my feet drag against the carpet as I followed him into his office. He motioned to the rolling armchair and I took a seat, timidly scooting myself closer to his desk.

As my father listed his grievances – the machine’s slow load speeds, repeated crashing, persistent pop-ups—an animated, scantily-clad woman popped up in the screen’s lower right hand corner. Though only three inches tall, she strutted her way down the toolbar-cum-runway in tiny heels and a bikini like a well-seasoned pro.

My dad’s face flushed and he fumbled to take the mouse from my hand, trying to find a way to stop the miniature stripper’s salacious stride. Instantly realizing this had to be the root of my father’s computer troubles, I wisely avoided eye contact and said nothing as he abruptly closed the program.

The process of removing what was turning out to be a staggeringly large number of downloaded software quickly turned tedious; I tried to disregard application names like ‘SeXXXyCindi.exe’ glaring at me from his program list, knowing their deletion would not go unnoticed or unpunished. After several time-sucking uninstalls and reboots, my dad gave up on overseeing the operation and plodded off to bed.

This, of course, was my opportunity to do a little snooping. It didn’t take long to find what I was looking for.

As I made my way through my dad’s browser history, I found myself on websites of an increasingly-alarming caliber, culminating with women that started out reluctantly allowing themselves to succumb to orgasms while crying, resisting the actions that brought them there. Though I could feel a growing level of concern for what my dad had been watching, I was far more concerned with the heavy feeling between my legs.

I narrowed my inquiry to what had been saved on the hard drive. The first folder I found was not especially well-hidden—just a folder within a folder, betrayed only by the fact that its name, ERSTUFFS, was in all-caps. The first picture I opened was a full-length photo of my father; hairy chest and gut proudly on display, smiling genially, cock limp between his legs. I hastily closed the window and double-clicked the next file—a video. As it loaded, the pit of my stomach dropped. It took a few seconds before I could digest that the hand wrapped around the bulbous erection on screen was my father’s: that he’d shot this with a webcam while sitting at his desk. This desk. I closed the file before clicking the next, and the next, and the next.

I made my way through this repulsive cache of self-shot pornography, simultaneously aroused and sickened by my continued viewing of the files therein. I couldn’t stop looking, and I couldn’t stop being disgusted with myself for it.

A black metal case sat on the far corner of his desk, emblazoned only with the word ‘Eros’ appeared in several photos; I only realized it was meant for electrical stimulation upon Googling it. The photos and videos began to blend together; had I watched my father pushing the sounding wand into his urethra in real time, or only glimpsed the ‘before and after’ in photos? Were those noises of pain or pleasure? Was my dad really that… outrageously equipped?

By the time I inspected every recess of my dad’s digital archives, the rabbit hole I’d fallen into seemed more like an elephant trap. I sat for a while, wondering if phrases like “erotic electrostimulation” would mean anything to my friends. Or if their dads found such wands and electrodes gratifying.

Everything I’d discovered gave me more questions than answers. When I found myself sneaking back to watch the videos repeatedly in the weeks that followed, I wondered if there was something wrong with me. Were sexual perversions genetic? And if they were, would I find them gratifying? Or would I too step in front of a webcam and broadcast those same tendencies out and into the ether?

I had already dealt with the fact that my parents had to have had sex to create me; but this was bigger than that. Did they do things like this together? Had they done them when I was conceived? It was hard to explain how those full-length nudes could have been taken without assistance. Was my dad sleeping with women other than my mother?

With each file, my resentment toward my father grew. It was impossible to align the man in my head with the one shoving electric wands into his pecker—that the pleasure-seeking creature on the screen was somehow the same person who had changed my diapers, grounded me for smoking, and warily watched the string of boys who had come and gone from the front stoop of our house over the course of that summer.

The discovery made it easy to hate my dad. For being into “weird shit.” For forcing me to wonder if it was normal to look at images of my father naked and feel the vague tug of something sexual. I felt no attraction to my father, no incestuous tingling—but the seed of sexual curiosity was sewn, and I knew I would eventually have to investigate it on my own.

I didn’t want to think about it. But I did. I thought about it during my smoke breaks at work, over family dinners, while drinking with friends. There was no quiet moment that wasn’t invaded by the needling suspicion that at any given moment my father might be seated in his lair, staring intently at the screen, one hand furiously pistoning up and down beneath his desk.


Eventually the thoughts spilled over enough that I found myself discussing the contents of my father’s hard drive with a boy I liked as our coffee went cold in a 24-hour diner. After relating what I’d seen, how uncomfortably sexually aware of myself I became while looking through his collection, I expected a sympathetic response.

“You have to understand—” I began, but the boy cut me off.

“No, see: that’s your problem, right there. I don’t have to understand anything,” I couldn’t help but stare, and he couldn’t help but keep talking: “and neither do you.”

I turned my gaze to the glass of water in front of me, surprised by the harshness of his statement. I tried to clarify, “But he’s fifty-something years old, snapping photographs of himself in front of the mirror, cock in hand. And he’s planning on showing those pictures to somebody.” My response sounded meek, even to me.

“Seriously, you need to get over it. He’s fucking human, just like the rest of us.”

I smirked at the phrasing—fucking human was right. TC mark

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Claire Mott is a reasonably attractive 20-something that loves New York… most of the time. She doesn't have a trust ... Follow Claire on or read more articles from Claire on Thought Catalog.