…or at least responsible for keeping him from becoming a Trappist?
Photo courtesy of Drew P. Baldwin via Flickr

Photo courtesy of Drew P. Baldwin via Flickr

I am going to go ahead and use that old stand-by of middle school guidance counselors across the country when I say I know someone who is apparently doing alright for himself in the area of amateur porn. Now I should preface this by saying two things. First, the kid was obviously doing alright for himself in the area of his pants to begin with, which is probably contributing to his interwebs popularity (and more on how I know that in a moment). Second, and before you all start accusing each other of producing pornographic matter that you’re not sharing with the group, I am using the word know in the loosest possible sense. Know as in: I went to college with him for a minute like 5 years ago. The same way I know a former professional dominatrix and a girl whose left butt cheek hung suspiciously lower than her right one (and who wore short enough skirts to let us all know) – suffice it to say that college was a *very* interesting place to make friends and influence people.

So anyway, as I was telling my peer leadership group, I know someone who: is jerking it on the net. And not only is he engaging in the distribution of his own homegrown web-wanking, he is doing the dirtiest deed of all: he is showing his face. Which brings us to my aforementioned knowledge of the state of the union south of his border; if this were a camcorder-in-the-bathroom-shooting-from-the-neck-down-until-I- well you know, we’d be none the wiser. But as it happens, a certain friend’s late-night surfing led to a hilarious text message, which led to phone calls and texts and retellings and word spreading until the gossip had my sweet innocent roommate trying to find the internal search engine on a porn site (for a least a second…before she realized who she lives with and decided it was MY job to navigate for porn…maybe I should put that in the special skills section of my resume…).



His performance is not particularly impressive, although, as I mentioned, he does make a sizable contribution to the field, what’s really interesting is the fact that we know someone who does this. Full disclosure, I am a pretty sex positive, pro-porn kind of feminista lady. I’m sure that for a lot of people the fact that he does this, and the fact that platforms exist to help him do it, is horrifying or, at the very least, terribly confusing. I more or less think it’s awesome, more power to him; my concerns are of a more practical nature – I have questions! What if his brother (I have no idea if he has a brother) is perusing the site? Does the whole family suddenly become aware of the situation or is the fact that his brother is embarrassed about visiting the site enough to keep it quiet? Does one brother confront the other or does he keep it to himself? Is finding your sibling when you’re looking for porn enough to turn a brother into a Brother in a remote monastery in the Alps? As an aspiring fellatio Fellini (sorry, I couldn’t resist) are you obliged to warn your siblings before they find you (see the previous hypothetical where they are then driven to a monastic life of silence and contemplation) in all your web-star glory?

The “brother” line of thought is one of a hundred hypothetical scenarios this could lead to; what if it isn’t your brother that finds it? What if it’s your professor? Or the woman who is going to interview you for a job tomorrow? Or someone who will go on to be an important member of Congress on the day before the day you have to bow out of your Senate confirmation hearing because of “unpaid taxes” – a proven track record in the areas of health and human services indeed! The point is, anyone could see it. But the question is: who cares?

In an age where technology is everywhere, the slow creep of technology into our sex lives was more or less inevitable (and awesomely blogged about by Regina Lynn until she left Wired…now I cry every Friday). And while, thanks to Sex and the City, sex toys are becoming an increasingly common and acceptable aspect of our collective lady conversation about sex and technology, most of society is lagging pretty for behind the awesome Miss Lynn and her colleagues in the Sex/Tech world.  Similarly, while web porn is literally only seconds younger than the internet (why do you think Al Gore invented the thing while Tipper was out censoring anything that stood still long enough to take it?!), American society still has some pretty antiquated notions about sexuality, and about sex and technology especially.

Ultimately, the video that we saw of my former fellow student was probably a personal expression of healthy sexuality- it is a fully consensual sex act between him and the viewers (in this case the viewers are half the internet and 97 giggling fools he went to college with). Engaging the internet in your sexuality is going to be an increasingly common form of sexual expression; so maybe its time that Americans not have to worry about the effect it might have on their lives if a professor or an employer finds that video…it might still be nice to warn your brother though.