Love & Sex

Nine Stories About the First Time You Saw Porn

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You would never look at sock drawers the same way again…

You never forget your first experience with porn. A wrinkled magazine half-buried in the recycling, or an errant folder on the desktop, and your world is never the same. Here are nine Nerve readers' formative porn experiences. Stay tuned for part two!

My late father was a teacher at a private all-male boarding school. In our basement, he set himself up with a desk, filing cabinets, and row after row of homemade shelves for his extensive paperback collection. When I was about twelve, maybe thirteen, I noticed on his very top shelf an out-of-reach stack of thick magazines he had apparently confiscated from his students. Curious, I climbed on a chair and reached for one to see what it was, and was rewarded with my first Playboy.

The cover girl was scantily clothed, but inside was where I saw my first pair of naked female breasts. I had to climb down from the chair and take a seat because I was light-headed, my mouth was dry, and my hands were shaking. I looked again. They were magnificent. The great Barbi Benton was my first.

— Robert

 

My family always spent the Jewish holidays at my grandparents' house. Back in the day, I was quite a tomboy, and with two younger sisters, I relished the time I could spend with my cousins, boys who liked to get up to as much mischief as I did. We weren't allowed in my grandparents' bedroom and office, so naturally we had to explore them every time I visited.

While the adults were downstairs, we searched every inch of the office, looking for anything remotely interesting. I stood on a chair to get a better look at the giant bookshelf and noticed a stack of magazines. I read the side of one: Playboy.

Ever the protective older sister, I made my sisters go downstairs. My cousins and I locked ourselves in another room and sat with our backs against the door. We flipped through the magazine, looking at the giant silicon boobs, shaved vaginas, and oiled flesh. I don't think I felt anything at the time, but after that, I though of how I'd always liked looking at any nearly-naked girls I could find on TV. It wasn't until around eight years later that I finally put two and two together and realized that I just really like girls.

— Alex

 

My parents though that bringing their eleven-year-old son along to see the epic film version of the James Michener novel Hawaii was relatively safe. The ad campaign suggested a sweeping historical saga about earnest nineteenth-century missionaries; perhaps there would even be educational value. It starred Julie Andrews, for heaven’s sake.

But by the mid-'60s, the world was changing rapidly, and neither my parents nor the MPAA was keeping up. Forty-odd minutes into what was shaping up as a very starchy epic about starchy white folks came the scene in which the missionaries’ ship finally sails within sight of Maui, at which moment dozens of native nymphs dropped what they were doing, as well as what they were wearing, to swim out and greet them.

This was not your James Bond-esque, strategically shadowed pseudo-nudity, either. This was nude-nudity! Boobs! Boobs everywhere! Firm, ripe, ethno-nymph boobs!

I turned to my father. His back was tilted forward at an odd angle. His eyelids fluttered and his Adam’s apple had embarked on some sort of autonomous exercise regimen. He looked as if he were very slowly being electrocuted.

I dared not speak but sent him a telepathic message: Dad… Aren’t you going to stop me from watching this?

There was a pause.

Leave me alone, I sensed him replying. My gosh, look at that one.

— Josh

 

My stepmother once bought me a copy of Playboy magazine because I mentioned that a woman in a wheelchair was getting a pictorial. I grew up with cerebral palsy, and at fourteen, I was fascinated with any portrayal of people with disabilities in the media.

It’s hard to know why my stepmother did it. But the combination of holding such a “dirty” object, and her sending my brother upstairs gave the evening a forbidden thrill that brought a flush to my cheeks. Until I saw it. I don’t know what I was expecting. I'd once filched my mother’s copy of Erica Jong’s Parachutes and Kisses from the shelf and spent many nights with it, but that experience was more mental than visual. But at the moment of truth, all Playboy offered was just Ellen Strohl, in what I found out later were clichéd centerfold poses. Groundbreaking or not, it was no big deal.

“So, how was it?” my stepmother asked.

“Fine,” I said, flicking the magazine closed.

— Erica

 

When I was four, my mom would put my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tapes on top of the VCR, and I knew how to put play them. Around that time, my mom and dad had been separated, and she had been dating a new guy who ran a local video store. She liked him enough to let him babysit me when my normal babysitter couldn't. On one such occasion, I went into her room to watch Ninja Turtles. I saw a tape on top of the VCR, with no label on it. I pushed it into the VCR, pressed the sideways triangle, and saw three girls, naked in a field, sucking on the udders of a sheep. This was not Ninja Turtles.

I stayed and watched I don't remember for how long until my mom's boyfriend came in from the kitchen and found me watching a movie where a guy was diddling a woman with a fish. Needless to say, he and my mom didn't stay together for long after that.

— Julius

Next: "If it's two women against one guy, why are the women losing?"

In my family, we never discussed uncomfortable subjects like sex and puberty. So obscure was my knowledge of the human body, that when I started developing breasts in fourth grade, I thought I was growing tumors. Needless to say, I grew up with a large gap between the word "sex" (which I honestly thought was a type of flower) and the act itself. It should come as no surprise, then, that my understanding of sex came from the only place a young Catholic girl could find it: in the warm, cheesy glow of pornography.

My first interaction with porn was accidental: it happened one night when I fell asleep watching a movie on HBO, only to awake to a porno featuring a threesome. I thought it was traditional Greek wrestling. My first reaction was, “If it's two women against one guy, why are the women losing?”

Years later, when I actively pursued pornography, I was shocked to discover that there were women who looked like me. Women who were overweight, who had small breasts or bad skin or braces. And all of those women were having sex! For all the talk about porn's warped portrayals of sexuality, it taught me a different lesson as an underconfident teenage girl, one that life up to that point hadn't: it truly doesn’t matter what you look like, because there will always be someone somewhere who's into that.

— Ann Marie

 

I’m almost forty years old, and I’ve seen a lot of porn over the years. But I could take one look at my fifth-grade class photo and tell you exactly 1) whose dad had porn, 2) what kind of porn, and 3) where it was hidden.

Mark C.? Mother lode of Penthouse in the shed. Dennis K.? Was able to sneak out a stash of Oui which he kept in a rain-soaked grocery bag in his playhouse. Coby M.? Playboy under the bed in the master bedroom, very hard to get to. Ryan S.? Fundamentalist Christian family, no porn. Tim L.? Hippie parents. No porn, but lots of “art” books in the attic. Mike M.? The first satellite dish in the neighborhood one of the big five-foot-wide ones and his place was where we always decided to have our sleepovers.

I’m almost forty years old. The other day I saw a big bundle of magazines, half-covered in someone's recycling bin. Instinctively, I reached for them.

— Marc

 

I was, at the tender age of eight, a lovely and intelligent young lady. My favorite movies were The Wizard of Oz and E.T., though I also loved watching terribly violent gang movies.

One afternoon, my mother and father were both M.I.A., and I had full control of the VCR. Thinking I was slipping in some awesomely gory gangster tale, I slipped an unmarked tape into the VCR, reasoning it wasn't labeled because my parents wanted to protect me from gangland executions.

But what appeared on the screen wasn't Robert De Niro or Joe Pesci, but Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Initially, I was excited  I'd never seen this version of Oz before. And then her trusted friends appeared! Look, it's the Scarecrow! And the Lion! And the Tin Man, too! And then it happened. Toto and I watched in amazement and terror as every one of Dorothy's band of companions took their time ravaging her, sometimes two and three at once. She kept the ruby slippers on.

— Nicole

 

I was a ten-year-old Catholic schoolgirl visiting Grandma’s house one summer. Books of every genre and subject lined the walls of her home. My room had an enormous bookcase headboard, and I spent the summer reading a respectable chunk of the shelf. Then I came to Fanny Hill (or Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure).


Before you could say, “This isn’t Jane Eyre,” I was reading about a woman introducing young Fanny to her sexuality. This caught my attention. The book was surprisingly explicit for the mid 1700s, describing in detail everything I never realized I wanted to know about sex. I barely slept the next few nights as I devoured the novel. Twice.

As the book progresses, Fanny discovers voyeurism, followed immediately by masturbation. As she went through a crash course in sex-ed, so did I. Together we discovered everything from orgies to drag parties to gay sex. Then came bondage and sadomasochism. As a girl being educated by nuns, this left me with an interesting  albeit confusing  perspective on corporal punishment in schools.

The book ends with romantic and affectionate married sex. Which is fortunate, since my sexual tastes and proclivities have, over the years, mirrored Fanny’s. I doubt that is any coincidence.

The well-worn and dog-eared book is still tucked behind the headboard where I hid it each summer, waiting for the next generation to find it. I made sure not to hide it too well.

— Sara

Submit to our next round-up: Ever make out with a rock star? Ever demonstrate your oral skills to an MC? Ever charge the stage to dry-hump the principal first violin in the middle of Mahler 9? Give us your best stories about hooking up with a famous musician. Name names. We want the dirt.

Send your best story (150-250 words) to submissions@nerve.com. We won't print your full name, so please don't skimp on the details.