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Early signs for sex that evening were positive: it was not yet 8 o'clock, the baby was asleep, and neither my wife nor I had been overly exhausted by another difficult day on this too-trying Earth, nor overly depressed, nor overly angry, nor overly murderous, nor overly suicidal. As my wife showered, I sat with my laptop on our bed, responding to some late emails and sipping a glass of wine. It is a fact that the probability of any evening's marital sexual relations is directly proportional to the length of either partner's shower that said evening, and she had been in there for some time now. When she finally emerged from the bathroom, wrapped in a towel and chased by a gentle billow of steam, I was pleased to see her head straight for her lingerie drawer.



"Hey," I said, "you're not the regular poolboy."



"Just thought I'd come by, Ma'am," she said, "see if anything was

promotion

too wet."



I laughed, and then she laughed, and as she turned and headed back into the bathroom, she asked if we had any decent porno we could watch.



"No," I said, "but we have broadband."



"Even better," she said, closing the door behind her.



It's important for you to know at this point that me and porno go way back. Me and porno are buddies. Me and porno, we hang.



When I was a nine-year-old Orthodox yeshiva student, I found a pile of discarded pornography magazines in the woods behind my house. Compared to the physical world around me — a world of overwhelming religious restriction and suffocating social regulations — the fantasy world of pornography seemed like a parallel, if gooey, version of the Garden of Eden my rabbis had just described to me. Legs were eternally spread, bodies were proudly exposed, heads were thrown back in ecstasy. In porno there was no guilt, no shame, no fear,

Perhaps this had been Walt Disney's idea when he created Disneyland — a place free of anger.

no anger. Black people fucked white people, white people fucked black people, men fucked women, women fucked women, and, in a magazine named Blueboy, buried at the very bottom of the pile, men even fucked men. People in Pornoland ate pussy, they ate ass, they ate come. Was come kosher, I wondered? Was there a blessing on pussy? The people of Pornoland didn't seem to care, and I loved them for it. With inspiring abandon, women lavished attention and in turn were lavished upon, and men spilled their seed on the floor and the chair and the couch and the bellies and the backs and the faces and the lips without fear of retribution, without worry about damnation and without concern for the purgatorial post-death punishment one rabbi had described to us that year of being boiled alive for Eternity in a vat of all the semen you wasted during your lifetime. Licking, sucking, pinching, fucking: do what you want, the leaders of Pornoland declared, but judge not, scorn not, worry not. Paradise.

Perhaps this had been Walt Disney's idea when he created Disneyland — a place, first and foremost, free of anger. But Mickey didn't have a cock, and Minnie didn't have a pussy, and so I wasn't all that impressed with their idyllic existence. John Holmes, though. Ginger Lynn. Wendy Whoppers. Now there was a group I could emulate. I admired their daring, their rebellion, their freedom. They made me feel better about myself, as rabbis both dead and alive did everything they could to make me feel the opposite. So I was surprised when, a few years later, I saw people (non-religious people!) in Manhattan (Manhattan!) protesting pornography. Pornography! I had recently begun yeshiva high school on 181st Street, and had cut Talmud class to go to Times Square. It wasn't long before my backpack was filled with hardcore magazines and videocassettes, and I headed over to the bus stop on Forty-Seventh and Fifth, whereupon I passed an angry woman shouting into a megaphone and waving a wooden placard above her head. On the placard was a large still-frame from a hardcore porno movie: a large-breasted blonde woman on her knees, eyes closed, getting done from behind by an ecstatic black man. I was about to ask her where I could find such a movie when I noticed her friend carrying another placard which read "Porn = Hate!"



Really? I wondered. I thought it =ed liberty. I thought it =ed escape. I thought it =ed fun.



Lunatic, I thought to myself.



And where the hell did she get that movie?



The door to the bathroom opened again, and my wife climbed into bed beside me. We sat side by side, the laptop between us, and underneath the "Bookmarks" heading in the web browser, I selected an online porno forum I used to frequent. It had been a while since I'd been to that site, though — the combination of a pregnancy, a newborn baby and the stress of raising an infant hadn't ruined our sex life as completely as some had predicted, but it had made pornography somewhat inconvenient — when you have barely the time or the energy for the main feature, so to speak, who can be bothered with the previews? I clicked on the first forum entry, and screen caps of the downloadable video began to appear.



"Jesus Christ," said my wife once the page had loaded.








     

  

Commentarium (53 Comments)

Nov 26 11 - 11:02pm
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Sep 10 07 - 1:08am
WT

Shalom,
Your reaction upon that forum was the same one I experience upon searching for good porn. I've had to give up and admit that only my own imagination is safe. It was nice to hear that I'm not the only one. Great article, keep up the good work,

Sep 10 07 - 8:56am

The only solution is for porn consumers to take responsibility for what they buy. I blog about this kind of thing often: http://www.mindfulwanker.blogspot.com/

-Karuna

Sep 10 07 - 11:51am
dcf

i think i know the name of that forum. if so, it's one that i quit after a year and a half and more than six thousand posts because i couldn't talk with people and laugh honestly anymore. i never bought a membership, but i know some of the things that people could see if they paid for them included pictures of a man inserting himself into a crab.

Sep 10 07 - 1:57pm
red

very funny and disturbing Mr. Auslander.

Sep 10 07 - 3:14pm
WL

I definitely agree with the sentiment that there's a whole genre of extreme porno that I can't relate to at all. I get it -- kind of -- it's tapping into people's most base, selfish and violent urges, but I guess that's not so high on my list of turn-ons. I'm not sure why the producers of that stuff feel like that's the vanguard of sexual expression and something they really need to explore. I feel like there's a ton of fertile psychological grounds to explore other than that throat-gagging, puking etc. stuff. But, it's certainly more expensive to film a story line and get your actors to give a good reading of the script and all of that. I guess shock factor is a cheap way to evoke a visceral reaction. Even more than it being offensive and dangerous, it just seems kind of lazy to me.

Sep 10 07 - 5:43pm

Catherine Mackinnon was always right. Thanks for the article.

Sep 10 07 - 7:54pm
av

I feel the way about pornography; so depressing. porno used to make me feel as though I wasn't alone in what turned me on and what I wanted to see -- now I feel like a hypocrite. and that i can never watch those rebellious babysitters and their indulgent employers the same way again.

Sep 10 07 - 9:27pm
rh

despite what i've always been told (by my mother, church, other feminists) i have always been a fan of porn. porn turns me on (i take issue with the articles that insinuate that women don't need visual stimulation like men do...) and i can spend many happy hours trolling for porn online. however, i have been having the same problem, looking for a turn on i might find pages that are more likely to sicken me or make me feel dirty about what i've always considered a healthy habit. i wrestle with what the answer is. if you start to censor things where is the line and who decides? however some of the porn is now so disturbing and violent that i don't want to say "i support porn" anymore if that's what it is beginning to mean. i wonder sometimes how much we can push the envelope before we don't recognize ourselves anymore but i abhor the thought of judging another person's turn-ons, lest mine be next... not sure what the solution is but good article.

Sep 10 07 - 11:18pm
RD

As a single woman - I love porn. It is the safest sex there is. But I truly wonder why people are so mad at sex these days. Very little joy is present in the faces of those who do it- not even the men who are inserting themselves seem to be having a good time. Why is that?

Sep 11 07 - 1:33pm
WL

SD -- good point. for most of the male performers, there can't be a lot of joy in some idiotic thing like gagging the female performer with your penis either. you have to figure that the people who are in that business for the long haul are sex-positive people and want to do scenes that are fun for all involved. i'd say that's when the job really becomes a job.

as a guy, i'm wary of totally condemning it because, what do i know? maybe there are some women out there who are totally into it? but just on a gut level, it seems like it's geared for people who have an adolescent level of aggression, a lack of positive experience with sex, and a fundamental misunderstanding of eroticism.

Sep 11 07 - 2:29pm
ef

The really sad part is, is that i'm female and watching that shit turns me on...to a point, but then afterwards, i feel disgusted aND SORRY FOR THE GIRL AND i WANT TO VOMIT. I guess I pretend I am that cunt slut, and cum,. and then have to turn it off because it's gross, if a guy actually tried to do that to me, I'd have to hurt him.

Sep 11 07 - 3:52pm
AWF

Great article, except for the sanctimonious last sentence. Yes, I do want to watch women and men having a good time getting each other off in various ways. No, I do not want to watch anyone being degraded. And no, this article is a long way from proving that the "all sex is rape and all porn is a recruiting poster for rape" crowd is right.

Sep 11 07 - 4:11pm
JN

This is so true. I grew up on the porn of the 70s when women either look ecstatic or happy - now they look used, tired and those expressions look, I dunno - vengful. Nasty crap the lot of it. But there is good stuff out there and I have seen it. The boys and girls in the Shane's World movies all look like they are having so much fun, especially Penny Flame.

Sep 11 07 - 5:16pm
JL

The fact that some people like this sort of thing does not mean that all porn is full of hate. What you are saying is like suggesting that the existence of 'Saw' style slasher films somehow condemns the entire medium of film. I mean, 'Saw' was a mainstream release that played in mainstream theaters and is available in places like Blockbuster. I think you are grossly exaggerating the significance of one weird evening on some random porn site and playing right into the hands of the people who are still working very hard nationally to ban pornography. I hope it was worth it to you to squeeze out an article and make a buck.

Jun 18 11 - 4:12pm
reverendgreen4

I highly doubt he meant to say that all porn is full of hate. that's just you being retarded.

Sep 12 07 - 12:12pm
si

what's wrong with people that they acually want to see someone vomit while giving a blow job? where's the joy anymore?? yes i know it's not all about 'joy' ... but vomiting completely loses me. i remember some sort of show a few years ago where the photos were of real men in relationships at the point of orgasm taken by the woman they were with ... and they were all so completely beautiful ... people lost in the moment. none of the completely twisted, hateful faces you see in so much of the standard porno fare ....

Sep 12 07 - 7:02am
cb

Well done and well said! It bothers me that I know what a donkey punch is. How and why did this ever become mainstream? I yearn for the old days of porn as well. Awesome article.

Sep 12 07 - 7:03am
MI

Hey, Auslander, don't like that forum? Guess what: There are other places on the web to find porn that cater to your tastes. Let's make a deal: You stop calling what other people like sick, and we won't call what you like sick. Deal?

Sep 12 07 - 1:54pm
EA

Even before SA (parody of Sholem Aleichem?) turns on his video, the SmartAlec stench wafts across the page. What
is he trying to prove . . .that perfumed porno leads to
excesses, that Portnoy's Complaint descends to Sabbath's
Theater, that x-rated becomes acceptable snuff films? Who
doesn't know how the increasing vulgarity of our culture?

More importantly, what is Next Book trying to prove?

Sep 14 07 - 5:06pm
A.R

Darling, wake up to the fact that male interests, defined either by cultural or dna are not the same as yours.

Next time you could write that you would be satisfied to indulge the guy's fantasies up to the point you can handle it. Thats the name of the game.

Sep 16 07 - 1:27am
amb

Booooooooooooring. Lame. Boring. Boring and lame.

Sep 16 07 - 3:23pm
GS

I'm a man as turned off as Auslander by what he saw. I just have to comment however that, on 3 occasions over the years, I've had to break off with women who wanted me to do what he witnessed -- in each case after they had gotten me involved in conventional sex before revealing their deep fantasies. All 3 were beautiful, high-achieving professional women who insisted they had loving parents and were NOT abused as children by anyone. They just found in their adult exploration that this kink (loving sexual abuse) came naturally to them, even though out of the bedroom they tolerated abuse from no one. I remained friends with two of these 3 after we broke off over my reluctance to "put out" that way, and both eventually found their match. What can you say? I say, they are consenting adults so leave 'em alone if you don't like it (as I did).

Sep 16 07 - 4:12pm
WRL

Choose what respects the beauty of women. Choose not to enter where women are not respected. Celebrate the power of choice. Recover the earlier day of excitement of seeing a woman---as if for the first time. Just choose. It's beautiful.

Sep 17 07 - 12:30pm
DTM

Great Read! I would have to say that I am certainly not interested in the name of the site where you found that. I do; however, know the name Max Hardcore.

I have seen my fair share of porno as a matter of fact my first porn movie was the illustrious "Deep Throat". I will say that Max Hardcore is repulsive to me, his movies are repulsive.

I fear there is no good to be found in these films. the fact they are still made is disturbing. A friend of mine worked in a porn-shop and is quite the conniseur when it comes to porno. He has seen the Max Hardcore films, and laughs at them for there inherent shock value, and the fact that these women will do these depraved perhaps painful things for money.

If I hear the name Max Hardcore I cringe, I wish everyone would.

Sep 23 07 - 6:22am
JR

why do porn producers make harsher and more angry porn? perhaps partly because they're bored, perhaps partly because their audience is. if you rely on porn for stimulation, you just need more and more. it's Hard to reverse that trend, but possible. the problem is, if all of your solo sexual experiences involve those kinds of themes, will your partnered sexual experiences also require them?

Sep 23 07 - 4:46pm
CM

Thank you for writing this article. It's at the point now where I doubt I could be with someone who consumed porn with any kind of regularity -- it's more like hate speech than erotica. It's a negative indicator for the respect as a human being that's a bare minimum in any sort of interaction.

Sep 24 07 - 1:07am
GC

It's an unconscious reaction to the repression of primitive urges. Before there was romance there was rape. This shit is for your borderline rapists. Rape, as we all know, ain't 100% sexual - it also has a lot to do with feeling impotent vs empowered. This type of porno gives the little-dicked, woman-dominated type of dudes something to beat off to and feel powerful.

Oct 07 07 - 8:32am
MW

Porn should be fantasy. I kinda like the straight fuck and suck movies - the girls are always in the mood, always ridiculously pretty, and they never get interupted half way through to settle a crying child. That's what I like about porn - it should be fantasy.

Oct 08 07 - 3:01am
SD

This was an amazing article! I felt so much in common with the plight described here in finding some decent porn. I too have had a long and mostly happy relationship with porn and not just the beautiful air brushed pin ups of "Playboy". (altho they are lovely, are they really even considered porn any more?)
Since when did porn become synonymous with shame, hatred and abuse?? I would hardly describe myself as vanilla. I enjoy some of the supposed fetish porn..female ejaculation, spanking, stockings, bisexual threesomes and ffm, group sex and the occasional orgy, but the sheer amount of really truly violent and degrading (to both women and men) porn that is available on the net is kinda sad to me. Not to mention the amount of easily, accidentally accessible animal, child and incest porn. With the exception of the third one, I think sexual acts with anyone (or anything) who cannot give consent, such as, you know, say a hamster, goat or your twelve year old niece,is no longer sex it is a criminal offense. Am I wrong?
Well apparently I am. As long as the parties involved are consenting, and able to consent, then I really try not to judge too harshly. But it is hard to believe anyone would willingly consent to some of what I have seen. Many sites appear to have in the title, "Drunk" or "Hidden Camera"
I am just sad is all. Not so much that it is out there, shaping the desires and deadening the creativity of anyone who peruses it, but because it is a rather strong statement about what male sexuality is all about these days.
Your wife's question " Is that really what men want?" is what my 17year old niece asked me recently. She said she didn't want to have to be called a "dirty fucking cum slut" or choke on cock to be considered desirable by her boyfriend. She told me matter of factly, thats lots of guys have asked her if they could please "fuck her face" as that wasn't really sex.(Indeed) She said thats what guys expect now.
One of her past boyfriends thought he might be gay but only because he stumbled upon his brothers porno collection which was all degradation porn. He told my niece he didn't think he could have sex with a woman after finding out what that would entail.He said he had no desire to do "that" (chokeing) to a woman or anyone else for that matter. The last time she spoke to him he was not in fact gay. He was just alone and said he would be happy to never have sex with anyone.
Imagine!!! Deciding to give up sex at 17yrs old...?? Before he even started!!!
Yes she told him it didn't have to be like that, but it was to late the damage had already been done. There is an old Confucius statement that goes; I hear I forget, I see I remember, I do I understand.Images as we know are hard to erase from ones mind. I suppose I won't get some of what I have seen until I have tried it.
But monkeys aren't flying out of my butt yet!

Oct 10 07 - 3:16pm
JO

That is a damn shame, it can't be true. Please, please tell me it's not true, that can't be what men want, not now, not ever.

Oct 12 07 - 7:51am
SD

The flip side to the fact that you can find hateful, degrading porn on the internet is that you can find plenty of porn where the people are really enjoying sex out there, too.

Oct 14 07 - 8:33am
KL

I grew up in the "golden age" of porn, where imagination reigned supreme. There existed a sense of naughtiness and fun, whereby it was ok to test boundaries, but with a sense of respect for the actors as well as the audience. No longer. I am saddened to think that women coming of age sexually now, will think that the new violent porn is what constitutes real sex. Peer pressure is a powerful force and as this brand of porn becomes more pervasive, it will become more widely distributed, and become more of what young women and men accept as normal. It is a sad commentary on gender politics.

Nov 02 07 - 10:36am
BW

Outstanding piece on the current state of porn. Like you, I am an upstanding Jewish boy who has long had a taste for porn, one shared to a lesser degree by my wife of 31 years. I didn't exactly have the repressive upbringing you describe. My interactions with religious authorities were brief and viewed from my perspective only with disdain. That diminished not at all my secret salacious delight with Ginger Lynn and Hyapatia Lee (who's son used to go to an alternative school with my son...she's a very bright and spiritual person who gave up the business when she saw the direction in which it was headed). Now I have the same shocked reaction to much of the current genre as you. I can't quite comprehend it, since I've never personally associated sex with violence or degradation. It frightens me to some extent that there clearly are men out there who find pleasure in such pursuits. Taking it a step further, and perhaps beyond the approval of pure rationalists, I believe it's an aspect of a generalized aura of ugliness that seems to be pervasive now in the earth plane. In a society where torture is viewed as a necessary perogative of national security, is it so surprising to find that women gagging on slammed penises and covered in excrement are viewed as entertainment? This is one fucked up world.

Nov 27 07 - 4:12am
NOYB

OK, I for one am a man that enjoys pornography in which women are degraded. I also happen to enjoy pornography in which men are degraded (it exists, google CFNM and you'll find that type of stuff). I don't hate women any more than I hate men (I do dislike people in general though), I've never wanted to force myself in any way on a woman (I'm a firm believer in consent and parenthesis), and I know for a fact that I'm much more respectful and considerate of women than a lot of men who would be repulsed by my sexual desires (ie. I'm not going to lie to have sex, I care about a woman's feelings, etc.). I happen to enjoy the power play of rough sex (Max Hardcore with his emphasis on bodily fluids grosses me out, but I do enjoy other rough stuff) however that doesn't mean I'm going to start forcing my fantasies on real people. I promise that I don't hate women or want them to exist solely as homemakers/sex objects for me to violently abuse. I might have some mental issues, I don't deny that, just don't call me an asshole and/or a small dicked misogynist based solely on my sexual preferences.

Dec 01 07 - 6:10pm
jm

Shalom, this article is so on the money. Porn is totally out of control these days. It's actually sickening. I too miss the old days of sneaking looks at Channel J at midnight with the sound down while my mother slept in the next room and the "innocent beauty" of the content. Violence is not sex, but apparently there is an audience for this type of thing. By the way, i'll be back in New York this summer-can I crash on you guys couch again?

Dec 03 07 - 7:30pm
SRS

Hmmm... something doesn't ring true here. "It had been a while since I'd been to that site, though

Dec 04 07 - 11:25pm
CB

Nice to hear that I'm not the only insane one. I mean, porn should be whatever people want, that's the point of it - but why isn't there porn of people on a sunny beach tickling each other or something? That's the sort of porn I want to watch on a Sunday afternoon, after an exhausting night of fist-fucking or whatever.
I am glad to see porn push the envelope; I just don't want to lose whatever it is we left behind.

P.S. More porn for women!

Jan 20 08 - 1:20am
MC

LOL! Sex Boat?

Apr 26 08 - 5:48am
kt

I happen to be a submissive woman, but I have never seen porn like that. I've come to find porn false and boring, and I can't imagine that adding BDSM elements would actually make it any more interesting.

I've never worn a toilet around my neck, but I enjoy the occasional roughing up, too.

Jul 21 08 - 11:57am
KM

"Trouble in Pornoland".

Thank you for writing this!
Kate

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Oct 01 10 - 9:22pm
keymaker

Respect to the author of original work. I am want to say thanks for funny post, and thanks to google and yahoo for perfect blog search.

Feb 09 11 - 4:02am
Keygen Teresa

Hm. im out right now.

Feb 18 11 - 6:01am
gianna

ha-ha-ha-ha! That is standart point of view, be more original!

May 28 11 - 1:11pm
Mr. Fapper

FAP-FAP-FAP!

Nov 26 11 - 11:02pm
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