Four Letter Word

Porn.  There, I said it.

It’s a weird thing, really.  Porn has been around probably forever, although mostly as a subculture.  It had a brief heyday in the 70’s where it was shown in legitimate movie theaters, then got buried until the Internet revival.  But the porn of today is nothing like the porn of yesteryear.  Porn has always been viewed by some as disgusting.  However, the modern flavor would make even an old-time connoisseur say it’s disgusting.  Hence its name: gonzo porn.

But I’m not going to delve into specifics of all that.  My interest is more in how the term is viewed and used.  For example, at a recent corporate meeting that included the entire building staff of obviously mixed company, someone was joking about putting up an online video about the new product we were launching.  Another person joked with him and asked why he didn’t have it done already.  The first person responded that he only did porn.  Awkward chuckles and silence.  The thought for him to even suggest a joke like that must mean it’s mainstream, although not readily accepted.

However, take a bunch of people who are geeking out over some new highly hyped product, like a new-model Corvette.  You would have no blowback from saying that an online photo gallery or demo video of the car was like “car porn.”  In this case, “porn” is used as a term for anything that is meant to stimulate, arouse, and excite.  And somehow, that is not dirty.

I originally got thinking about this post from a forum post made by an acquaintance about how a friend of his decided to become a porn actress.  She jumped into the business completely and has quite a catalog built in a short period of time.  Now, the forum this was posted on is male-dominated, so the responses were generally what you’d expect – pretty debased.  So then, as you would also expect, the question became, when would this guy get to have sex with her?  After all, she must like sex to do it for a living, and he’s a guy (apparently the only real requirement here), so when is it going to happen?  And if it doesn’t happen, well, that must mean the guy is beyond the lowest form of loser, to not even be able to have sex with a porn actress who is also a personal friend.

So here’s another odd standard.  The woman in the porn business is awesome on-screen, but worthless in-person.  I’ve definitely grown out of the “anything that moves” stage, so I’m probably just looking at this from an old-person’s viewpoint.  In fact, I’m looking at it from an intolerant, high-tolerance viewpoint, i.e. I have no problem that she does porn, but I take issue to people objectifying her.

What a problem to have.  A person meets someone and states he’s a doctor.  In response, he gets “Oh?  I have this problem, can you help me with it real quick?”  This woman meets someone and states she’s an “adult entertainer” and, in response, gets “Oh? I have this problem, can you help me with it real quick?”  Geez, I do computer stuff for a living and usually I don’t mind looking at someone’s computer problems, but it’s clearly still my choice whether to do it.

Some people even like to watch me work on their computers.  Voyeuristic weirdos.

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