Having some time to myself one evening, I settle down in front of my computer with a box of tissue for a little “Lance alone” time. I pull up my favorite website and click on a link for amateur submissions to see what’s new.
The site allows people to upload their own videos for the viewing pleasure of others. I click on an intriguing video and start watching. It starts off promising. A man in a black, leather harness is sprawled on his back on a brown, leather ottoman. Legs akimbo. Jock-strapped. A black mask over his face with a zipper where his mouth should be.
He has a lithe, sexy body, and I’m excited by the expectation of what’s about to happen. As I watch the man brandish a formidable dildo and proceed to insert it into his anus, I think to myself, “My friend John has an ottoman like that.”
I lean forward in my chair, squinting. Come to think of it, John also has a bearskin rug just like the one in the video. The dildo is now plunging deeply into the man’s gaping hole, and he’s writhing and moaning, and I realize in horror that it is my friend John.
Weireded out, I close the video immediately. Okay. Fine. I watch the entire thing out of morbid curiosity. Twice. When it ends, I wonder how I’ll be able to sit down at brunch with him without turning crimson and avoiding eye contact. When he does my taxes for me next year, how can I go over my receipts without wondering, is he wearing a butt plug right now?
Would that John were the first of my friends that I’d stumbled upon in this manner. Alas, he is not. In my surfing, I’ve come across pictures of other friends naked, or engaged in various acts of debauchery. I’ve seen men I recognize from the gym. From work. At least two baristas from the coffee shop I frequent. Porn is ubiquitous, and in an age of webcams, fast internet, and cellphones, I guess such unwanted exposure is inevitable.
Walking down the streets of the city, explicit images advertising bands, and clubs, and DJs are plastered to every telephone pole and building. Clubs are wallpapered with pornography, and totally nude strippers shake their money makers at bored patrons who have already seen it all. Porn was exciting because it was fantasy. It existed largely in the imagination. But now porn is finding its way into reality. Diluted. Diminished. Nothing seems taboo.
During a recent, round of passionate, hot, sweaty monkey sex with my main squeeze, we were going at it when he suddenly punched my pecs with his fists, the way we’d seen people in porn do it. We both realized that he was imitating pornography, and the absurdity of it made us giggle.
But I wonder, has all of this availability of porn had a negative effect on us? Is there some need to live up to the skill and measurements of the men on the screen? Will it become impossible to divorce fantasy from reality, or are they now completely intertwined? In the age of the internet, does something exist if it isn’t documented on the web for all to see?
In reality, sex is messy, and frequently awkward. But also visceral in a way that fantasy can never be. I for one am content to let the fantasy remain a fantasy, and embrace reality, not despite its flaws, but because of them. Because the unexpectedness of reality is what makes it exciting.
“What do you want to do tonight?” I ask when he comes over.
“Let’s play with your video camera.” He suggests.
I think about fantasy. Reality. Role playing. Fetishes. The exploitive nature of images. The insecurities of measuring up to the genetically gifted men who daily grace my computer screen. I see his beautiful, expectant face, and say, “Well, maybe just for our own personal viewing pleasure.”