For (belated) Lady Porn Day: This time it’s personal

02/27/2011 at 12:40 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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I’ve gone from having writer’s block to not being able to stop writing. Whereas today’s earlier Lady Porn Day post presented an overview of experts in conflict over pornography’s place in sexuality, this one will be more in keeping with the theme of LPD: To talk about my own experiences with porn. While this post probably squeaks by as SFW, it’s still TMI ahead, it goes behind a WordPress cut. Everything should still appear in your RSS feeder if you’ve subscribed though.

I consider my first “Real” exposure to pornography to have taken place when I was a teenager. I’d had some previous exposure to porn before this time – magazines, a poster at a friend’s house, and a troubled girlfriend who turned a pornographic film for about 5 or 10 minutes on during a sleep-over. However, these three initial exposures were brief, and I didn’t consider them to be particularly significant. (I still don’t.)

Here’s what led up to my real face-to-face with porn: My family had purchased our first PC a few months prior, in preparation for me entering high school. Trusting me to take care of myself online (and not knowing how to use a computer themselves,) my parents did not install any content filtering software.
Once online, I made some good friends with other teenagers with similar interests, particularly an interest in video games. Eventually, we found and shared links to fanart and fanfiction sites pertaining to the group’s favorite game. It wasn’t too much longer before one of us stumbled upon a mainstay in fandom: Lemon fanfiction.

This, I consider to be my first “Real” exposure to porn, though in truth it contained no pictures. Technically speaking, it probably met the definition of “Erotica” better than “porn,” though at the time I didn’t recognize the difference. The story was a (long) work of non-canonical fiction. It was a significant enough experience so that I still remember the title of the story, the game characters involved, what happened & why, and a few lines from the text. I’ll keep those details to myself though, in the interest of protecting my own anonymity, lest someone from the old crew find me here. A cursory glance tells me that the story appears to have been removed from the internet some time in the past decade anyway.

One of my friends sent a link to the lemon story to me and everyone else in the group. None of us could have been older than 15 at the time. Having come through a rather negative sex education provided by my public school, it was difficult at first for me to process what I was reading. The lady in the story was actually deriving sexual pleasure from PIV sex! How could anybody like that?! Boys pee out of that hole! The teachers told me sex was bad!
Plus, although game characters are frequently depicted as sexy (especially women characters,) they had not been depicted as sexual. So my initial reaction on was one of shock, gross-out and laughter.

So why couldn’t I stop reading it? Why did I keep going back to the same story over the next couple of days to re-read the sexy parts? It wasn’t even my favorite characters getting it on! I like it. I hate it. It’s weird. It’s sweet. It’s human. It’s natural. It’s surprisingly well-written and anatomically correct.
What is this?
And furthermore, what kind of little nerd kid reads video game lemon fanfiction? And why am I getting turned on? Does this make me perverted?
It wasn’t just me struggling to process it though – a couple of my other friends chatted with me about the story for a few days as well. Then we kind of got bored with it and did other things or something, I don’t remember.

It happened again a few months later – A different friend sent me a link to a long lemon fanfiction. This second exposure to lemon fanfiction was about a completely unrelated series, an anime. Not even a hentai anime; a mostly non-sexual series that, for awhile, aired on Cartoon Network. Someone took the time to write a 10+ chapter epic, erotica series about the main characters negotiating a graphic sexual relationship, fraught with jealousy – and lots of oral sex.
Only this time, the story I describe still exists online. Hello, old friend. Oh lord, that takes me back. To this day though, sadly, it sits unfinished…

Luckily, by the time I was shown the second lemon fanfiction, I had already found a few good sex education sites on my own, which I devoured until there were no more new archives left to browse. So this time when I read the lemon, at least, I understood what was happening to the characters – though it still made me giggle and feel a little uncomfortable. I also had a better understanding of what the story was doing to me, so I just rolled with it.

And then I started actively seeking out more, on my own. Different games, different anime series, but still lemon fanfiction and, if I was feeling particularly adventurous, hentai fanart. I found that I only liked the stories that featured characters I was already familiar with. The backstories made participants more than anonymous, nameless faces. I know you. For a few hours, maybe, I was you.
Perhaps because I was already a voracious reader of young adult fiction, I recognized when I was reading something good vs. something crappy. (Fanart & fanfiction archives, unfortunately, stored a lot of crap I had to sift through to find anything good.) And now that I had a better understanding of human anatomy, I also recognized when artists & authors didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.

To this day, written erotica and cartoonish, 2-d pornography is still the type of sexual fantasy material I look for. I’ve watched live-action pornography, but it doesn’t usually do much for me other than make me giggle. This probably has a lot to do with my personal preference for all things animated in general – I’m one of those adults who never outgrew cartoons.

What I go for now doesn’t necessarily have to be fanart or fanfiction though, so long as the artists make me care about their characters. In fact I find that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve drifted farther and farther away from fandom, to the point where I no loner have any idea about what’s going on in that subculture. I subscribe to a pornographic website which caters to folks like me who prefer drawn porn, whether that’s drawn with traditional materials or on a computer. Everything posted to the site is entirely fictional and fantastic and supports the artist financially – basically it’s comic book porn. Storylines matter, so it’s possible for an artist to upload chapters in which there’s barely any sexual activity at all, so long as it moves the plot forward. However, I’m not going to name which porn site I’m using, because I’ve been disappointed with the overall maintenance of the site in the last few months. There are also some artists who write the most convoluted plotlines to get characters to have sex as a form of tit-for-tat negotiation – why is it so hard for some authors to conceive of women who like having sex for pleasure’s sake? Luckily, the majority of artists & authors recognize the joy that can be found in sex and inject that into their porn. So, when my current subscription runs out, I plan on trying out another, competing site offering similar content by different artists.

And so, in conclusion, for a belated Lady Porn Day post, I say drawn pornography and fanfiction can be subject to the same potential, problems & critiques as mainstream and live porn, so don’t forget about that. And if that’s what you like, then know that you are in good company.

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2 Comments »

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  1. Have you seen this research that’s going on at the moment? The researchers specifically want to hear people’s stories of their history/experiences with porn:

    http://www.pornresearch.org/

    The researchers are UK-based and generally anti-censorship, pro-porn.

    • Yes! I saw your link to that yesterday & I even filled out a reply to the whole thing myself!


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