I should post a warning: I'm slightly whacked out on a non-narcotic pain killer and I've had little sleep over the last two nights. I really jacked-up my knee and the pain is something else. But as I tried to get short runs of sleep last night, I kept revisiting in my mind a combination of things surrounding the book I'm (still) reading and Tumblr, and the people I see and mentally undress.
I have written various versions of what I want to convey several times but just can't seem to put int words what it is I really mean. Perhaps pain and pain meds can help work it out.
There was a time when I bought into the theory that porn desensitizes you to standard sex, so much so that two things happen. First, your wife is no longer attractive because she can't possibly compete with the elegant, air-brushed models who you never see in old sweats in a t-shirt, and secondly, you get bored with what you see and have to progressively see more and more filth in order to become aroused. I Mean, honestly, I could make the case for both of these.
Yea, as we've grown older, my wife isn't the 98 pound, firm, petite little thing she was. Yet, the models on the Internet can be as thin and firm as I choose, based on the page I go to gander at them. Likewise, I know that my tastes have run the gamut. One day I'm all turned on by women flashing in public, the next day I want to see women with facials, and the next it's large breasted women with huge wieners. But that was all back before it became so common for everyday people to post nekkid pictures of themselves (or have someone post for them).
I can tell you with all honesty, I skip right past anything that looks even remotely professional. The women enjoy looking at look more like my wife does now in her mid 40's than what she looked like when she was a totally fit 19 year-old. And because I am always hoping to see someone I recognize, I could look at the same types of mirror self-shots all day long. What I have learned is, I do of course look at the boobs and the pubes, but I find myself looking at the faces and the places (no rhymes intended). I want to understand the motivation. Is this a housewife trying to get her husband to show some interest or is it a married lady posting on POF, hoping to find some action? What is the family life like? Are there little kids off playing in the living room while mommy locks herself in the bathroom for a little alone time? Is this a woman who never believed she would ever take a happy snap of her partially clothed body, but feels pressured to do so by a new boyfriend? The voyeur in me wants these details. I want to have a dialogue with them. All of them.
I have a friendship with a former blogger that I very much enjoy. We e-mail a few times a week and more often than not, our conversations are not about sex. But because I know her from her blog and she knows me from mine (plus, we are vanilla friends on Facebook), we can bring up sex topics freely. After my post about Tumblr, she sent me pictures of her boobs, which of course I loved. I feel like a get a good sense of this woman and her world, and I get to see her boobs too. You can't ask for more than that given the limitations of our relationship - we are friends and we are many miles apart.
There was a time in this country where two consenting adults could not share erotic letters or send nude photos for fear that the postal inspectors would seize them and take you to court. In the book, Love Thy Neighbor (yes, I mention it again), Gay Talese describes how these small numbers of morally superior assholes sought to and succeeded for years in depriving Americans of their first amendment rights. Folks, this was as recent as the mid 1970's. Yea, many of you may not have been alive then, but in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't that long ago.
Study after study (and sorry, I don't have footnotes, but the Internet will help) shows that porn is not this all damaging thing that the religious busybodies make it out to be. Don't like it, don't look.
On the other hand, the positive I see is that whether it was intended or not, women are no longer forced to believe that their bodies are somehow not attractive or desirable, because instead of having only the supermodels as a standard, everybody - or at least a large number of people of all ages, colors, sizes and shapes are revealing themselves and likewise, women can see that a size 0 is not the only acceptable body size. Women who are 40, 50 and 60 are seeing that you don't lose sexuality at 29. It is a beautiful thing.
And now I am off to work - drugs in hand!