Sex talk
Speaking of Online Porn

Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com

Online pornography has certainly changed the rules of the gay arousal game.

Once upon a time, a horny homosexual in search of hot smut had to hit an adult bookstore or go see a dirty movie. Nowadays, the lusty-but-lazy can find stimulation just by cuddling up with an iMac. In this modern age, you can entertain yourself with erotica just by clicking your mouse...and no one else need ever know.

One fellow who takes filthy photos for a living says, "The Internet has totally transformed the search for erotic stimulation. There's just so much stuff available so easily, and nothing's too kinky to find. Whether feet, fisting, or sitting on balloons – whatever you desire, or even are idly curious about, you can explore it safely and privately...as long as you remember to delete the cookies afterward."

Online porn also has its gay-positive aspects. Even the most isolated, homebound homo can easily tune into queer imagery. For men who are in the closet – or are just wondering how straight they really are – masturbation to megabytes can provide cock-tingling confirmation that, no, they're not alone, and yes, male/male sex is hot. (On the other hand, though, some well-rounded guys complain that the omnipresence of porn makes it look like all gay men ever do is fuck and suck cock.)

Porn has always tended to objectify, and to impose standards of physical attractiveness that most men find it impossible to meet. But, as our photographer says, "The very abundance of erotic websites means that a whole lot of types can now be widely viewed as 'sexy,' from skinny, shaved young men to hairy daddies with beer bellies. Whatever turns you on, you can find it on your screen."

Of course, like all such bounties, the Web-based wankfest is a mixed blessing. For one thing, the round-the-clock availability of digitized dirtiness puts temptation smack dab in the middle of many men's workspaces. Indeed, the urge to click on just one more link – and then another – has lead many a horny fellow to near-addictive indulgence. "If my work gets tough or boring, I'll end up looking at some porn," confesses one corporate drone, "which is not all that great for my productivity."

Paradoxically, broadband can narrow a guy's horizons. Despite the interactivity of websites that, for a fee, let you chat with the masturbating model of your choice – there's still the isolation inherent in spending your nights in solitary self-stimulation, instead of risking the more complex pleasures of man-to-man companionship. Says one over-it website cruiser, "I've had my fill of typing inanities back and forth with some bored, naked porn performer halfway across the country. And the 'voyeur' cams, the ones that show you guys sleeping, showering, or cooking breakfast – or worse, a bunch of empty rooms – are even bigger time wasters. Money wasters, too. Though it is hot when you catch a couple of them actually fucking."

Pros aren't the only people pounding their megapixel puds – the digital age has democratized the dissemination of dick pics. Thanks to a proliferation of amateur sites, any show-off with an uplink can put himself out there as a sex object, and this nonprofessional porn has legions of fans who are into "real guys." For many men, the widespread use of webcams has added an enticingly amateur dimension of real-time erectile uploads. One exhibitionist says, "If I meet a hot guy online, I can switch on my cam for him and put on a show."

And then there's the written word. Where once only a relatively few authors purveyed pornographic stories, now anyone with keyboard and a fantasy or two can become a Web-published author in a matter of sperm-soaked seconds. Complains one established professional writer, "Nowadays there are so many stories out there, and though many of them are lousy, most of them are also free. It's really been shit for my career. In a way, I feel like a hustler who's griping because so many gay men will suck cock for free."

But for most of us – we who like to occasionally look at naked guys and jack off – quick-and-easy access to dirty pictures has been a boon. Enthuses one man, "I love my porn-website membership, 'cause it lets me look at a tremendous variety of hot guys anytime I want. The only downsides are a pileup of used tissues in the wastebasket, a sticky mouse, and the threat of carpal tunnel syndrome."

A small price to pay, perhaps, for a cornucopia of priapic, pixillated porn. So boot up!

Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Perversion

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