Sexscapes: Vivisecting my sexual-self

I was asked to write this column because my editor knows I watch a lot of porn. Please note, however, that my hardcopy porn collection is neither a measure of my hoarding tendencies, nor a Y2K-reminiscent preparatory measure for whenever the government finally passes a bill that kills my freedom to watch pretty, naked women on the internet. Rather, this growing porn collection is the result of my writing for the sociological perspective-oriented site, Porn Valley Vantage. Over at PVV, which was started by a sociologist/feminist/social justice advocate/former professor of mine (who happened to be the “hot” professor from my college years—it was, I believe, the only course where I never missed a class), I review pornographic films and take pains to connect the actions depicted on-screen to the wider socio-cultural world. Okay, so I write about the sex, too, but the focus is always on what these pornos say about our culture at large. What I’m learning is that, like everything else in life when examined too closely, porn is fucking complicated. Simplicity is for gazing at flowers as you pass them on your way to other affairs; Botany is an activity unto itself. Before I began to write for PVV, pornography was just an engaging visual I took in from time to time and enjoyed rather obtusely. But now I can deconstruct porn like a champ. What this has led to, the fact that I am now often interrupted mid-session by thoughts running the gamut from “*Did she take drama classes in high school? I’m curious if she ever thought she’d end up naked on a billiards table jamming an Eight-ball up there on camera…*” to: “*I wonder what she thinks about the idea of a pornographic actors’ union?*”, is in many ways the logically extreme outgrowth of a lifelong tendency to over analyze mundane and trivial aspects of life. I once told an ex-lover about this cognitive habit and she responded by asking, “What’s something you over analyze other than comic books?” “What’ve you got?” I said. “What about… brushing your teeth?” She cocked her head as she asked this, confident I wouldn’t have an asininely overwrought response to such a seemingly innocuous daily activity. “Always before I eat. Or no less than an hour after eating—never immediately after a meal because the residual, acidic, oral build-up can be incredibly damaging when combined with the bristles of a toothbrush.” She laughed and then I think we might have had sex. I remember our conversation almost verbatim but not whether or not we had sex afterwards—that’s just the kind of person I happen to be. And I recognize from a certain point of view it is lame that I devote such a large amount of thought to such a routine act. But in another light, *dental hygiene is important as hell*. Cavities are expensive and I’ve got a terrible gag reflex/crippling fear of dental practitioners. The medium I’ve found that makes me happy is going back and forth between these two extremes. Some days I’m the kind of person whose oral hygiene is fastidiously practiced, and other times I’m the guy who wakes up in an unfamiliar city and uses a mouthful of generic-brand cola as mouthwash in the parking lot of 7-11 to get rid of the taste of stale puke. And that’s the attitude I want to bring to the world of Austin-based sex columns: flux and open-minded adaptation. Though I will admit the fact that I now become distracted mid-porn has been something of a hassle. Pre-PVV porn was the one masturbatory bastion over which I still truly held dominion. Even before I was over analyzing my pornography I was always apt to become distracted mid-session. There has always been the spank-bank, of course, which has some fantastic memories, but some of these are too emotionally costly to dredge up from such sticky, murky depths for cheap, short-lived, instant gratification. Sometimes I try to modify memories from real life and mix them with slight elements of fantasy but that usually just ends up getting weird. After that comes the realm of pure-fantasy, but for me to truly get off in this manner I have to set aside a pretty fair amount of time so that I can vividly set up the scene I want to play out. Being trained in and obsessed with narrative formats, this oftentimes gets pretty complex story-line wise, but almost always comes to involve my fantasy-self approaching the person whom I happen to be lusting after and attempting to seduce them in a way that I imagine to be realistic but also kind of badass and Han Solo-esque. I say “attempting” because even in my head it only works sixty-five-or-so-percent of the time (an absolutely un-Solo-esque success rate). As best as I can figure, this stems from my desire to have sexual partners who amount to more than living blow-up dolls. I don’t want to fuck an object; I want to have sex *with* someone. What I think I get off on, more than any physical sensation, is the idea that someone, for a moment in time, desires engaging in a shared, intimate relationship with me in the same way I happen to be desiring them at the moment; things become different and (depending on your viewpoint) ultimately more meaningful in a long-term relationship, but typically more complicated as well. But regardless of the specific circumstances, for me to truly enjoy sex, even in my head, I simply cannot get around the fact that there’s no way to get someone to have sex with me in absolutely every situation without fail. In regular life, even during the times when I am feeling solid and fully confident in my self-supposed sexual prowess, there are instances when it just simply will not happen, no matter how I try and swing it, and I think this is what is reflected in my false-start sexual fantasies. When it becomes clear that I’ve hit this masturbatory wall after several minutes of trying, I pull a “Dirty Cartridge Reset” and, much the same way I’d blow on the inside of Nintendo cartridges as a child so that I could enjoy my playtime after a failed attempt, I clear everything out and start over. Luckily, water is allocated at our apartment complex. But surely I’m not the only one who wastes water from time to time in this city. I called City Hall but was unable to obtain an estimate on how many gallons of water are wasted in this city each year by people having sex in the shower, or people who aren’t having as much sex as they like getting on by themselves in the shower. Austin, as anyone who is between adolescence and forty (I think that’s when people become real-life grownups and stop having casual sex at night clubs and bars and stuff, right?) knows, is a city that is sexual as all hell. With a higher than average population of university students, horny, underemployed hipsters (and the hippies… can’t forget the hippies), sexual partners are often separated by surprisingly few degrees here. And there remains much to explore in regards to this city’s sexuality. Are there orgy-consortiums which meet in town at regular intervals? If so, *invite me*. I’m not particularly into group sex, but I am interested as hell to see how it works. Are there caterers and food platters? Naked bartenders? Is it couples-only, or are singles allowed but herded into the corner to watch creepily from the sidelines? Are there secret glory holes in the W hotel? Are there groups of people who like to meet up and talk about having sex with cars? Cats, perhaps? Are there readers out there who try to breed mammals and reptiles together to form some unholy breed of lukewarm-blooded chimeras? I don’t know the answers to these questions, but these are the kinds of things I want to learn about. I’m sure some more conventional sex-related topics will arise along the way, but surely at some point you’re going to encounter something which you’d define as perverse, because what is the baseline standard for somebody else’s sexual preference isn’t always going to be socially normative. I want to learn about sex in this fair capitol city of ours because everyone’s doing it, or at least thinking about it in some shape or another, even if only in the hopes of rejecting it. Sex, from evolutionary biology, macro and micro-level sociological understandings, anthropological, and personal viewpoints is something which is deeply important and vital to our understanding of our humanity. And if that’s the case then damn, we should be discussing it openly and honestly, no matter how weird it might seem at first… That being said, I want to make sure you don’t think I’m taking this too seriously, because sometimes sex *is* hilarious. Like when animals do it, for instance. Videos of giant tortoises mate-humping? *They never get old*. Those tortoises are moving so slow but trying so damn hard. Sometimes the females just continue to eat while the males enter them because why the hell not? With that I’m going to end because I have just become aware that I am Google-searching for “Animal Humping Videos” in the middle of a crowded coffee shop. And no one should be that person.

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