Imagine, for a moment, that people grew up hearing about cars, but no one told them anything about their proper use, or how they should be driven. After years of being teased with the idea of how exciting a car is, yet not allowed to learn about them and how they supposed to work, they consume massive amounts of The Fast & Furious movies. You give that person a car, what do you think is going to happen? Probably nothing good or safe.
Obviously, people watch Fast & Furious all the time and it doesn’t make everyone a fucking maniac on the road. We understand that it is fantastical entertainment, an exaggeration of reality. We are also educated on how to drive properly and given examples and training on how to do so safely.
Everything changed when porn went digital. Observers, including Fishbein, place the exact date of the crisis as 2007, two years after YouTube debuted, when tube technology was harnessed to make porn clips easily available for free online. “AVN grew every year from the year I started it until about 2006 or 2007,” Fishbein says. “Right around the same time that free content became prevalent, my video customers started to see huge declines in sales and started cutting their advertising budget.” In Fishbein’s view, free Internet porn had aesthetic as well as financial consequences. Narrative pornography lost ground to the revival of an older form of pornography, called loops — 8 millimeter shorts intended for home use. They “literally walk in, they get naked, and start having sex. And there’s nothing, no romance, no seduction, no foreplay, they just have sex. And you know, that’s what you get on the Internet."
St. James is drawn to porn that involves relationships. “I do feel like the narrative is important,” she says. “Even if they’re watching Naughty America, they’re like, ‘I want to believe that that was his teacher!’ Because it is just like, a dick in a pussy is not that exciting to me, but their relationship and the reason they’re having sex is what’s hot to me. The guys seldom get the attention. I’m a woman. I want to see their faces too.”
Las Vegas is built around servicing immediate urges, but when your immediate urges can be so easily serviced, they weaken. You lose your desire when you can have anything. I think about this later when a male friend mentions that he doesn’t think he’s ever seen the same girl in a porn video twice. It hadn’t occurred to me that other people might not be interested in the personalities of the performers. Much like Las Vegas restaurants, tube sites offer almost too much choice. It’s all so … available.
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