Speaking of Reading Porn
Simon Sheppard, QSyndicate.com
Is a dirty word worth a thousand dirty pictures?
It's a truism that when it comes to sex, the male of the species is visually
oriented; if all the gay porn pictures in the world were placed end to end,
they'd reach from here to orgasm. But some queer guys like raunchy
reading; they prefer their smut to come with commas and semicolons as well
as dicks and butts.
One horny reader says, "I just find that a story with characters and
dialogue involves me more than a photo of a man with a shaved crotch."
Granted, when it comes to porn stories, "dialogue" may be rather loosely
defined. The literature of lust is often semiliterate, but that's just how
many men like their smutty stories: dick-swelling, not mind-stretching.
Horny Reader continues, "On the other hand, I don't want porn stories to be
about much more than sweaty guys getting it on with each other."
True (or supposedly true) first-person narratives often fit the bill. The
landmark series Straight to Hell was a fine example of the genre, chock
full of carnal confessions told with a minimum of pretension and a maximum
of cock. These days, amateur postings on the Internet serve a similar
rough-and-ready, randy function.
But somewhere along the line, stroke stories got class. The last decade or
so has seen the publication of erotic anthologies filled with well-written,
cleverly plotted porn. There's even a cutesy term for it: "literotica." Says
a fan of the genre, "I love to read about men having sex, but there's just
so many times I want to read stories about impossibly well-hung, well-built
men mindlessly doing each other while saying, 'Oh yeah, suck that big one.'
Hell, that's just like a bad video, only without the pictures. Give me porn
that's a good story, not just an excuse to jerk off."
Of course, few of us actually need excuses to jerk off. But erotic writing
can perform a whole variety of fuck-filled functions.
Porn can serve as an introduction to queer sex for the virginal. 'When I was
younger, I got my first ideas about gay sex from reading erotica," says an
older gent. "Of course, some of it had as much to do with real gay life as
Star Trek has to do with outer space."
Kinkier tales can also serve as a primer in perversion for those vanilla
folks with a yen for something more, but some of the details should be taken
with a grain of salt. Warns the older gent, "I've read S/M stories which, if
they happened in real life, would end up with everyone permanently maimed or
While some guys engage in one-handed reading, others get excited by stories
but pound the pud sometime later, using the stuff they've read as a
jumping-off point for their own fantasies. And, self-stimulation aside, some
men just plain like to read about screwing. "Sex," says one, "is just the
most interesting thing I can imagine."
In an age of multimedia saturation, written erotica can still provide what
pictures, videos, and downloaded cock-filled clips can't: insights into
character, noncliched dialogue, plots that go beyond "a cute guy comes to
clean the swimming pool." On the other hand, some men simply like to choke
the chicken while reading dirty words, and that's fine, too. Masturbation is
an old and noble art – older even, perhaps, than storytelling. These days,
the horny reader can find pretty much whatever he wants, from exquisitely
crafted epics of love and desire to sweaty stories of monosyllabic he-men
with humongous prongs.
And hey, isn't that what freedom of choice is all about?
Simon Sheppard is the author of Kinkorama: Dispatches from the Front Lines