March 28, 2013
Young People Today, I Wanna Tell You
Reportedly not good enough for today's
Here’s another Salon article about porn addiction that caught my eye a while back, about which I had resolved to write before
I was waylaid by the siren call of Sex at Dawn. By all means, take seven or eight minutes to peruse it while I…er, check
my work email. Yes, yes. That’s what I’ll be doing…
...Okay. So, you’re either nodding your head in sad empathy or shaking
it with a condescending smirk, depending on the decade of your birth. The
empathetic nodders here would be the author’s cohort, the thirty-five-and-under
crowd. Yes, yes, it’s a cross that Twenty-first Century Man must bear, this superabundance
of free porn. Wow, Isaac Abel, author of this thoughtful Salon piece, you
have touched a chord deep inside all of us. I realize now that I am not
alone in my self-loathing, or in the way porn has rendered me unable to
connect with a real-life companion. Oh, woe is me! Woe are we all! All
is lost! Woe!
The condescending smirkers would be the gentlemen of my vintage, and fellows,
permit me to do the honors for the team here:
Aw, poor babies. You have so much porn that you don’t know what to do with
it all? My heart bleeds for you. Why, when I was your age, we had to trudge
six miles through hip-deep snow to our bachelor uncle’s cabin, just to
get in a quick skimming of one or two volumes of the archive of Adam and Gent magazines before the old lunatic rolled out of bed and ran us off with
a hatchet. And there you sit all smug and prissy with your highspeed whatchacallits
and your instantaneous access to uncensored moving images of virtually
any kind of woman in any scenario that your warped little minds can conceive,
expecting our pity. Do you know that I've been on to you from the start,
and not once did you pull the wool over this boy's eyes? You come in here
and you sprinkle the place with powder and you spray perfume and you stick
a paper lantern over the light bulb - and, lo and behold, the place has
turned to Egypt and you are the Queen of the Nile, sitting on your throne,
swilling down my liquor. And do you know what I say? Ha ha! Do you hear
me? Ha ha ha!
Okay, I’m not quite sure just where that rant dissolved into A Streetcar Named Desire, but I won’t apologize for getting carried away. This spoiled-rotten generation of young masturbators needs to be put in their place from time to time, by cracky, and compelled to realize how lucky they are.
Yes, I can understand how good, accessible porn eats away at productivity.
I’m probably one whole published book behind where I ought to be owing
to hours frittered away on this or that Asian site. What I fail to grasp
is this notion of needing stronger and filthier doses of the stuff, as
if your standard ten-minute clip of straightforward intercourse is a gateway
drug to an inevitable taste for coprophilia videos starring Sri Lankan
adolescents. Heavens, all you Isaac Abels out there, get a grip.
Filmed acts of oral and genital intercourse between consenting adults—that’s the stuff, laddies. Trust me on this. Stick with the classics and you’ll never wake up in an unfamiliar basement facedown in a puddle of someone else’s bodily fluids.
I’ve waxed poetic on this subject before, of course, but what really brings me back to it with renewed warmth,
in addition to the above-cited Salon post, is the unpleasant reaction in
some quarters to the frequent nude scenes of actress Lena Dunham in the
HBO series of her own creation, Girls.
Let me say up front that I have not watched Girls. I did download the pilot and got about a third of the way through it
before discerning that perhaps this program was not really pitched at fifty-seven-year-old
heterosexual men living in Asian countries. Had there been a dose of the
show’s celebrated nudity in the segment that I watched, it might well have
propelled me forward. (That’s how Spartacus won my heart.) But there wasn't.
I know it’s probably just me, but if you’re going to have a series centering on young women living in New York and mostly just talking to each other about their lives in New York, and you want me to keep watching it, there needs to be just loads and loads of nudity, or, failing that, the occasional decapitation. Or zombies. Zombies are always good.
Long story short, I come here not to praise Girls, but to praise Lena Dunham nude scenes, some of which I saw on Redtube
just now. I gather that Lena’s nudity has not been warmly received by all
viewers. Howard Stern, for one, had some typically ripe remarks, which
I will not link to.
Me, I swear by the “toe-to-toe” mental exercise when it comes to judging
other people's bodies. Yes, Lena is carrying more pounds than she really
ought to for her own long-term well-being, to be sure. And I don’t get
the tattoos, but I suppose that’s a generational thing. For all that, just
suppose that Lena and I were naked, standing toe-to-toe, appraising one
another: I’m pretty sure that I could find far fewer objectionable aspects
in her naked body than she could in mine. And anyone who passes that test
automatically arouses me.
Getting back to Girls, I hope that I didn’t sound too negative or dismissive of it. It’s a thing
that simply isn’t targeted at me; ergo, I can’t really comment about it
one way or the other. I do wish certain persons who are not the target
audience of my books would grant me the same courtesy.
That said, I gather that the series has proven quite polarizing, that it
has many very devoted young and not-so-young female fans, and that an inordinate
amount of blogspace has been filled with wistful musings on the theme of
Lena Dunham’s naked body, mostly by female bloggers who view these nude
scenes as some sort of blow for freedom, an in-your-face assault on shallow
males who ignore or condescend to females with Lena-like “ordinary” bodies.
I don’t know about all that; I haven’t lived in the Great Satan for three
decades now and have never lived in those areas of New York City where
people evidently have the leisure to think these sorts of thoughts. Going
by Isaac Abel, who inhabits that same jurisdiction, I guess that, yes,
there may be a problem with young men today being unable to notice women
who are not (a) as pretty as ladies on the internet, nor (b) usually naked.
My generation, I’m proud to say, was made of different stuff. In my book
Wussie, I reminisced about the coed dorm floor I lived on when I was nineteen.
There was a single shower area, which had a sign outside the changing area
that users could adjust to prevent opposite-sex neighbors from barging
in on them. The door leading from the restroom to the changing area had
a window on it which had been puttied over when the floor went coed, but
there was a tiny sliver of glass that had been left unputtied, which I
happily noticed one day.
Over the course of the next several months, I enjoyed espying four or five
of my female neighbors toweling off their naked bodies, then rushing back
to my room to cheerfully masturbate to the fresh images. One of these neighbors
stood out as the type who could have served in any capacity where a sort
of frosty gorgeousness is the chief prerequisite, such as porn star or
Gingrich spouse. The rest were Lena-esque ordinary girls. But they were
my neighbors, girls I knew to some extent, and now they were naked, and
that made me very happy. You have to understand that it was just so very
rare in that era for a boy of my ilk to see a real live naked lady. Any shower-room spotting was almost certain to be the highlight of that week,
or even month. And my orgasms to these “ordinary” girls were every bit
as glutinous and memorable as the ones to the Ice Queen. In short, young
gentlemen in my day early on developed a warm spot in our hearts, and scrotums,
for the so-called "Ordinary Girl."
And by the way, I'm not at all convinced of the "ordinariness"
of Lena Dunham. With Lena, you’re getting a young lady who doesn’t wait
around to be spied stealthily in the changing room. She comes right out
of that changing room naked and plays pingpong with you to boot! On film!
Jesus, young masturbators of America, what more could you possibly want?
Cute body, too, once you get past those damned tattoos.
Isaac Abel and your empathizers, I’m calling you out. Look at that picture
of Lena Dunham playing pingpong topless. Look at it, I command you, and join me right now in taking out our cocks. It's about time you learned how we do it Old School.
No, seriously. This is for your own good. Take it out this instant, young man! And look at that charming, brimming-with-life, perhaps a bit too illustrated but, for our immediate purposes, entirely adequate young lady. Take it out, I say, varmint!
Now, on my signal...