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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Porn for the masses: No tissues necessary

Published: October 31, 2008
Section: Opinions

Porn isn’t just hot sweaty bodies going at it. Or a twosome that becomes a threesome that becomes a foursome. I watch porn every night. Sometimes in the company of friends. My guy friends watch porn too. No use of their left hands necessary, no tissues needed for the cleanup.

We both watch it on HBO. I get it on demand, whenever I’m in the mood. When I want it, how I want it. After a long day I take a bubble bath, bring Mr. Goodbar into bed with me, and turn the TV on. An image of Carrie fills the screen, sauntering through her city in stilettos.

Guys watch it Sunday nights at 10. They usually watch it together, with no talk about it being too homoerotic. A click of the remote brings Vince, Drama, Turtle and E cruising Hollywood Blvd in a pimped out Maserati. Sex and the City puts together spectacular clothing, fabulous New York City lifestyle and true-blue best friends to create a fantasy world. Not to mention the constant stream of drop-dead gorgeous men, one night stands, casual encounters, dates, and lovers. The poor girl will envy the fashion, the friendless woman will envy the girl talk, the horny girl will envy the sex.

Much like female-friendly porn -think well endowed men of XYZ racial group-Carrie and Co. allow women to act out their wildest dreams. A crazy night of passion with the ripped construction worker isn’t happening for the dowdy housewife. Yet videotapes to that effect are easily within her reach, with the help of a handy Visa card. She merely waits for her husband’s bowling nights, pops in her copy of “Construction Worker and his Drill,” and lets the screw gun do its work. Similarly, Carrie’s Manohlo Blahnik’s and Page Six sexcapades aren’t happening for Mrs. Joe Sixpack. She’s got her beer drinking deadbeat of a husband, her job waitressing and her bills to pay. She’s not hailing a cab to the newest French fusion restaurant on a Tuesday night. She’s not sleeping her way through New York City’s 30+ male population. She doesn’t have Miranda’s brains, Carrie’s spunk, Charlotte’s pedigree or Samantha’s sex appeal.

But for that half hour that she tunes in, she’s got it all. One minute she’s prudish Charlotte, the next she’s sluttish Samantha. One second she’s cynical Miranda, the next she’s happy-go-lucky Carrie.

She’s outfitted at Bendel’s, eats at Nobu, lives on the Upper East Side. Gorgeous with a great body, she’s basically got Sex on Demand. Not an episode goes by without a graphic play by play. We see Samantha and her sex swing, Charlotte and her steamy gardener, Miranda’s thrill of doing it in public places, and Carrie’s political guy who likes to be peed on. It gets pretty kinky. Not to mention, they’re not afraid of showing all this. The reruns on TBS clean it up to a PG-13 level, but the original HBO version is proud of its R rating. Sarah Jessica Parker is immune (maybe something in her contract? A jealous Matthew Broderick?) but I’ve seen Samantha and Miranda topless more times than I cared to. The guys are not immune and male rear nudity is definitely there as an enticement. It’s got the hot fit bodies, glistening with sweat.

It’s emotional porn for any woman who doesn’t have the whole package, and frankly that’s all of us. Their lifestyle is all-around fabulous. And for half an hour you and I can escape our humdrum lifestyles and dive right into theirs. Guys fill their porn quotient with Entourage. Four best friends from working class Queens find themselves in the bright lights of Hollywood. Vince’s pretty face gains them access rather than his superb acting skills. It’s not a tall order; he stands there looking pretty and makes his millions.

The rest coast on his success. They’ve got the mansion, the swimming pool, the access to the coolest clubs. They toke jays and play videogames by day, and pursue tail by night. Instant gratification’s the name of the game. Vince scores all the time, what with his dentist’s dream of a smile, flashing green eyes, and black tousled hair. His star persona and “in” with the glitterati world trickle down to his friends, who get more ass than they would by their own merits.

And what ass it is! The models, the socialistas, aspiring actresses. A snap of the fingers brings them running. Leggy and curvy. Sensual and promiscuous. All too willing to shed their clothing and jump into Vince’s bed.

Like Sex and the City, it’s predicated on strong friendship. A bromance. They live together, they roll as a foursome in their Hummer. Even with the pursuit of women, when push comes to shove its “dicks over chicks.”

There will always be another girl, another model type wanting to get into Vinnie’s pants. But they’re family, they migrated from sketched out Queens Blvd to decked out Hollywood Blvd together. They’ve got each other’s back. Vinnie puts his crew over his career time and time again. Despite the pimped out flashy lifestyle, they’re just a tight knit, vaguely Italian family from the streets of Queens.

It’s a nice life. Get rich quick and easy, live in LA with buddies, the ultimate life of nonstop bros and hos. Joe Sixpack can dream, but there’s no way in hell he’ll ever live the life. He’s got the 9-5, he lives in Kansas, he has a wife who’s too tired to ever put out. And when she does she’s thinking of color schemes for the bathroom, not the cute beer belly her hubby’s growing. Going out means the same old neighborhood bar, maybe hitting on a cute co-ed who gives him the finger in reward for trying. No trysts with Victoria Secret models. Horny, frustrated, depressed, he has his left hand to keep him company. He’s not getting the hell out of Oshkosh anytime soon, he’s never making more than $7.15 an hour, and he’ll never get to try that new sex position. The biggest thing that’ll happen to him this year is the bathroom will be redone in a shade of mauve. And he doesn’t know what the fuck kind of color mauve is! Maybe his wife will be so excited over the new color scheme that her excitement will spill over into the bedroom. If he’s lucky. That’s what’s keeping him going. But for half an hour on Sunday nights he gets to roll with Vince in Entourage. His wife’s nagging fades into the background as he turns up the volume, rocking out to the “Superhero” theme song. He’s about to enter a male fantasy world and he’s gonna enjoy every minute of it.