Two Heads, One Heart: Caught Catching a Beat
I rarely watch porn anymore, but those discs I burned my early downloads to are still at my parents' house. I've always been a collector, unable to let go of things.
I first discovered masturbation at about the same time online pornography was rising to prominence. Mine is the first generation to come of age with such broad and easy access to photos and videos, and it was fucking awesome.
I didn’t find out about this online porn thing – or, more accurately, I didn’t have the gall to venture into that cyber world – until I’d already become a pseudo expert in the ways of shooting wads at shower walls. In retrospect, I think this was a positive. Had I achieved my first orgasm while sitting at a computer watching an early episode of the epic weekly soap opera “Cum Fiesta,” I probably would have stroked out (in more than one way) from sensory overload. It was far better for me to wade in the shallow end, which is to say jerking it to the Victoria’s Secret catalogs I stole from my mom so often that she just started giving them to me outright.
But when I did begin watching porn, it added something to the whole masturbatory process that, although unnecessary to make it enjoyable, turned it into something much, much better.
For a moment, think of masturbation as a donut. Like, if you went your first 13 or so years (a Baker’s dozen!) eating only your run-of-the-mill glazed, that would be OK. I mean, glazed donuts are the bee’s knees. But what if one day you discover that you can get donuts with jelly inside, and it takes the experience to the next level, a level you never dreamt was possible? After that, you’d probably still eat a glazed, but not if you could have jelly-filled instead.
Through illegal methods that were also severely detrimental to my family’s computers (I probably owe my parents thousands in repair fees), I learned to download videos, so I could keep them forever. Seriously – I even burned all my videos to discs before I left for college, in case my parents’ computer shit the bed. I put them in a box filled with legitimate CDs (if Blackstreet is considered legitimate). Later, I transferred them to a couple different external hard drives, where they remain to this day. (The only thing that keeps me from tipping into “hoarder” territory is technology. It allows me to save all kinds of shit without taking up tangible space. If you knew how many digital comics I own, you would wonder how I ever even transitioned from masturbation to the big leagues – which did happen eventually.)
One night in eighth grade, I was watching a favorite video of mine, starring an Asian American woman with blue contact lenses who went by Sonya. I think it was an alias. She had been picked up by a balding middle-aged man while visiting a shopping mall. After about 10 minutes of awkward banter, he convinced her to go to a hotel with him, and she was more or less nonplussed that his friend was toting a video camera around with them. Also, she showed them her tits in the hotel elevator. (The irony in the fact this video came from a digital porn empire called “Reality Kings” is not lost on me.)
I had just gotten home from basketball practice and was downstairs. We did not have computers in our bedrooms, nor locks on our doors, so one had to take what one could get.
This was a nice window of opportunity, because my parents – who normally spent most of their time on our first floor – were upstairs preparing dinner. This usually took 30 minutes or so, which gave me enough time to snap one off and still be left with 28 minutes to meticulously update my AIM profile info with my favorite Bright Eyes lyrics of the day.
I did not want to be caught by my parents or siblings with my shorts on the ground and my dick in my hand, so I always kept one ear on the unfolding storyline that would eventually devolve into grunts and moans, and the other on my surroundings – my vigilance was dedicated mostly to listening for the sound of someone coming down the stairs.
My dad was always the stealth one, treading gracefully and with leisure down the steps. (My mom moved around like she had places to go, damnit.) I wouldn’t hear him sometimes until it was nearly too late, and would just get my pants up and the window minimized by the time he walked into the room. There had been a number of close calls, but to my knowledge pops still believed I was a chaste lil’ dude who didn’t spend 98% of his time pondering what a handjob would feel like if it was given by a second party.
But this time, he was extra stealth, like he was on some Assassin’s Creed shit, and I let myself get just a little too absorbed in the storyline. I wasn’t alerted to his presence until he stood about eight feet away from me, in the doorway, and cleared his throat.
I yanked my shorts up and closed the window just as Sonya let out a loud “fuck me!”
What I was doing was, I assumed, forbidden in some way. Thank god my dad is not a religious dude.
“Turn that back on!” he said, and started cracking up.
I didn’t know what to do next, so I just went, “Hehe,” and continued staring at the computer screen, typing as I concentrated on my own reflection glaring back at me from the monitor, wondering if I would ever recover from this mortifying moment.
“Well, dinner’s ready when you are,” he said. “No rush.”
Then he turned around, still laughing, and walked out to the garage refrigerator for a beer and a fresh gallon of milk before he went back upstairs.
I’m not sure why I thought my dad would be pissed off or ashamed of me for masturbating, or doing so to a video that was more or less normal, as far as porn goes. He was probably whacking off when he was 14, too, and was maybe a little jealous that with just a few clicks, I could queue up promiscuous Asian women and educate myself about what a vagina was and how it worked. He’d probably grown up kifing tattered nudie magazines from his dad’s stash, or, god forbid, using his own imagination.
On this day I began to realize that sex shouldn’t be taboo. It’s just something everyone wants to experience. Most of us get to, and the luckiest ones get to very often. Those of us who aren’t the luckiest (or who are 14 years old) have to settle for masturbation, and there’s nothing wrong with that either.
I didn’t start, like, flogging my schlong in the wide open or anything, but I also decided to stop shying away from talking about sex. I mean, if you think about it, a lot of sexual things are hysterical, and a whole lot of fun to discuss with others.
But my dad and I have never spoken about this occurrence.
I rarely watch porn anymore, but those discs I burned my early downloads to are still at my parents’ house. I’ve always been a collector, unable to let go of things. I still have all my Magic: The Gathering cards even though I no longer play that often, and I still keep the teddy bear and blankey I grew up with in my bed, even though I no longer have to clutch onto them to fall asleep.
I was visiting home recently for my brother’s bachelor party, and came across the disc collection. I was overtaken with nostalgia and, for old time’s sake, decided to have a go with a classic video or two. I grabbed a few discs at random and strolled downstairs, away from my mom and sister, who were watching television upstairs.
My dad, out of necessity, began using a computer for work a few years ago. He keeps his laptop and most of his paperwork at the desk downstairs. I sat down, moved his stuff to the side, and set out my Macbook. (I’m not pro-Apple or anything, I just wanted a machine that could access porn without contracting a virus.) After browsing through a few videos, I chose one and got after it. The plot: a pizza delivery man arrives at a woman’s house. She does not have money to pay for the pizza. But the deliveryman, who has for some reason been invited into the house to sit on the couch, has cut a circular hole in the pizza and its box, and has put his erect penis through it. He opens the box and tells the woman that if she samples the sausage, she can have the pizza for free.
So, naturally the woman is like “Sure, I’ll fuck a complete stranger so that I can have a pizza with a goddamn hole in the center of it."
In my years of living alone or with a lockable door, my defense mechanisms had grown rusty at best. I did not hear my mom coming, not until it was too late and she’d come down the steps, rounded the corner into the room, and seen me with my boxer briefs around my thighs.
“Oh my,” she said as I struggled to pull them up. She started laughing. “And in your dad’s chair!”
I said something about the Internet not working and began typing nonsense at a blank screen. Mom just kept laughing and began changing the laundry.
I hope she never truly grasps how many times I’ve done the same thing in chairs she often sits in.
But doing so in my dad's chair? Old news.