The Porn Diaries #1: The First Exposure.

When I was eight years old or so, I had cable TV in my bedroom, and I used to stay up late in the summer playing Super Mario World on my Super Nintendo. I never got that into other games, but I loved Mario. When friends would come over, I’d convince them that tackling Mario worlds was the best way to spend our time, and we’d stay up struggling through Tubular and other interestingly named levels.

One night, a friend and I had stayed up even later than normal, well past midnight, and we were high off the adrenaline of finally completing a level. Deciding to end on a win, we got snacks and turned on the TV. That is how I discovered Skinemax.

My story isn’t a tragic one. I didn’t struggle with pornography. I had no long-lasting repercussions from finding it at a young age. I didn’t spend the next years sneaking porn in private or have problems when it came time for intimate relationships, but statistically, a lot of people do. A coworker once told me that a professional told them that when a child is exposed to pornography before they know what sex is, it’s something like a 50/50 chance that it will have an impact. After they’re aware, the risk increases, but either way, I was lucky enough to walk away from that exposure with no problems.

Then, in college, I took a series of courses about the Holocaust. As you might imagine, a lot of disturbing material came to light, and by the end of the year, I was confident in my ability to thoroughly and effectively compartmentalize. When a job became available that required exposure to pornography and potentially graphic and disturbing material for the purpose of making a superior porn blocker for the masses, I thought, that’s perfect for me. I believe in helping people avoid pornography, and I can compartmentalize.

It turns out, compartmentalization is a lie.

I took the job because I believe in what we do, and, if past experiences were any indication, I wouldn’t have issues with porn exposure. What I’ve learned thus far, however, is that while when you’re not looking at porn, it’s hard to really understand it. Once you’re exposed, however, it’s a whole different scenario.  Prior to taking this position, I wanted to protect people from pornography exposure, but it was sort of a 9 to 5 passion fueled by my understanding of what porn is, and to me, and I suspect most of the rest of the population that doesn’t consume pornography, pornography was Skinemax. It was two people engaging in sex in very run-of-the-mill ways. Armed with prior experiences with porn and the knowledge that I got through an entire year of Holocaust imagery, I ventured into this position.  I expected to slog through what is known in the industry as “vanilla porn” to make our software better, but I had no idea what really constituted porn. Suddenly, it was a lot less “I’m not looking at it, so I’m not currently concerned about it,” and a lot more “I can’t believe this is just available to anyone with an internet connection.” It woke me up to what is out there, lying in wait. It made me reflect on our culture’s attitude about porn and inspired within me a passion for explaining the landmines hidden in the digital fields. That’s what The Porn Diaries are: my thoughts and experiences navigating the world of Internet Pornography. Hopefully, they’ll help you understand what is out there so that you can make informed decisions about the Internet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.