3 min

Career in smuttiness

How I became an on-line pornographer

Credit: Dean Tomlinson

Looking to make a few bucks this summer? Here’s one of the quickest, easiest ways: Write porn.

The free porn flicks and skin mags that come with the gig are good, and the pay is even better. Writing porn is the writer’s equivalent of selling one’s soul to the devil. But if you’re ready for a little hell, a career in scribing smut may be for you.

I used to write for a gay men’s on-line porno magazine. The name of the publication (I won’t say the name, but it had the classy distinction of rhyming with “orgasm”) wasn’t as important as how it changed my life, spawning my own private Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Skinny white boy office worker by day was transformed to Jedi Master of solo jerk by night. Under the moniker Emilio Matthews (which, I thought, nicely merged sultry Latin-fever with white-bred Americana), I titillated the on-line masses with tales of lust that – thanks to a little editorial nudge or two – got naughtier with each new story.

Writing porn is a cinch, and if I could do it, so can you. The formula is simple: Two parts filler, one part ridiculously-impossible-circumstance and one part nasty, lewd language. If you can churn out phrases like “cockbanger,” “rhythmic thrust” or (hey, ladies can get into the business too) “moist snatch,” then you can write porn.

The limits are few. First cousins are taboo, second cousins are fair game.

I spewed out story after story, all of them as bad as the one before. They all featured hot young protagonists with names like Ryan or Brad, and all names, for realism’s sake, of guys I had crushes on in high school. Writing porn is not about writing about what you know. It’s writing about what you spent most of grade 12 math fantasizing about.

A rule of thumb is to never spend more than 30 seconds on any one sentence. This isn’t the great Canadian novel you’re producing. My stories were to the art of erotica what McDonald’s is to haute cuisine. Loads of buns and juicy meat, but mostly tacky, tasteless and just plain bad.

For example:

“Ryan’s dick pounded against the back of Brad’s throat. He knew Brad’s gag reflexes would soon yield, which drove him to thrust harder and quicker while it still felt so good. But Brad only wanted more of him. Brad’s mouth dripped with raw urge, and he couldn’t wait to take it up the ass.”

The biggest question, perhaps even a moral dilemma, is whether or not to use a rubber in your pornographic prose. I did, not because it’s part of my fantasy, but it seemed like the right thing to do. Otherwise I’d have felt compelled to footnote every new thrust with, “Now kids, don’t try this at home.” But condoms weren’t central to the stories, and you certainly don’t have to let a little umbrella rain on your characters’ parade:

“Though Jamie had a condom on, he could feel his semen spraying out in one hard stream….” Characters can get their rocks off safely.

In fact, they always got their rocks off, and ironically, that’s one major drawback about writing porn. It’s hair-pullingly frustrating to have to flesh out characters every month who all share one common trait: The miraculous ability to do what, in three lifetimes, you could never achieve and will never achieve: The power to get tremendous sex, often.

If stories aren’t your bag, try writing porn flick reviews. You’ll give “two thumbs up” an entirely new meaning, and get to watch a lot of porn, too. But after a few of these columns, a growing sense of futility will ail you as you begin to suspect that nobody actually reads porn film reviews. And unless you can think of more than 50 different ways to critically analyze inexhaustible close-ups of anal penetration, you’ll quickly suffer from the job’s biggest hazard: repetitive strain injury.

But repetition shouldn’t deter you and neither should shame. I wasn’t ashamed, of course, and told my parents about it within weeks of starting (well, okay, maybe months). They didn’t find it a shock, as nothing is to them anymore since I came out. Still, it’s always a risky thing telling the very people who gave you the breath of life that you are contributing to the world’s quota of smut.

My Marquis de Sade days, however, were brief. Nine months after I first came on board, the on-line magazine folded. It makes me wonder if anyone was even reading the stuff in the first place. Was it all for not?

I still think it’s a career option, but remember: It’s not the size of your pen that counts, it’s what you do with it.