Toronto
3 min

Getting it for free

A recent article in the New York Times says porn sales are down because there’s so much free stuff available on the ‘net. Gosh, do ya think?

The Times article focuses mostly on the decline in video/DVD sales but I’m sure that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What amazes me is that anyone is still paying for porn in any form, whether it’s print, DVD or download. Maybe I’m a cheap date but some of the freebies work just fine for me.

It’s not like you have to look far for cheap erotic stimulation. The fall issues of the big US glossies — Vanity Fair, GQ, et al — are a veritable cornucopia of soft-core porn, chock-full of underwear models pointing their crotches at the camera. Calvin Klein seems to have retreated into some form of asexual abstraction, posing a very black dude against a very white backdrop for a composition so stark it’s tepid. But Dolce and Gabbana are targeting the queer market head-on with layouts so camp they might as well be by John Waters. A naked model in one two-page spread looks like he’s about to be gangbanged by a group of sci-fi fashionistas.

However you cut it, free is clearly big news, especially online. Toronto’s own Banana Guide (Bananaguide.com) offers a guide to free sites and while most of them aren’t actually out-and-out free — more like come-ons for pay sites — they still offer more than enough stimulation for most growing boys.

The challenge is to get enough tease for liftoff. Vendors don’t like giving it away. They just want to get you to the point where you’ll proffer your credit card. But consumers won’t put out for anything less than the real deal. As a result, the free clips are often a pretty good summary of what’s on offer, complete with money shots.

A producer quoted in the Times article said porn producers know exactly how, and how long, to make their teasers. They’ve been “fine-tuning it for years,” he said.

But I don’t know. Maybe I’m an easy lay but some of those 30-second clips are more than enough for me. Sometimes shorter is better. You get all the highlights and none of the interminable plunging and moaning that mars most porn.

It’s true that some online vendors aren’t giving away as much as they used to. Corbin Fisher (Corbinfisher.com) used to offer great sets of his “straight” boys boinking. Now it’s just a lot of aw-shucks, boy-next-door chest shots and one tired teaser clip that hasn’t been changed in weeks.

Mike Hancock (Mikehan-cock.com) posts lots of free pictures but won’t let you flick from one pic to the next without opening a new window, greatly impeding the chances of a sustained climax.

Sean Cody (Seancody.com) is always reliable. He posts lots of high-quality stills of model-quality guys doing whatever but the moving pictures are off limits to all but the paying customers, making it extremely difficult to get a true sense of the models’ energy, agility and eye-hand coordination.

But sites like Circle Jerk Boys (Circlejerkboys.com) offer plenty of preview videos. The models can be skanky and uninspired in a way that only straight boys doing it for money can be but, hey, sometimes that works.

Porn is not what it used to be. I still remember the appearance of the first VCRs in the early 1980s and the excitement of seeing real porn in your home for the first time — all those California boys frolicking around some isolated azure pool. (William Higgins come back!) Some of those images were strong enough to make me reconsider relationships. (“How come you don’t look like that impossibly perfect, photo-retouched guy on the screen?”) Gosh, those times seem long ago and far away.

These days, my attitude to porn is pretty much the same as my attitude to best chest contests: If I wanted to see naked men I’d go to the gym and stand in the showers. There at least they might put out.

I guess that’s why I value the free stuff. Finding it brings back some of the old intensity. Stumbling on some cute guy who just happens to be taking off his clothes while you’re ambling about your computer — accidentally, coincidentally, on purpose — is the nearest you can get to an out-of-the-blue street cruise without leaving your desk. Really it’s just so pure and touching and innocent, you want to swoon.

Paying for it would just make it seem all stiff, formal and awkward.