I once knew a woman, my neighbor, who was… sheltered. That is the word I am going to use. She had been married to the same man for fifteen years. They had two children. She was housewife. She would always argue with me about that label. She had a degree in the medical profession but hadn’t worked the entire time I had known her. She stayed home, volunteered at her kid’s school and went to church. She was also deeply religious.
Several years ago she and her husband separated. She told me later that she was in a loveless marriage and had been sleeping on the couch for over a year. She began dating a man that was easily ten years her senior, formerly homeless and not the kind of guy you’d want to be stuck in an alley with. She completely changed. She began to drink and have loud sex in the middle of the day. I don’t have an issue with any of that of course. GwtS is constantly shushing me during sex and I do love me some tequila (or vodka, gin, wine, beer…)
After almost a year of dating tragedy struck, the man she loved died in her bedroom post coitus! (I couldn’t make that up if I tried.) We never got along very well. I thought she was stuck-up and hyper judgmental. She had on more than one occasion suggested that I find a man to help raise my child. But after suffer the loss of the man she referred to as “the love of her life,” I attempted to reach out to her.
One night we were sitting at the kitchen table at her place as she was finishing her third bottle of wine. “Have you ever watched pornography?” she asked. I was hesitant to answer her because she was very critical of anything she viewed sinful but I also loved to shock her. I told that did on occasion watch porn. She told me that her boyfriend had tried to get her to watch porn with him but she thought it was wrong (of course she did) so she never watched it. She went on and on about how degrading it is and how no self-respecting person (like her boyfriend) would ever be interested in it.
I rolled my eyes at her and said “Sometimes when I masturbate porn is just quicker.” She shifted uncomfortably in her chair. Apparently she didn’t masturbate either. I asked why she wanted to know. She said that she still had the porno her boyfriend had wanted to watch with her. She said she was just going to throw it out but hadn’t done so. I asked her if she was going to watch it. She said she had never seen a pornographic movie and that she wanted to see it because her boyfriend had wanted her to. “You’ve never seen porn?” I asked her doubtfully. “Nope,” she responded. “It is a sin and I feel sorry for those people.” “But now you think you might want to watch it?” I pressed. “I might…” “Well let me know how that goes.” I responded, barely able to stifle my laugh.
A few weeks later she came to my house pretty drunk. She seemed triumphant. She asked if she could talk to me and I invited her in. “You remember the tape I talked to you about?” she started. “The porno?” “Shoosh!” she exclaimed blushing. “Yes!” she whispered. “No one is here. Why are you whispering?” I asked. She went on to tell me that she had become kind of obsessed with the tape after our last conversation. She had watched several times while her kids were at school. She also went on and on about how weird the tape made her feel but that she couldn’t stop watching it. “So just before I came over here I destroyed it and threw it away,” she informed me in very self-righteous manner. “You destroyed it?” I asked waiting for her to explain. What she had done was take a hammer to the VHS cassette. She beat that tape until it was just a pile of plastic and film.
I laughed out loud when she told me about how she had destroyed the tape. She was so impassioned in her retelling of how she overcame Satan that night. She then shamed herself for ever watching it, even insinuating that I was partially to blame. (Because all the cool kids watch porn.) I just kept laughing. It was one of the strangest interactions of my entire life.
I like porn. I watch porn. I don’t know how that woman made it to thirty four years without ever having seen a porno but she was insistent that she hadn’t. The one thing she did get right is this. If you don’t like then don’t watch it. (Or in her case, I think it was if you like it too much… eliminate temptation.) I never understood why so many people are offended by pornography. For the next couple of weeks I am going to be writing about some of the pros and cons porn as it relates to women.