#Love: My First Experience With Internet Porn

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#Love: My First Experience With Internet Porn

Pornographic media has existed since the dawn of time, but it has never been as widely available and accessible as it is today. That’s largely due to the internet, which provides a launch pad for our curiosity no matter the topic. But with sex, a topic relatively more private and intimate, the internet can serve as an important resource for sexual exploration, understanding, and yes, enjoyment.

That said, we collected seven peoples’ stories from all walks of life about their first experience with porn on the internet. Some are funny, some will horrify, and some are oddly nostalgic.

Austin

Oh, I downloaded so much porn on Napster. Gay porn. Straight porn. Just, so much porn. I probably started looking for it when I was 13 or 14, using the family computer in the office next to my parents’ bedroom. I would search for stuff, download it, and then delete everything from the computer. I would sometimes re-download the stuff I liked, and search for other stuff, too.

Cyrus

Before I discovered that I could actually use the Internet to find pictures of naked ladies, my porn experience was limited to waterlogged Penthouses in the woods behind the baseball field or old issues of Playboy filched from a friend’s dad’s dresser drawer tucked away in a remote basement corner.

Though I don’t remember how I was clued into the fact, I distinctly remember plugging search terms into rudimentary, Web 1.0 search engines. I remember a lot of the sites that popped up in the search results were sites based in Japan, and took forever to load, even by the standards of my trusty external 28.8 BPS modem. It was well worth the wait, and I remember being fascinated by this new portal to the world of porn. Of course, back then I had no idea what browser history was, or how to delete it, so I can only imagine the awkwardness my parents must have experienced in discovering their pre-teen son’s porn predilections while shopping online for Beanie Babies or whatever normal people did online back then.

Another reliable source for digital self abuse was in old school AOL chat rooms. Rooms with names like “gif” or “jpg.” I discovered fairly early on in my keyboard warrior days that going into one of these rooms and randomly saying something to everyone in the room like “send one pic to get one!” would instantly yield half a dozen or so jpg images in my inbox from fellow pervs looking to trade boobie pics. I’m guessing they didn’t realize I was all of 12 years old at the time. Maybe they did? Suddenly I feel so dirty.

Karen

My first experience with porn on the internet was pretty horrifying. Clearing the cache was apparently not something my dad knew how to do, so my first interaction with porn on the internet actually just came from an auto-complete in the browser. I was about sixteen, and it was the shared computer in the family den. I was grossed out but I didn’t want to tell my dad.

Rick

Wow. So long ago.

I’d say my first experience was loading strip-by-strip BMP files over a painfully slow dial-up, with terrible resolution. This was pre-Windows, so probably Netscape Navigator or something. I was like 12, but I was using the internet when the internet was first available to people outside of the Defense industries because my dad was an academic and had access through work.

I don’t actually remember how I found out about searching for porn or looking for that stuff. I was the oldest of my siblings, and I can’t really remember anyone tipping me off to anything. I do think that my dad kept the computer in the basement for a reason, though. He knew what was up.

Jamie

Remember that scene in the Freaks and Geeks where they all watch porn together and get all uncomfortable? It was kind of like that.

I was spending the night at my friend Brittni’s house. We were maybe in seventh grade, and she was one of my only friends who had her own computer in her bedroom. We usually got on AIM together to chat, but on this particular evening, we somehow ended up in a “Romance” chat room. I like to think that Brittni clicked into it without ever warning or mentioning me, but knowing myself now, it’s entirely possible that we discussed entering this sex chat room together and that I even encouraged it.

We began a chat with what we both believed to be a man, who expectedly got straight into some really dirty, misspelled talk: “Lik my nutz.” Shit like that. Brittni and I discussed sexy, descriptive responses which grew more and more detailed each time we shared something new. The guy asked to switch to phone sex, again, expectedly.

Brittni, braver than I (perhaps because she was in her own home), was into the idea. So we did. We made sure we answered the phone before her dad. It was all very stressful. The phone call lasted maybe 12 seconds. He said hello in a voice that terrified both of us. It was an old man’s voice and it was creepy. We never talked about it again.

Dale

Back in the days of BBSes and tape backups, one of my friends had a large quantity of image files that he would download and save for later. (This was important because download speeds were slow enough that it took a few minutes before you could actually see anything.) Anyways, one day he was backing up files and his dad walked in the room and could see the progress of files being moved to tape.

Most of the files were named stuff like ‘jenny6.jpg’ or whatever but there was one particular file that caught his dad’s eye. “Mark, what’s ponyfuck.gif?” he asked. “Oh, it’s an acronym,” my friend replied.

Lauren

My first porn experience… Hmm… I’d say it was on AOL. It wasn’t watching porn, but it was dirty talk in chat rooms when I was like 13.

I didn’t actually start watching strangers have sex until I started researching female orgasms. Originally, it was driven by insecurity. I was trying to figure out how I should be during sex. But then my brain kind of calmed down about watching it and about sex in general, and I started to search for porn that actually turned me on.

#Love is a new column on TechCrunch dealing with digital matters of the heart. It explores our relationships, their relationship with technology, and all the gory details that come with it. Jordan Crook will be leading the charge, and is looking for guest writers to tell their own stories each week. Maybe you found your soul mate on Tinder, or got dumped on Facebook, or have an outrageously interesting sext life. We all have our stories. If you’re interested in contributing, send an email to jordan@techcrunch.com with the subject line #Love for more details.