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March 16, 2007
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Volume 35
Issue 11
 
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Sex Talk by Simon Shepard
Speaking of playing videos
"I was flirting online with this guy who wanted to come over and play," recalls one man, "and things seemed to be going really well. But he kept asking whether I had any porn videos we could watch. Actually, he insisted on that. It was a deal-breaker. Weird."

Perhaps not so weird, really. Porn's not useful solely for solo masturbation. Sometimes the sexually active Gay world seems divided into two camps: those who want porn videos playing while they play, and those who don't. Says a fellow from the pro-porn side, "I'm socially a little shy. So if a stranger comes over, it helps me to have something nasty going on already, even if it's only on my TV screen."

Indeed, many online message boards feature ads from men - some of them straight-identified - who are looking for scenes where two or more guys sit around stroking to porn, often having no flesh-to-flesh contact. "I went over to visit this het guy," remembers one masturbator, "who beat off watching videos of girls with big boobs, and I sat there watching him and wanking. He kept his attention focused on the screen, not on me, but I bet he really got off on being my private porn show."

More than just an ice-breaker or a source of common arousal, a hot video can be an inspirational homo how-to, a simple way of saying, "Hey dude, let's try that." Videos can get things rolling between slightly bored longtime partners, too, or provide a couple of fellows with some of the visual stimulation of in-the-flesh orgies. "It's like having group sex, but without the group," says our pro-porn person, "and without the hassle."

A "specialty" video - a foot-fetish fiesta, for instance, or a spanking saga - can excite the inexperienced or give permission to the reluctant. Kinky porn can even provide vanilla-ish guys with vicarious thrills. One fellow elaborates, "This buddy that I see on an ongoing basis has this amazing collection of really kinky videos. A lot of the stuff they show goes way beyond anything I would ever do. But it's hot to lie around with him, talking dirty and jacking off to the extreme stuff onscreen."

Those less enamored of dirty DVDs can find their use during dates to be distracting, or even demeaning. It's a rare man who, while in the throes of passion, hasn't fantasized about someone besides his partner. But what if a high-def, hard-bodied dreamboat's image is flickering on the flat-panel right in front of you? Says one nonfan, "If I go over to someone's house and he plops a porn video in the player - especially without even asking - I'll think, 'What's the matter - am I not sexy enough?' Usually, I'll politely ask him to just turn it off. Or else I'll tell him to turn the volume down, since the soundtracks are usually terrible, anyway, and just look in another direction. And hope he gets around to paying attention to me."

So whether you use your favorite porno as a multi-media aphrodisiac, two-dimensional carnal company, or just something to keep your boyfriend distracted while you go to fetch the poppers, remember that one man's hit show is another's fun-impeding flop. As with using any other sex toy, consideration counts - consult your partner before pressing play. And if you end up as a reluctant audience for someone else's porn, remember: Even the worst dirty video is more of a turn-on than a Queer Eye rerun that a trick hasn't bothered to turn off.

Simon Sheppard is the author of Sex Parties 101, Kinkorama, and In Deep: Erotic Stories, and can be reached at SexTalk@qsyndicate.com. Visit Simon at www.simonsheppard.com.

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