Sunday, March 18, 2007

Real Amateur College Porn (But Not How You Think)

So last night I braved the ice and the wind and the frathouses overflowing with sloppy St. Patrick's Day drunks to escort college sexblogger Jessica Haralson* to iNtuitons' production of La Ronde, which is a cheery little story of syphilis and infidelity in turn-of-the-(last-)century Vienna. It's ten scenes long, each one a self-contained story that has at its core a sex scene. Don't worry -- I'm not here to review college theater (though if I may, I will say that the friend of mine whose performance prompted my attendance was easily the best actress in the cast -- her material was the most challenging and her performance, the most natural).

Instead, what struck me was the audience's reaction to the sex and nudity in each vignette. In some of the scenes, the sex was played for laughs, with comical soundtracks and exaggerated facial expressions and wild, bed-rattling gyrations. And the audience laughed. In some, the sex was perfunctory and awkward and brief. And the audience laughed. In some, the sex was played passionate and straight, with realistic moaning and grunting and thrusting and shifting. And the audience laughed. In some, the sex was definitely porn-inspired, what with nightstand cunnilingus and obscure, uncomfortable sexual positions. And the audience laughed. And of course, when the actor playing The Count dropped his briefs and let his tackle dangle, the audience laughed.

Some of the tittering can be attributed to the audience's relative naiveté -- UPenn is conservative as Ivy League schools go, and I daresay that there were more than a few folks in the audience who had never actually seen a naked man in the context of a performance before -- but not all of it. I realized that the reason why so many were laughing was not necessarily because of nervousness or embarrassment, but because, well, sex just looks silly.

I'll wager that a fairly high percentage of the people reading this blog have probably, at some time or another, experimented with videotaping or photographing themselves in flagranté. I know I certainly have. And if you're anything like me, it's really hard to watch the fruits of that particular labour, what with the grunting and groaning and funny facial expressions and awkward thrusts and jiggling and... ugh. No thank you. And that's why the audience was laughing at the simulated sex on stage. It was one part embarrassment, one part tittilation and one part the shameful realization that yes, I look and sound just that ridiculous when I do it.

So then I started to wonder: Just how do we make it look good? Or at least, if not good, then at least not laughable? And I realized that the answer was something that I've been telling people for a long time when they tell me that they're great in bed, so they'd be great in porn: Porn sex looks nothing like real sex. Nobody does reverse piledriver at home -- at least, not more than once, even if they manage to avoid serious injury. Porn blowjobs don't resemble real blowjobs, though I've met girls that haven't quite figured that out yet (hint: It's not an ice cream cone, ladies), and heaven help the guy that thinks that everything he needs to know about cunnilingus he learned watching Seymour Butts. Even the language of sex is different than the language of porn-sex. I'll admit that I like a little dirty talk in bed, but it takes a different level of suspension of disbelief entirely to buy into what you hear on the screen. In reality, after all, few and far between are the girls (or boys) that mean it when they scream things like "FUCK MY DIRTY TEEN SLUTHOLE, DADDY!"

Standard porn isn't really about sex and more than wuxia flicks are really about martial arts. It's about the idea of sex, the platonic ideal of that perfect, zipless fuck that looks nothing like actual sweaty, sticky monkey-fucking, jiggling and funny faces and all.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

* Her take on the evening here.

4 comments:

arielle said...

aww, thanks. :)

A said...

I'm not sure if pornsex is a good or bad thing. Maybe in the same way that romance novels are both good and bad? I enjoy them, but I enjoy them because they aren't like real life -- and I'm glad I didn't discover them till after I had a few relationships under my belt, because I would have been fucked up beyond belief if I had harbored those illusions!

Shay said...

That's why you take still photos of your sex acts for posterity - you can't jiggle in a photograph! ^_~

But I agree, sex looks funny, to me, even porn sex can be very very hilarious.
"Yeah, I know you like fucking my slutty, white, teen, barely-legal, cheerleader, first-timer asshole!"

Mikey Mongol said...

Tease. ;)