It cannot be helped. No matter how many studies have proved that pornography – at least the non-sociopathic kind – to be harmless, we all remain victims of the puritanical façade that characterizes contemporary society. Sex keeps being seen as obscene, literally meaning ‘to be kept from view’, obviously just like its representations.
Here we could repeat all the erudite reasonings condemning since the ‘70s the schizophrenia of a society that sexualizes everything for commercial purposes while at the same time prizing anyone bold enough to point their smartass finger against «that filth». However, I will spare you the rant, just noting how the porn industry – or the very concept of eroticism – is constantly moving in the general direction of “taboo”, of forbidden and therefore even more arousing content.
My grandparents’ generation had to bend backwards and spend astounding sums of money to witness a mere oral performance; my parents had dirty magazines and videotapes, still expensive but far more accessible; today we have the Internet, and the dark appeal of discovery has long disappeared.
It is somewhat cute how people like De Sade and the libertines have been sentenced to centuries of blame for ideas that our times of ‘-tube’ and ‘-chan’ sites would label as naive. The Marquis scandalized high society with his tales of incestuous sisters or cousins (which at the time, by the way, were openly marrying each other)? Ha! Just look at the online porn conglomerates’ statistics, whose top 5 “normal” porn searches is full of stepfathers, foster sisters, aunts and relatives.
Here in Italy, every student only remembers the Eighteenth century writer D’Annunzio for two still embarrassing anecdotes about having his lower ribs removed to allow self-sucking and a toiletplay-loving mistress. Now we can google guys like Zack Randall, while in Brazil they are producing so much scat videos that ‘Brazilian porn’ is practically synonymous for coprophagy.
Or shall we talk about the original sadism of the 1700s, which was just a shadow of the overcomplicated and bizarre situations just one click away from you? «But those descriptions were merely the metaphor for the corruption of the aristocracy and a call to revolution,» says the nerdy reader in the second row.
An A+ for them, of course. But let me remind them that today poor people is just literally kept in cages by the rich, and you even have those who masturbates to such pseudo-political disgrace. Rule 34 is real.
The real question is: in a world that pornifies everything, what can ever offer that taste of perversion that the new generations never even had a chance to experience? Hold on to your seats, because the answer is as incredible as it gets. In fact, right now the frontier for titillation is gooning.
Don’t try searching for a reliable etymology: the word has many meanings, including ‘retarded sideshow freak’, referencing the microcephalic individuals of the past. It is also a distortion of ‘gone’ – in the mental sense. Because “gooners” or “pornosexuals” simply are people addicted to pornography. Not as in the bogus “sex addiction” as it is described by the media, but as a bizarre lifestyle that is only partially real.
The simplest way to get it is to visit one of the many topical pages and examine the collected material. Hundreds of common porn pictures… with the addition of very peculiar texts. «No family, no friends, no life: there is only porn»; «Are you even a real gooner if your balls are not full and aching? Edging without cumming is better»; «You are totally addicted, you will keep falling deeper and deeper. Therapy can’t help: this is your destiny. You will never be normal»; «Waste another day: always stroke, never cum, only leak. Pussyfree forever»; «Hard with porn, limp with pussy»… and so on.
It is hard to believe that someone can enjouy such a contempt storm, and yet if you think about it you can see what is going on in the heads of its audience.
The first element is to be found in the social environment surrounding most of those fellows: countries strangled by flamboyant morality, if not by the actual religious fanaticism that associates American “Christians”, ultra-orthodox Jews and Muslim Jihadists. In contexts where admitting the use of pornography is seen as reproachable, to declare oneself “a victim of porn” can be as liberating as any coming out – especially if it stays virtual and anonymous, with no risk of consequences.
Another part is the feeling of atonement: it is a bit like thinking that «watching this stuff is bad, but pleasure is associated with humiliation, so I am even before any moral authority I believe in». For someone, the masochistic trip is the point of the whole experience, as confirmed by many posts in gooning forums; in fact, the preference is somehow an evolution from edging (masturbating without orgasm because «you are not worthy») and maybe just one step from the pussy-free lifestyle, elevating frustration to such an abstract level that it uses pictures denying even the vision of erogenous zones, fully censored. Or worse, since sometimes all the female parts are even patched with cutouts of large penises, and accompanied with humiliating comments about the repressed homosexuality of the user.
The most significant aspect of the phenomenon is, in my opinion, what you can also see in many other online subculture micro-niches, that is a certain post-ironic resignation to one’s distressed condition. Among freefalling social mobility, the job crisis, daily proofs that bullying wins over merit, assured environmental apocalypse, the proverbial «fifteen minutes of fame» now reduced to a few seconds on some social network, crazy news and a thousand more omens of doom, it is ever more clear how vulnerable persons are opting out of the game en masse.
Each one in their own way, they are losing even their self-ironic mask and just capitulate to their fate of having fallen – no matter the reason – in the losers category. After all, gooners of every gender are just a variation on the incels delusions, where the violence is turned inward in a complacent self-destruction. This attitude was perfectly summarized in a phrase I found on an Irish discussion group: «if I cannot win,» wrote Ian, «I want to be the ultimate loser».
So much so that there is a sort of competition going to appear the most devastated by porn. 2019 also was the year of ahegao, the grotesque manga face expression indicating mind-melting pleasure… which gooners quickly appropriated to self-parodize their submission to pornography.
As the world’s neocons gloat for having received the present of such a dramatic subject for them to distort and add to their scaremongering arsenal, I am just wondering what else is going to pop up after meta-porn. In the meantime: have a great new year!