I never sought out pornography; it found me. With technology these days, it was practically inevitable. Even in 2006. It all started with soft-core pornography; it all ends there, too.

I talked about my porn habits in our latest YOBcast episode, and I wanted to dive deeper into my pornography origin story. Particularly my fixation with soft-core pornography.

I was 19, a sophomore in college still living at his parents’ house. I scrolled through Facebook one night and happened upon a friend’s page. He’d just posted a video; I clicked it. He and a friend were dressed up in “cool guy” attire, shades and hats as they lip-synced and danced to a pop song.

It was humorous. It was cute. I smiled as I watched the first minute unfold.

Then, without warning, my friend ripped his shirt off. His friend did the same. They played with their belts. My friend’s video started turning into a comical strip-tease, and my heart raced more than it ever has on the Internet.

The video ended after a couple minutes, and nothing else was shown. No pants came off, no other body parts exposed, no sort of sexual interaction between the two friends.

But what I saw in my friend’s video gave me a taste. Awakened this desire in me to see other men wearing progressively less clothing, acting uninhibited and without shame together. Confident.

I clicked away from Facebook that night, heart hammering, desperate to see what more the Internet had to offer me. One little search for soft-core pornography led me down a rabbit hole for the next few hours.
I’ve not escaped this hole all these years later.

I remember my first bouts with pornography as so innocent. The content so very tame compared to what I’d uncover years later.

I’ve clicked onto a few hardcore pornographic sites over the years, only to quickly click away, my senses overwhelmed. A “muchness” shutting me down and steering me back toward tamer waters.

All the hardcore stuff out there has just never appealed to me. I guess I’m more about the relationship, the intimacy, the anticipation and the “tease” more than any actual reveal.

These days, I only ever watch soft-core pornography (when I do). I think a lot about my friend’s old video and all the soft-core ones that followed.

He didn’t create that silly video with pornographic intent, but my heart latched onto it that way anyway. Twisted his carefree confidence into some convoluted sexual thing.

Looking back, I think I wanted to be in that room with him. Taking off clothes with him. Acting with him. Connecting over our inherent maleness. Our ability to take off shirts for the camera in a provocative yet ridiculous way and not mean it sexually, bonding as we go, unrehearsed, natural.

Men. Together.

Eleven years later, I don’t think I’ll ever get pulled into the world of hardcore pornography, though I don’t want to presume to be “exempt” from such snares.

Nonetheless. Here I am. Still tempted and lulled by soft-core pornography all these years later.

Still yearning for connection and male togetherness more than anything else.

Without being graphic, describe your first pornographic experience. What feelings did your first look at porn evoke in you? How has your pornography habits evolved to where you are today? Do you draw any lines between soft-core pornography and hardcore pornography?

    Thomas Mark Zuniga

    I'm a storyteller and story-liver in Asheville, North Carolina - the Jewel of the Blue Ridge. I'm YOB's cofounder and editor, and I also host our bimonthly podcast. I've written a couple books, including a memoir in 2013 where I first came out to the world. Once upon another universe I anonymously blogged about my faith and sexuality under the Xanga username, "twoBeckonings." I'm an INFJ, an Enneagram 4w5, and my spirit animal is the buffalo. My favorite place in the world is the one where coffee and vulnerability meet.

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