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Why I Love Weird Porn

The glories of DIY porn.

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There’s a term in the fan fiction community, “drawerfic”. It arises from the answer to “What was your first fanfic?” given by everyone who grew up pre-internet: “This thing I wrote in a notebook when I was 14 and kept in a drawer and never showed anyone.” Every little girl making porn (and not all fic writers are girls and not all fanfic is porn, but they mostly are and an awful lot of it is) thought she was the only one. Her creativity came pre-stifled and then it was back to Gilligan’s Island. Fan fiction only became a community, became huge, when these girls began meeting, began corresponding, began exchanging fictions as gifts and trades. First in homemade zines, then exploding beyond all measure on the internet. Now it’s one of the largest gift economies on earth, with untold millions of words a day being exchanged, people (mostly women) making things in exchange for other things people made. There’s your cognitive surplus right there.

Naturally, an awful lot of what’s being made is weird porn. Yes, there are many fanfics that are silly jokes, or character studies, or casefic, or otherwise not porn. There’s also universes of D/s, mpreg, knotting, and (for one-stop shopping) porn-oriented AUs like the Alpha/Omegaverse, in which the way MRAs perceive masculinity becomes literally true and a lot gayer. This is why, when Gail Dines argues that the internet has made men addicted to porn, and influenced men’s sexual fetishes until they make perverse demands on women, who themselves never enjoy porn and thus are free of sexual fetishes, I laugh until I can’t breathe.

Of course, I don’t want to imply that the weird porn of the internet is only restricted to women. Oh goodness, no. All genders and all types are accommodated, bless the internet’s cold black heart. And more and more, especially at the weird ends of the spectrum, people are becoming more than consumers of porn, they’re becoming producers. They’re using the tools technology has given them to engage with their kinks, and they’re drawing and writing and Photoshopping and molding the lovable 3-D people of Poser into configurations that god never intended. But then, who asked god’s opinion anyway?

I am not kidding when I say that I find incredibly esoteric and specialized porn to be one of the most life-affirming things in the world. Even… no, especially the stuff that doesn’t do anything for me. Every giantess crush site, every furry vore gallery, every Shintaro Kago shit-and-dissection-fest, every body-inflation discussion group, every set of specialized apron-fetish films, every dendrophile fan club, every time I learn a new word like “boytaur” or “OT3″ or “docking” or “unbirth”… all these things bring me a genuine and unironic joy.

These things, these kinks, these flights of imagination, are the impassioned obsessions of real people, everyday people. At least one of your coworkers, at least one of your family members. And that’s not creepy, that’s wonderful. Every one of those weird kinks is a shout of human individuality in a world that wants to reduce us down to buying patterns and demographic trends. “I am alive!” they cry. “I am not an emerging new style, I am not a market segment, I am not co-optable, I am not coming soon to a theater near you, I am not approved for all audiences, I am not available in stores, I am damn sure not fun for the whole family and I never will be.”

Maybe you don’t find that life-affirming, but I sure do.

This is why people become makers of porn, participants rather than consumers. If literally all you want is women with too much makeup and hairspray joylessly fucking men with statistically-improbable megadongs in a universe where pubic hair was banished by dark magics in 2001, then “mainstream” porn has you covered and you can safely be a passive consumer. For the non-mainstream other 95% of us, we must look elsewhere. If what you really want is something made by people who understand your desires because they share them, you’re going to wander into a gift economy, and once there, you’re going to be a lot more popular if you contribute.

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