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A Babe in Pornland
by Josh Bernstein

I make men jerk off. To find out how, stroll down to your favorite smut shop. Between the dildo displays and blowup doll reside the magazines. Peruse the periodicals and select a copy of, say, Jugs. The pictures of sprawling women and fat nipples are nice, aren’t they? But what about the words, the one-liners on every page? Someone’s got to write the words. And that someone is me.

My name is Josh and I’m a short, hairy, mildly unattractive 23-year-old writer at a porn publishing company. I graduated from college a little over a year ago. With a journalism degree and a dream to work for a magazine in hand, I left the Midwest for New York City, the pulmonary artery of the publishing world.

I figured, one glance at my resume, featuring experience as a copyeditor at a small daily newspaper, where I devised hard-hitting headlines such as 100-Year-Old Still Flying Friendly Skies and Where’s the Beef? Back on America’s Dinner Table would score me a position at Time or Rolling Stone.

Yes, idealism is a grand thing. After three months of fruitless searching and recitations of "you need more experience," my dreams vamoosed and I cursed the cursed job market. Visions of me, a piece of cardboard tied with a grubby shoelace around my neck, WILL COPYEDIT FOR FOOD scrawled in grammatically correct manuscript, tangoed through my mind. So to score the dough to buy beer and numb the failure, I took zombifying temp jobs, working as secretary in myriad Fortune 500 firms. Then, I got a phone call.

A friend informed me that I could star at the same porn publishing company employing her as a proofreader. Weighing my morals and her assurance that editing sex was funny, I leapt at the opportunity. After a brief interview, the gist of which was:

"When can you start?"

"Next week."

"We’ll see you then."

I find myself writing this to you.

Sitting at my desk, I soak in the scenery: two aging editors in need of caffeine and a vacant secretary are the only decorations. The bare office–which could double for an accountant’s cubicle–is bereft of any photos or family memorabilia. No one wants to admit they work here. The only picture in sight is that of an 18-year-old blonde pinching her nipples and licking her lips. I’m trying to write a catch phrase along the lines of, "My tiny pussy is hungry for cock!"

My diminutive company employs eight people, but goes under two names. They are Worldwide Publications, which traffics in magazines, and Valley Publishing. The latter division concerns itself with digests, diminutive newsprint tomes filled with grainy images of women drinking sperm while being anally violated and men with penises the size of small domesticated animals.

Trust me, it does a number on the mind.

Valley Publishers has a roster of 23 chapbooks, making my company the largest purveyor of filthy stories in this U S of porn lovin’ A. Books range from Horny Housewives, which explores faithless spouses engaging in numerous trysts with every available male, from delivery men with, of course, foot-long dicks to neighbor boys who just wanted to borrow a cup of sugar, but, "oh yes, Ms. Johnson, your breasts are gorgeous and you can rip my virginity from me like the tag from a new shirt," to the most dubious of titles, Family Touch, concerning itself with moms and dads and uncles–kinky kinfolk–who thrust into and suck off relatives in such a nonchalant manner you’d think incest is a taboo whose lawlessness has expired. Now, before I trudge further, the family business merits further exploration.

This tawdry title, one of eight like-minded books (Family Fantasy, Family Touch, Homestyle Affairs, Best of Family Secrets, Best of Family Taboos, and Best of Family Touch) my company purveys, are our biggest sellers. Countrywide, and not just in confederate-sympathizing states, incest is flying off bookshelves and into bedrooms of individuals whose hands caress members and diddle crotches whilst dreaming about poking Aunt Rita’s tush and riding Uncle Charlie like a pogo stick.

Makes every family reunion and grandmotherly hug a bit dirtier, doesn’t it?

A "real reader," who describes his or her improbable sexual conquest in lurid detail, sends in each story and letter. Of course there’s no reader–just me, a newly minted 23-year-old who’s been laid but thrice in his non-sexually advantageous life playing porn lord as I edit, chop, and paste Valley Publishing’s stupefying cache of porn from the 70s. But just because I don’t do the humpty dance doesn’t mean I can’t edit the literary bouncybouncy.

Though I don’t log much time between the sheets, I have a vivid imagination and a merit badge in jerking off. As a teen, I registered considerable hours watching Skinemax and HBO’s Real Sex series. Besides, I had a six-year stint when I walked around with a raging hard-on, stealing copies of Hustler and Playboy to quiet the throb. My lack of getting laid is my fault. By dint of shyness and an inability to let someone touch my peepee unless alcohol has greased my senses, I’m a sexual hermit.

But who needs to make the beast with two backs while employed in porn? Especially when Valley Publishing owns that mind-boggling hoard of primo stroke-off material, all written when Nixon, Carter, and the forgettable Ford were commanders-in-chief.

Back in disco and bellbottoms’ heyday, a nation not yet plagued by AIDS was enamored with the ol’ in-out. Free nookie spilled into the mainstream and that, combined with the Pill and the All-American fun of an orgasm, caused ‘mericans to fuck. Following my convoluted sense, it follows that if a country is fucking, then the writers are gonna be scribbling about sex. (Poke holes in this logic later over coffee. This piece’ll read better if you don’t stop to think all that much.) So an army of faceless, and possibly sexless, authors set to filling their coffers with tales of frenzied passion.

Unfortunately for the writers, the porn business, though hungry for a good hump story, didn’t shell out the dead presidents. Writers were paid pennies per word and, by doing the math for a 2,000 word story: (2000x$.01=$20) you’ll see they weren’t getting diddly. But the scribes were crafty. The tales were penned hastily with superfluous words padding both the action and wallets.

How is the verbose situation remedied? Send me to the rescue!

When a story rambles, like the repair man arriving and actually checking out the washing machine before the housewife spins his cycle, I sic my red pen on the prose and hack away at extraneous words, leaving it lean and mean.

You can call it sex.

And if the screwing isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, I, using my boyhood Skinemax imagination, ratchet up the raunchiness. Here are a few of my favorites.

"My son likes eating my pussy better than my homemade apple pie."

"She drank enough cum last night to feed Luxemburg for a week."

"I can gum your pecker like your grandpa liked it, Timmy."

"I love riding dad’s divorced dick."

I take pleasure in making readers cringe, as only gutter level rates a reaction from me.

Cringing aside, here’s where the second problem slides in. Like I mentioned before, lava lamps were hot shit when Valley Publishing’s yarns were spun, meaning another of my duties involves taking the antiquated stories and bringing the shenanigans into the 21st century: land of computers, DVD, and CD players.

Here’s another example of something I fixed.

"I read a telegram from my friend, John, and he was having a rough time of it, so I immediately drove down to the Western Union to send him a message telling him I’d visit him that weekend."

WRONG.

In this technologically revolutionized era, telegrams are archaic and only used in period movies with the budget to recreate a jaunt to a historically accurate Western Union. When I get my hands on the copy, telegrams metamorphoses into e-mail, thereby crushing the anachronism and saving the historically inaccurate day. Even with anachronisms safely vanquished, the job still turns into a rancid pretzel, twisted, not tasty.

The second part of my company, Worldwide Publications, could publish anything–SAT study guides, sci-fi novels, Cajun cookbooks. And though I’d like to edit something that my mom could proudly show her friends, like Antiques Today, my company only knows one thing and knows it well. I dip my finger in two pornographic magazines, Cuddles and Hot Chocolate.

While Cuddles is for enthusiasts of 18-year-old white girls, Hot Chocolate isn’t for Sarah, your Hershey-loving auntie. It’s for aficionados of skanky, ebony queens looking like tires on their third retread. The magazine does very well in the Netherlands. And me, the whiteywhite white boy writes copy for the pictorials, looking at images of women named Desire with bananas shoved up their coochies and writing, "Since my hungry chocolate cunt couldn’t have your cock for dinner, I had this banana."

I hope it never gets out that this unattractive man who doesn’t get any is the voice of Shaniqua, a woman saying, "Make me beg like the bitch I am." If the truth slid out to the readership (all 10,000 of ‘em), the illusion that Shaniqua really likes taking it up the butt would burst, leaving a lot of lonely men terminally limp.

Besides pretending to be naked black women, I also write video reviews. Bootylicious Proper Hos is just one title I’ve criticized in a tantalizing way that still makes you want to rent the flick. I usually scan the box cover and make up some balderdash about how I didn’t stop jacking off from the first scene to the last. It’s hard to be objective considering every porno is inherently bad. When the actresses "act," you realize there’s a reason they’re not gracing Hollywood’s celluloid reels and why their orifices are crammed with cock.

But most readers are not so concerned with words as images of cunts and asses, which they use as fodder while they ejaculate into a Fifi rag, the homemade, MacGyver-esque approximation of a vagina. Thank you, prison.

The incarcerated often espouse their love for Hot Chocolate in detailed letters requesting the addresses of the models, which are filed in the dumpster. I’m all for prisoners reaching out and touching someone, but I’d rather like it if their missives remained in the penal system. Ha! Penal system.

Where, oh where, has my little sense of humor gone? You know, when I first signed up for my porn tour of duty, my friend assured me it would be funny, a regular dose of laughing gas without the gas. Somedays it’s a laugh-in, but more and more it’s not.

When I tell people I traffic in pornography, they immediately conjure up images of disrobed porn stars cavorting through the office, providing complimentary blowjobs on coffee breaks. There are no XXX stars. This isn’t a glamorous jobs. I hardly masturbate anymore.

Like I’ve mentioned, porn does a number on my mind. I’ve never been the most affectionate kid, preferring a soul-affirming high-five to a hug. Over the years, though, I’ve progressed to firm handshakes and chest bumps. As Bill Murray says in What About Bob?, "Baby steps...baby steps...I’m taking baby steps!"

Too bad all those years of self-taught intimacy are erased daily by the sheer number of cocks and cunts I edit. Each time a stud impales a woman on his surging 10-incher, causing her to groan with eternal pleasure, a dab of my intimacy dies. When women are objectified as cum receptacles, and I’m the one making them so, I grow a little disturbed, nay numb.

At the end of a day at the porn factory, the last thing I want to do is think of a woman in any way but platonic. It’s like a coal miner coming home from a long, dangerous day excavating coal, and his wife wants him to head out to the family claim to knock out a few nuggets to heat the stove. Yeah. Just like that.

No. Walking around after work I see thousands of girls providing glimpses of flesh-–scooped necklines, miniskirts, midriff-baring shirts–and my pulse rates a resting rate. Going home and watching TV snow is preferable to anything that might make me orgasm. I don’t get stiff until Sunday night. Pretty sad for a guy who at one time would get a hard-on watching women’s golf.

Now this train of thought leads somewhere not-so interesting, namely Josh’s land o’ love. It’s not a voyeur’s wet dream. Under the covers, I lose sexual urges within minutes and just go through motions I once practiced. Recently, a girl who seduced me with her charms and gin and tonics had the misfortune of bringing me back to her apartment.

We were in bed, kissing and rubbing and doing things that are supposed to feel so good, when I was struck by the thought that eating her out would be a good idea. Down I went, licking and nibbling, her moaning, when I started thinking about how a character in one of my stories would accomplish this act.

He’d be "chowing down on her muff like he hadn’t eaten for months, sucking on her clit like a miniature popsicle as her juices cascaded down his chin."

Thinking about that while performing a sumpin’ on her thing, I lost it. I’d freely associated my lapping with the story, with incest, and the girl had black hair, like my mom, so you can see where this run-on goes. Still, I performed my duty until my hair was grabbed and my head yanked from her spit-soaked crotch. Then she blew me and I fell asleep, feeling like a dirty, dirty boy.


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