I find pornography quite difficult to address; inherently ambigous, seedy, distasteful, it leaves a slightly unsavoury aura around me. I don't actually have much of a view morally, I don't look at it in any form really, and never have. I choose not to, that's all. In the newsagents I never really look at the top shelf, I don't buy dvds or go see porn movies.
On my Sky home TV system I can still choose: to watch any of the 580 rubbish channels of the 600 available, and on my re-organised EPG (electronic programme guide) I can sift through for hours on end, all the way from family viewing to movies and news. Lately, by accident (I pushed the UP button rather than DOWN) I discovered a whole new section, of specialist, shopping and adult groupings. In the adult category it's mostly pay-per-view but there are dozens of free channels. They are very odd.
What they consist of are ladies in a state of semi undress on the phone. They're being called by guys (and gals, apparently) who want telephone sex. OK, that's fine with me. I assume it happens all over the world, but now, courtesy of Sky TV, we can watch the action too.
The "action" is the odd part. You can't hear what's going on, which is strange as it all revolves around telephone calls, but you can make an educated guess as the ladies bump and grind, kneel, lie on their backs, and simulate all manner of things. They appear to shout down the phone, then stick their fingers in their mouths, take their clothes off, then put them back on again, and so on, in a muted carnival of frenzied sex simulation. It's the oddest thing I think I've ever seen and not, in case you're wondering, the slightest bit erotic.
There are rules too. It all kicks off at 9pm but if you stagger in late from an evening out, the content after midnight is considerably enriched with the addition of more frenzied activity, mostly pretend masturbation, a little light girl on girl kissing, and exhortations to dial in, talk to the girls, or even listen in to their conversations. All at considerable cost.
There's no real set dressing. Basic beds are the rule, but occasionally a little creative thinking will produce a coloured shadow, a sofa, or even a desk! During daylight hours, the girls sit demurely, fully clothed but with a little cleavage - so sorry, make that a large amount of cleavage - on show. Smiling to camera and occasionally picking up calls.
I've clearly made a study of this and had to explain to my partner late one night what I was doing after she'd stumbled in at 1am. This was more than a little embarrassing.
I actually find the whole thing rather sad. The ladies vary enormously, and have all manner of tattoos and, er, wrinkles. They are some very attractive young women, and some that are not. Up the far end of the spectrum, there are "northern birds", "real wives" and "over forties" whose selling points are not, evidently, grace and beauty.
To be honest, I don't know why it's there (apart from the fact that it obviously pays) or even how it got there. Who invented it?