I was never the teenager with the stacks of Playboy underneath the mattress, or the kid with the binoculars outside the YWCA. I have yet to master the art of “the ogle”. I just get attracted to women as women, and pictures, to me, I guess, are just pictures.
Which makes it weird that I’m partly responsible for a new genre of pornography.
I’ll have to explain this a little bit, I know. Uh, a few years back, I had a girlfriend. She was big on causes. She wanted to help, women, the poor, Cubans, and any other group that would be offended if I left them out of this list. And she felt strongly that pornography contributed to violence against women. One day, after glimpsing a porn shop “documentary” on a pay cable channel. Either Showtime, Cinemax, or HBO. Which she called, Blowtime, Skinemax, and HB-Ho. Or if she’s feeling really verbose, “Ho Box Office.” Anyway, after watching the program, she knew it was time to take matters into her own hands.
So she jumped in the car, picked me up, and told me that she had a revelation; she knew how to stop porn. So we sped off, and the first place we stopped, was a craft supply store. I didn’t know why.
I waited in the car, and a few minutes later, she came running out of the store with a small brown paper bag. She got in the car, and we drove to the nearest adult bookstore. As we walked around back to the door, she grabbed my hand and put a pile of something in it. I looked down, and saw googley eyes.
I don’t think googley is really a word, but you know what I’m talking about. They are craft eyes for cartoonish projects. For instance, glue a few styrofoam balls in a row, then put two eyes on one end, and you have a caterpillar. Glue two eyes to a green pipe cleaner, and you have a tapeworm.
But what my girlfriend wanted me to do was to glue these googley eyes over the eyes of the nude women in these magazines. With big oscillating eyes, these women would look far from attractive, and she felt that it would make people think twice about picking up a pornographic magazine.
So we went in, and I started discreetly picking up magazines and sticking eyes inside. There weren’t many people there, and those that were were too distracted to notice our actions. After I ran out, I met up with my girlfriend and we left.
We hit a few more porn shops that day, and I was feeling a little weird about the whole thing. I was getting good at it, too, though, matching up the right googley eye size for the photos. At the last store we hit, though, this guy starts staring at me right after I glued two eyes in. He starts walking over to me, and I quickly turn the page, flipping the magazine on its side. Of course, it was the letters section.
Anyway, the guy looks at me and says, “Can you turn it back a page.” I figured I’d been caught, and since this wasn’t my idea anyway, I didn’t want to put up too much of a fight. So I turned to the googley eye page, and he looks at it. He starts nodding his head, and he says, “Actually, that’s kinda hot.”
I just stared at the guy. In the meantime, he takes the magazine up to the counter and actually buys it, googley eyes and all. My head was spinning, and after that my girlfriend and I just drove back home.
I thought to myself, that had to be an anomaly. No one else is going to consider googley eyes to be attractive. That guy was probably just joking around. And eventually, after I repeated this to myself enough, I managed to put the whole thing out of my mind.
Anyway, a few months passed, during which my girlfriend and I broke up. Which isn’t really surprising, because any relationship with a woman who forces you to vandalize smut magazines isn’t exactly comfy over the long term. But we readjusted comfortably, and at this point I was on my couch watching television. I flipped past Blowtime, and they were showing another one of their pornographic documentaries, and the subject of this segment was on the popularity of googley eye pornography. I know at this point in the story you’re not surprised. But I sure was.
The show was quite enamoured with this new fetish. Apparently people wrote letters to the editors of these defaced magazines, saying how much they loved the googley eyes. The editors began putting in the eyes on their own, and subscriptions to the magazines had skyrocketed. People thought it was kinky, and the porn industry was more than willing to accommodate their wishes. And apparently the arts and crafts industry liked it, too.
These eyes made their way into other areas of porn. It branched out into videos, blow-up dolls, even DVDs with alternate googley eye overlays. They even made this apparatus for couples — “Honey, could you put on the goggles?”
After I saw this, I gave my ex-girlfriend a call. I told her, our porn shop sabotage backfired in a big way. I asked her if she saw the show. She said, yeah. I said, can you believe that? She said, yeah, I think it’s great. I stopped for a minute, then asked her why. She said, “Because of this, I got hired as VP of marketing for Salacious Video International.” She’s got a six figure job and recognition as one of the most creative minds in the porn industry.
So she had a change of heart, apparently. But I’d like to think I haven’t changed. I thought her original idea was creepy, and I think the end result is even creepier. I’ve learned one lesson though. I will never again date any woman who has the slightest interest in arts and crafts.