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Guys Who Lived Before The Era Of Digital Porn Are Explaining The Struggle To Gen Z

Before porn, there was nothing. No light. No one dreamed. There was an empty void in the hearts of libidinous people everywhere, and that hole was shaped like porn. Thankfully, there are those of us who remember digging in a forest to find dirty magazines in a waterproof box. We lived to tell the tale.

The world was different then. The only pornography on the internet took several minutes to load. You waited for the image to show up on the screen, the way you might watch a very slow printer spit out a document line by line. Or, god forbid, you used your imagination. Or you waited for a movie on premium cable to show a butt or a boob. These were the only options.

One man on Reddit asked men born before the era of streaming if they could share what it was like to live before porn was easy to find. The results? Men shared their fondest memories.

Here are the hilarious ways men used to find porn before the internet provided it:


1. The 30-minute wait of the early internet.

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2. Sneaking around in your own home.

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3. You needed to hire someone from the AV Club.

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4. Nude scenes in movies used to matter.

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5. Squiggle vision was must-see TV.

“I used to jerkoff to the playboy channel. We didn’t get it, I’d watch the scrambled feed. I guess I was just listening to it. God, I’m fucking old.” –slimpickens

6. The commercials were enough sometimes.

“The late night phone sex commercials on cable. Or the Girls Gone Wild informercials…Such different times.” –boisonberrysoup

7. Hiding the evidence was important.

“Having to rewind the VHS tape back to where it was and put it all the way back in the attic.” –activate88

8. Thank God for the semi-annual sale.

“It’s impossible to overstate how critical the Victoria’s Secret catalogue was.” –Tree_Weasel

9. Thank God for… bras, I guess.

“Sears catalogue…” –OrphanCrippler51

10. The trash stash.

“Every once in a while you would find someone’s old stash of porn in the trash.” –Bryan_Mills2020

11. This is why I joined Boy Scouts.

“I have fond memories spending hours as a tween and young teen of foraging for wild porn in the woods near my house.” –theworldisarhombus

12. Professional Wrestling has a dual purpose.

“WWE divas were basically my pornstars in my teens.” –Jack1715

13. The dead of night.

“If you were so lucky to have a satellite dish with the basic channel package you could be brave and sneak up at midnight, turn off the audio on the tv and tune in to the channel. The one that just went from one movie to another, but at 00:00, that movie was a porno.” –hypedstoic

14. Fond memories from school.

“Oh man did me and my friend fuck up when we were in 6th grade. Basically this was the early part of the internet where schools didn’t restrict anything on the computers and basically you could google (it might’ve been yahoo, not sure it was like 2004) anything.

My buddy looked up Pamela Anderson and she was pretty popular still and we decided to print a photo of her nude (like playboy I think). Problem was, we chose the office printer where the administration is. ALSO when you printed it showed the login on the bottom on the print. Cue mission impossible style operation of us going to the main office and distracting the main receptionist while we claim to be grabbing a print from our teacher. Still stressful thinking about to this day.” –thebetterpolitician

15. Using what little internet you had.

“I was class of ’06 for highschool, but I grew up with cheap internet 56k dial up when dsl was mainstream. I remember setting 2 minute porno clips to download from kazaa and limewire and they would take over 10 hours just for me to watch that short clip and beat off to the blurriest pussy I’ve ever seen.” –Jimbob209

16. Porn was an inspiration to some.

“I got my hands on a cd-rom with adult content when I was like 15.

You needed to call a premium-rate number and pay some extra by credit card to get a code that you entered in the embleded software that, finally, displayed the desired content.

Of course, by the very nature of the medium, all the information needed to validate the codes needed to be on the disc. Which meant that there was either a logical schema or a list of codes somewhere in there.

I found the file.

That was my first encounter with cryptography. It was some kind of Caesar cipher, maybe a Vigenère cipher. I had no idea what I was doing, but pretty dedicated to doing it.

Took me a whole afternoon to bruteforce the cipher using raw brainpower, paper and a pencil. Content wasn’t as good as the process to gain access to it.

And now I’m a software engineer :)” –Ornux

17. Porn from other countries is important.

“I lived in the middle east, and the “easiest” way to watch porn was to turn your satellite dish to the European Hotbird Satellite, and our parents knew better than to have an automatic rotation device so we had to do it manually.

I waited till every one was asleep and then sneaked to the roof, unscrewed the Dish and rotated it manually to the marks I already drew on the floor with a chalk to mark the right direction of the European satellite, screwed the dish back and zoomed down stairs to start my erotic journey. Once the “Job” was done I had to return the dish to its fucking original position, and by that time we all know that the motivation is gone, but I had to do it to avoid the embarrassment next day.

32 years old today and I wish I have half the motivation I had back then to do anything now.” –XBitmapX

18. This one I’ve never heard of, but I support the effort.

“Used to sneak off and collect condom boxes from shady beaches post school where couples came to do the deed. I dont know… But back then, every condom packet had a nude picture inside. The most grossed out story was when a guy pulled a condom box out of the gutter, washed it, and brought it to the meet.” –sandehjanak

19. Ye old gas station bathroom porn.

“When I was 12 I walked to a friends house about a mile away. There was a gas station on the way there so I stopped to get a drink and use the bathroom. Even though I had lived in the same town pretty much my whole life, i had never stopped at this gas station before, let alone use the bathroom. Well they had a coin machine on the wall and it had a silhouette of a woman with a question mark in front of it. Curious I threw a quarter in there and out popped a single picture of a nude woman. She was a red head with big tits. That was the first “porn” image i ever saw and it is forever ingrained in my memory.” –Decaposaurus

20. Old school computer pornography.

“A friend of mine gave me a 300 mb floppy with three 10 second videos on it. It was precious to me.” –PM_Me_Shaved_Puss

21. This person deserves a medal.

“Early 90’s get home from school. Call parents on land line to confirm that they are still at work and use bogus excuse for said call. Commando roll into parents bedroom. Survey room for bugs and line traps. Open closet door with the precision and care of a landmine extraction specialist. Jot down notes on sketch paper of exactly how the porn VHS tapes are sitting in the top of the closet. Another commando roll. Insert VHS tapes into VHS player. Jot down time stamp information on sketch paper so I can rewind the tapes to exactly where they were at when they were started (big thanks to Ferris for this idea). Do the deed. Check notes. Deep breath. Reset time on videos to the exact second. Third commando roll. Check notes. Place videos back perfectly. Finish my homework early with a passion that only early teenage post-masturbation guilt can fuel.” –Post_Type

Godspeed, young people.