The Secret Diary Of A Dial-Up Porn Addict

These days with super-fast broadband you can get your kicks in seconds, in the dial-up age you could be left high and dry for hours at a time...
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These days with super-fast broadband you can get your kicks in seconds, in the dial-up age you could be left high and dry for hours at a time...

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Ah, the dial-up internet… It will forever be remembered by all for producing possibly the most grating sound in history- before Alan Carr came along. For me, and I’d wager most men who were old enough to fully ‘utilise’ the world wide web, though, it’s the memory of the painfully slow, top-to-bottom, bar-by-bar downloading image that really sticks in the memory. You know the one.

First comes her hair, then forehead, eyes, neck, shoulders, tits, upper midriff, lower midriff, and finally… bam! ‘The internet connection is lost’. As a lateral thinking teenager, I soon learned that searching for pictures of women bending over largely circumvented this problem.

Widely available internet came online pretty much at the same time as my sex drive. Those of my age were the first of a pioneering generation whose wanking world had gone digital: we, my friends, were, and always will be, the online porn generation – way better than the ‘Facebook generation’. No longer were older brothers required to pick up mags from the newsagents, or pornographic playing cards bought from Calais on a school trip to France in order to gain suitable wanking material.

There’s a simple way to define someone from our group: we’re the ones who, through extensive classical Pavlovian conditioning, now achieve an immediate hard-on at the sound of a dial-up tone. The great thing was that at the time our parents didn’t have the faintest idea about ‘online parental control’. Possessing a greater capacity for learning new skills, and heavily motivated by access to hardcore porn, we stayed ahead of the game.

For the vast majority of us who knew the basics about cleaning up our internet history, we were free to explore our sexual identity through the bountiful online forest of German S&M, Japanese Bukaki and Brazilian fisting. Totally natural, right?

As with any generation of boys hell-bent on genital flagellation at any opportunity, there were risks involved. Unlike these days, it was rare for a household to contain more than one computer. Ours lived in the front room, and if sat by the computer, you were visible to the neighbours across the road. Looking back at it now, the family directly opposite us probably knew the score when seeing my parents leave the house, followed immediately by the living room curtains being drawn (in broad daylight) only to be re-opened 20 minutes later by a slightly out of breath teenage boy.

I can still remember the anxiety. Nervously checking the clock, with the screen loading at a rate of one pixel per minute, knowing my parents had only gone out to walk the dog, my body confused as to where exactly to pump the blood. The abort procedure was well-drilled; decoy English essay open in Word, my loose trousers ready to hide the strategically placed tissues… as well as my penis, obviously.

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We’ve all had near misses. That urban myth about the mate of a mate who one evening opened his eyes after tugging one out with headphones on to see a mug of steaming hot tea on his bedside table is, I would imagine, exactly that. But I’m sure everyone has their own stories to tell. For me, it was the time my mum asked me if I knew why the phone bill was £12 higher than usual.

Worried, I immediately recalled an occasion the week before when, blinded by a frenzied eagerness to get to the good stuff, I must have clicked on something prime-rate. I scrambled up my stairs, took out the £12 in cash and handed it over to my mum. “You know what, I had a feeling that Gibson guitar website was prime-rate. I’m sorry, I should have checked.”

Now, I am blessed with a wonderfully naïve mother, so I’m pretty sure I got away with it. I know what you’re thinking: ‘You’re the naïve one, mate. They always know’. But my mum is so naïve that she once asked me, when watching Trainspotting, whether they were ‘taking cannabis’.

The other incident is one I’m sure many can relate to. Borrowing a game-changing German porn VHS from my mate, one evening I left it in the video player in the living room. Rushing home from school in a panic the next day, I found it still in the machine. My dad had been home all day (he worked nights). To this day I don’t know whether he found it/used it. To me, it seems most likely he didn’t find it, as if he had done, he would surely have ‘confiscated’ it from me, and promised not to tell my mum.

Things have obviously since evolved beyond recognition. Sometimes, as I’m seamlessly toggling between multiple Incognito Chrome tabs, having prepared a series of streaming videos for pre-designated stages of self-love, I think to myself ‘If only I could bring this level of focus and efficiency into the workplace’ (before double-checking in a moment of panic that I’m not at work and in danger of getting my third warning).

With the means and honed expertise necessary to tailor our masturbatory experience to our personal specifications, it’s amazing to think back to how exciting a semi-naked woman on the side of a playing card looked. In the same way, I suppose, that Victorian-era men must have closed their eyes and choked one off to the thought of exposed ankles, those little pre-broadband Gif images that jumped between two frames- cock in, cock out-, producing a distinctly mechanical estimation at shagging, blew my mind when it was the best thing on offer.

In twenty years’ time, no doubt, horny teenagers won’t be able to comprehend how a man could get himself off without the personally designed tits of a 3D hologram bouncing in front of their face. And I’m sure I’ll be right there with them… not literally, obviously; I’ll be in my own cutting edge masturbatorium.

Author’s note: I would just like to say this article has been a pleasure to research.