Saving Face

The chant "Here we go, Steelers, here we go!" was winding down at the very packed Humphrey's Tavern and Grill on 33rd after the Steelers touched out the Chargers last Monday night. Hip, hip, whatever! Far more interesting than the carousing over the game was the line of questioning I put to the few females in the room taking part in the football-inspired revelry.

Sporting a bit of a nerdy vibe with my green, plastic-framed glasses, I approached a couple of women at a high-top table to get their perspective on pornography.

It was time to check on the validity of the cultural phenom of the moment, that women aren't just taking pole-dancing classes and hosting sex-toy parties but have become the new connoisseurs of smut.

I had my doubts. For example, were the ladies really hip to how nearly every porn loop climaxes with the storied money shot?

No surprise: I found few sisters who raved about the nearly obligatory porn-film finish.

"Do you watch porno?" I asked a 30-something woman named Priscilla who has stylish blond hair and the aura that she might know a thing or two about sex.

She looked floored but answered, "Yes."

"Do you watch it alone?"

"No," she responded. "I watch it with my current partner."

Whose idea was it?

"He introduced it."

"Does he watch it by himself?"

"Not to my knowledge."

"Would it bother you if he did?"

"Not really," she responded blithely.

"Well, then, how much is too much for your man to be watching? Every day? Once a week?"

"I wouldn't want a guy if that's his main focus. Once a week is really pushing it."

"Do you like everything you see, or are you offended by any of it?"

"I'm offended by some of it."

A brunet woman named Michele walked up, and I asked her if she watched blue flicks.

"Yes, I do. I like to."

How often?

"Not as often as I would like. The last time was December."

I didn't think that qualified her as a real porn lover.

"I have a roommate now and no TV in my room."


"So," I continued, "what kind of stuff do you like?"

"Foreplay is what really gets me going. Foreplay sucks in pornos. They just want to get to the goods because that's what it's all about."

Then, getting all Jane Austen about it, she said: "I am more into the romance. If you really care... that's when you're getting all wet inside. Watching it just gives me ideas. I don't normally watch it alone. I watch it with a partner."

So, I put to her, what about money shots in the face?

"That's disrespectful. I don't like disrespect. I did see the Paris Hilton porno, and she was very disrespected."

Thursday night led me to Allstars Sports Bar, where hot-bodied women competing in the Circuit Girls calendar contest ruled the stage... yes, much to the delight of swarthy, T-shirted men with morning shadow and paunches, but still.

The contest was emceed by 93.1 Rock DJ Naughty Natalia, a statuesque blond with a talent for talking up men, who listed off the measurements of a Brazilian contestant named Jessica, asking the crowd, "Is that a holy moly or what? These girls are ridiculously hot. Line 'em up for an eyegasm."

There were plenty of women hanging around the bar, like Shanie, a fit 27-year-old with a pixie haircut who piped up on porno.

"I'm going to be honest. I like porn, I like my toys, and I love my man."

"So, when do you watch porno?" I asked.

"Whenever I buy it, but all his friends steal it."

She was a little nervous about the topic and pleaded, "Don't write about that one time at band camp. I did not put that flute up my pussy."

Oh come on, Shanie; you know I would never do that.

"How," I asked her, "did you get into pornography?"

"I was cleaning the house and found it in my dad's dresser and put it on. I learned that whenever a tape's not labeled, it's porn."

Really wanting a down girl's perspective, I asked her what she liked.

"I like guy on girl, and it's not always anal except for that one I watched where they were shoving a two-liter Pepsi bottle up some chick's box."

Naturally, I asked about facials.

"I don't like that. Personally, I think that's disrespectful. If anyone ever did that to me, I'd tell him to get lost."

I turned my attention to Naughty Natalia, who was doing shots with dudes while the Circuit Girls changed costumes for round two of the contest.

"I love porn," she said. "I like Andrew Blake."

I was all like, "Whoa, you're going into directors and shit. That's serious."

"Yes, that's how into porn I am. I like lesbian porn, and it can be so beautifully done to bring the beauty out in women. Another one is Zazel. The women aren't shitty-looking. You want reality porn, not with positions that are only aimed at male stimulation. A lot of women today are not sexually educated. They don't know how to have an orgasm."

Wow, good point, but that compounds the problem, I realized, and asked, "What about men whose sexuality is weaned on porn, and they watch it and think that stuff works for women. They don't know how to fuck."

"Exactly!" Natalia agreed.

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