As a teenager, I was a clerk at a rental shop called Cairo Video. It was a small town store which, in a small town kind of way, was my first job in show business. Akin to experiencing Paris in the '20s, I was employed there during a Camelot era of renting: a glorious time when VHS and DVDs were simultaneously popular. (Remember those VHS players that also had a DVD drive? Whoa.) There were also murmurs of something called a Blu-ray, but whoever discussed them were laughed out of town for such foolishness. Smaller and also, blue? Talk like that could get you tried for treason.

One of my most vivid memories at the video store, aside from my boss yelling at me on my first day for sitting down and reading a book when there were floors to be swept and VHS's of The Day After Tomorrow to be rewound, was The Binder. This was essentially a photo album that lived under our counter full of old, folded VHS cases of the store's selection of adult content. It was available only upon request, like guacamole. I think maybe only two grizzled men requested access to The Binder my entire tenure working there, because looking back, asking a nerdy high schooler if you can look at porn is probably the most demoralizing experience imaginable. That's second only to if you are that nerdy high schooler on the receiving end of that question from a trucker in his 50s. Even creepier, porn had long been online by then too. In hindsight, I should have worn rubber gloves whenever handling The Binder.

At the risk of sounding like an elderly man who has one foot in a nursing home bedpan, porn has grown by leaps and bounds since those heady Binder days. I'm referring to the streaming age right up to the proliferation of social media. Much like salmon swimming upstream, adult entertainment has always found a way, no matter the technology. It takes hold so quickly, it's as if everything is invented with the express idea as a fresh way to deliver porn. I've heard Guttenberg himself came up with the printing press after he needed a way to show his buddies a really hot pictorial between two blacksmiths. And whatever new device Apple is developing right now in Cupertino, it's probably being tested with some real raunchy amateur stuff.

Perhaps the very latest way to find and consume porn is through Twitter. Yes, I'm referring to the social media platform responsible for the rise and fall of both Donald Trump and Chrissy Teigen. If you can manage to sift through the manure heaps of misinformation, narcissistic rambling, bad jokes, memes, dour headlines, celebrity rantings, live tweets of sports minutia, Yashar Ali, griping, discourse about the latest series you must watch, BTS fans, there's a ton of porn lurking just below the surface.

How does one access Porn Twitter? That's a great question. Honestly, I'm not even sure how I discovered it in the first place. It's not like you can simply search for it. No, Twitter doesn't make it that easy. I guess it's like entering Narnia through your wardrobe. I was pretty much looking for a pair of old shoes and then the next thing you know, I'm in a magical land eating Turkish Delights with a centaur. And while there are no horse-people on Porn Twitter (scratch that, there actually probably are), here in sex-Narnia, there are thousands of accounts filled to the brim with gratuitous images and videos. Hugh Hefner himself would be impressed at the immensity, if he were still both virile and alive.

"No," you say. "I'm serious, man. How do I find Porn Twitter? For the love of God, tell me!" I personally found it by noticing a fairly innocuous account I follow "liked" a porn video. From there, I simply looked at what other accounts had liked and retweeted said video, and boom! Suddenly I had a starter kit of hundreds of accounts at my disposal. If you're not as lucky as me, it could help being as specific as possible when you type in the content you're yearning for in the search bar. Twitter does have some filtering action going on, but occasionally some pictures and videos sneak through. The dam breaks when you find just one picture or video you like.

If, after all this, you still can't find it, you can always either just ask your creepiest co-worker what their favorite Porn Twitter accounts are, or just fast forward to all of the sex scenes on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

In my assessment of exactly why Twitter has become a porn hotbed, a hypothesis of which will no doubt earn me a Pulitzer Prize, my mere observations point to a few key occurrences which will be studied by historians (while no doubt aroused), for years to come. For one, there was that stunning day when Tumblr strutted into irrelevance when they banned all porn accounts. Then consider the rise of OnlyFans, the banishment of pirated content from PornHub, and, much like everything else in our Godforsaken reality, our pandemic-induced quarantine. What do people who are afraid of human contact do when pushed into their homes for months on end? They masturbate. And ladies and gentlemen, the people have to masturbate to something. Don't get me wrong: since Twitter began however many years ago, porn stars have always had accounts. But all they posted were promos and teasers for content offsite. Now, there's profile after profile awash with a curated array of clips and pictures, the majority of them fan-created and hailing from around the world. Marshall McLuhan was right: we are living in a global porn village.

It used to be that porn consisted of big budget productions filmed at mansions. They had plotlines like: a delivery person arrives with a pizza and before you know it, him and the baby sitter are having sex and somehow the mom joins in, and then the neighbor, all to the soundtrack of groovy synths and echoing drums. These clips were also beautifully lit, because the one thing horny viewers care about while watching two people have sex is the cinematography. Porn Twitter, however, is a more lowbrow affair. Much like technology has democratized filmmaking, it has also made porn much easier to produce. If you have an iPhone and private parts, congratulations! You too can be a porn star in 2021! And gone are the days when porn videos are 60, 30 or even 20 minutes long. Today, even a ten-minute video on Porn Twitter seems like the length of the Lord of the Rings series.

There is a dark side, though (cue ominous music). The deep recesses of Porn Twitter are like those tables on the street in Times Square full of purses and belts: there's a ton of stolen stuff. I'm talkin' movie clips, OnlyFans screengrabs, leaked celebrity nudes, Snapchat captures, magazine scans and all sorts of other morally dubious content. In fact, it seems like all of the pirated videos that PornHub banned just got a U-Haul and moved over to Twitter. There's also an endless amount of content, with browsing sessions a black hole of time. You can sit down and scroll through, skipping everything you don't like and looking at everything you do. Before you know it, it's three days later and you haven't shaved, showered or eaten. (Doctors at the World Health Organization have tried to study this phenomenon until they, too, lost track of time and began masturbating.)

Perhaps the most devious aspect of Porn Twitter is that unless one has a decoy account to surf anonymously (that is, a completely blank profile where the username is just a bunch of numbers), some people throw caution to the wind and surf on their personal or work accounts, being extraordinarily careful to not accidentally favorite or retweet something dirty. It's like those scenes in movies when someone is tip-toeing around to try to avoid setting off a burglar alarm during a heist, but if the burglar had their penis in their hand. And if you're wondering what happens when one accidentally cross-contaminantes their digital sexual urges with work, well just ask poor Jeffrey Toobin.

At the same time, shame does not exist here if you own it. The Twitter account for a retired, respected journalist comes to mind. I've seen him retweet and favorite extremely smutty porn. The first time I saw his account associated with nudity, I thought he made a mistake. I realized it was all on purpose when, when retweeting a clip of a penis absolutely squirting semen, he wrote, and this is a direct quote: "Glug glug glug." And honestly, good for him. To that eloquent point, some may say that stripping online for money isn't a distinguished profession. To that I counter, being an internet personality in general is not a distinguished profession. Taking off your clothes for your job is actual work.

There's no telling when Twitter will go the way of Tumblr and PornHub and start putting their foot down. So we may as well enjoy the golden age while we can. Then again, CEO Jack Dorsey looks like all he does is collect porn in his parents' basement, so it may be here to stay. Plus, it's a boon to the platform itself. Twitter without porn would be like Facebook if all of our moms and aunts quit. So until then, have fun! Go crazy. Be safe. Keep track of time. And enjoy Porn Twitter until whenever the next great technological achievement occurs.

Photo via Getty

You May Also Like