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Since it’s NSFW day we’re revisiting this EXCELLENT column Jason Griffenhagen used to write for us, and it’s risque-est installment (Well, as risque as 11 year old’s wet dreams can be). -ed.

Year: 1988

Age: 11

Item: Oui Magazine

Rites of passage come in varying shades and degrees. The first slow dance, the first kiss, first date are all well and good. This is especially true if your name is Kevin Arnold and all of those things happen with Winnie Cooper. But, in reality, there are few occasions in a young man’s life that are more memorable and momentous as the first time he sees a porno.

I’m not sure how it is with girls or gay guys, but the very idea that pictures of naked ladies existed completely blew my mind. And yes, “naked ladies” was what nude women were referred to at the time, if only because of the following song:

There’s a place in France

Where the Naked Ladies dance

There’s a Hole in the Wall

Where the men can see it all

But they don’t care

Cause they’re in their underwear

I never could figure out why in the world the dudes were in their underwear, but I always was searching, metaphorically at least, for the hole in wall where I could see it all. The first chance came during class in the fifth grade.

This girl named Jessica brought the proverbial Paper Bag full of porn to school one day. Word VERY quickly spread that she had pictures of naked ladies with her. Where she got them, and why in the world she brought them to school, I cannot speculate (ahem, daddy issues). Unfortunately, all I saw was the outside of the bag because she was escorted out of class with all the seriousness and brutal efficiency of a lamb led to slaughter. Needless to say, we didn’t see her for a couple of days. More alarming, I still hadn’t seen a titty.

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I’ve heard other people’s stories of where and when they saw their first porn. Most of the time it’s the mundane tale of stumbling upon your dad’s stash of playboys, or the surprising, but somewhat disturbing story of finding a bag of porn in the woods or by the side of the road. I mean, who in the hell tosses a bag of porn to the side of the road? It’s not like a Penthouse is a dead body. You CAN just deposit it in your trash can, or even better, the trash can at your local place of worship.

“Man, I’m drivin’, and I’m SICK of these Playboys! Should I stop? Hell no! I’m American, and thus in a hurry!” Tosses bag out the window.

Even creepier is the bag o’porn in the woods.

“Man, I need a secret place to hide my porn! Do you know what a good hiding place is? The forest! That way I can go jerk off on a tree, and NEVER get caught! Well, unless a scout troop or the spirit of a Civil War General happens upon me…” Places bag in tree hollow.

But I wasn’t going to wait for fate to gift me with naked ladies. I was going to take the matters into my own hands. Not literally, but you know…

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I lived in a neighborhood that can best be described as Semi-Rural Upper Middle Class. Someone decided a good place for a planned community would be in the middle of a forest in Woodbridge, and thus built a lot of fairly big houses that were nowhere near each other. To put it more clearly; parents had to drive their kids around to trick or treat in this neighborhood.

Due to this, all of the kids in the neighborhood had bikes. Our afternoons were spent aimlessly riding up and down our street, building bike ramps and setting GI Joes on fire in the woods.

Then one day, on the bus ride home from school, we heard rumor of someone having a stash of porn in a tree house. The sticking point was this: it was far beyond our street, a good mile bike ride away. That may not seem far, but as decreed by my parents, anything beyond the street I lived on was verboeten.

But this was naked ladies. This needed to happen.

So we met up at Ryan’s house after briefly checking in at home, and set off on our quest.

A Titty Quest, if you will.

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Something must be said for the days when porn was so readily available. I bet Al Gore wasn’t thinking about giving young kids easy access to porn when he invented the internet, but, nevertheless, that’s what happened. In the past, one had to go to the local video store and embarrassingly venture into the clearly demarked adult section. You just hoped that you didn’t run into your parents on the way out, or even more horrifying, run into your parents in the porn room.

Even still, in the early days of internet dialup access you had to wait tantalizing minutes while the picture of the chick in the sexy nurse’s outfit was slowly revealed to you, pixel by naughty pixel. It was the home version of a peep show, except if someone tried to call you, you got screwed. And not in the good way.

There’s no adventure to it now. Every kid is one mouse click away from naked ladies. This is a dirty, dirty shame, mainly because I would have LOVED that access when I was in fifth grade.

Although the same kid is also one errant mouse click away from seeing chicks fuck horses, so it’s a double edged sword I suppose.

* * * * * * * * *

After huffing and puffing our way up and down hills not meant to be biked on by 5th graders, we arrived at our destination. Unfortunately, it wasn’t going to be easy. This was some serious Goonies/Stand By Me shit.

We had to go over the guardrail, climb down a steep hill, climb up another steep hill through the woods, sneak into someone’s backyard and climb up into the treehouse where the supposed treasure lay. And we didn’t even have a giant deformed retard to help us. At least Kiefer Sutherland or the Fratellis weren’t after us.

So we set out. The going was tough and muddy, as it had just rained that morning. But we made it. Climbed up into the treehouse and HALLELUJAH! There they were: a couple of old Oui magazines stashed in a cubbyhole in the corner.

That’s when we heard a lady yelling at us.

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For those of you who aren’t 80s porno connoisseurs, Oui was the sister magazine that Playboy put out in the heyday of the Pink Wars. The Pink Wars were started when Larry Flint began showing naked ladies in, how should I say…less demure poses. So this was Playboy’s attempt to not sully their “classy” flagship magazine, and still get a piece of the “Dirty Pervert” dollar.

And, as we all know, those dollars are pretty hard to come by. They have a tendency to stick together.

* * * * * * * * *

I don’t know if you’ve ever run through a forest down a muddy hill carrying stolen pornography after being chased away by a middle aged lady stranger, but I highly recommend it. It makes you feel alive.

After escaping certain doom (i.e. a call to our parents) we found a nice little spot in the woods and started to look at the magazines.

Oh, remember how I mentioned it had just rained? Yeah, well, rain and periodicals don’t really mix well. The magazine has a tendency to fall apart.

As we opened the magazines, the pages stuck together and began to disintegrate in our hands. But, being the young optimistic lads we were, we tried our damnedest to keep the pictures intact. Needless to say, the humor of finding a porno mag with the pages stuck together for reasons other than the usual was completely lost on us.

We didn’t care though. We were jackals carefully ripping away at a carcass, devouring the Oui; the torn, soggy pages strewn about the woods like bones picked clean. And knowing that there was no use in keeping any of this, we left the shredded evidence like arrogant camping frat boys’s empties after a case race in a nature reserve. What would the next person think, coming across torn up titty photos and jagged snippets of bad bachelor advice columns? Most likely that a serial killer or some seriously sexually repressed woodland sprite was having issues.

But, if they were 12, they would only be rejoicing at the fact they had just seen a naked lady.

Epilogue

I got grounded later that day, but it wasn’t for looking at porn. After we were done with the mag we decided to light things on fire in an old drain pipe. This wouldn’t normally have been an issue, but we were twelve and stupid, and forgot that we left our bikes by the side of the road. Dan’s mom came by, saw the bikes and the smoke and subsequently called our parents. We had to fess up about burning things, and I was grounded for a week.

No TV usually would have been a terrible punishment, but I had plenty of mental images to keep me busy the next couple of days. Thank god for my pornographic memory.

Wait…I meant photographic…

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