This is a story about porn.
My cousin, Amy and I were driving home from a night in Boston and we decided to stop by her friend Andrew’s house. I had never meet Andrew before so I didn’t know what to expect. When we entered the house, both my cousin’s boyfriend, Dan, and Andrew were smoking pot and drinking beer.
I didn’t care, I’ve seen people doing worse and at least they were staying in for the night. As custom of these kind of gatherings, we slowly but surely drifted to Andrew’s laptop to watch Youtube videos.
We’d gone through a couple of videos when Dan thought of one he wanted to share. It’s a short film of a live action version of Portal. Dan either couldn’t remember the video’s title or he was too drunk to know what to do to find it. Andrew suggested Googling it, using his browser Google Chrome.
With Chrome, you can search for something by typing directly into the navigation bar. You can also type the first couple of letters of frequently visited websites and Chrome will list them only a click away.
Dan found the video by searching “Portal live action.” However, when Dan first started typing, Chrome thought he was looking for Pornhub.com, (as the name suggests) a porn site. Now, this means that Andrew is a frequent visitor of said site. Which is fine, I watch porn too. Everyone does.
What makes this memorable to me is the fact that no one said anything. Again, due to the drugs, I think Dan didn’t notice but Amy and I definitely shared a look. But we didn’t say a word because that’s “guest culture”.
In Angela S. Choi’s debut novel Hello Kitty Must Die she writes that when you are on a boat you have to adhere to “fish culture”, meaning there are certain social rules that only apply to people on boats. She also writes that when you are on a plane, you adhere to “bird culture”. Another example is adjusting your demeanor is at work/school.
And while this porn-larious incident is now a comical memory, it’s made me wonder: if we are constantly changing the way we act to fit into a new “culture”, what version is our true self?
Is it when we are alone, held back by nothing but our own limitation? A, dare I say it, “alone culture”? Or, is it a combination of all the “culture”s meshed together?