Full autist that I am, once at a house party during freshman year of high school, I straight up asked a junior guy, “Do you know where I can find good porn? Like, everything I find is garbage.” He was taken aback (we didn’t know each other very well) and didn’t really answer.

The same way people mindlessly eat fast food that gives them the shits, watch Hollywood action flicks that melt their brains, and don pricey loafers because some fag in Milan told them to, most people will jerk off to whatever you put in front of them. Swine all. Sheep for the slaughter.

But, statistically speaking, given how much porn is made, shouldn’t at least some of it be good?

Yes, if math were real, that would be true.

So why is all porn bad? It should be simplest thing in the world, really. Just watch hot people have hot sex. What could go wrong?

Here’s the dirty secret: porn sucks because it is about fucking.

No creative endeavor is ever about what it’s about; that’s the point.

Most people get this when it comes to sci-fi, so we’ll start there.

George Orwell’s 1984 is not popular because people think that either in the future, or in the year 1984, the world will be divided up into three big ass empires that lazily fight one another. Nah. 1984 is not about 1984 or the future, it’s about now. It’s about how the suck of now could become a way bigger suck later. The accentuated suck depicted in that book makes us think more critically about the present suck. How about Star Wars? Is it about a fucked-up family you’ve never met that shaped the fate of galaxy you’ve never been to? No. It’s about heroism, bravery, battling evil, and so on.

All of this is true of things that aren’t sci-fi, too. Westerns aren’t about cowboys and Indians. They are about masculinity, isolation, and overwhelming odds. Gilmore Girls isn’t about two eccentric New Englanders. It’s about multi-generational relationships between women and their infinite complexities. It’s about the fall and rise of family pride. It’s about aspirations and the sacrifices that fulfilling them entail.

So what’s the porn you regularly watch really about? Nothing, not a goddamn thing. It’s empty and flat because there’s nothing beneath the surface: no allegories, no human universals, no emotion, no investment. It’s like watching people you don’t know eat food you like. Even if your absolute favorite food in the world is medium-rare steak, there’s a pretty profound limit to how cool it would be to watch randos eat it slowly and methodically…or quickly and ravenously, as the case may be. Same with an activity you like. Love lounging about tropical beaches? That’s cool. Wanna watch people you don’t know doing just that in 4K? Probably not, not really, anyway.

That’s what porn is. People you don’t know doing shit you like doing.

What a stupid fucking idea.

For porn to be any good, it has to stop being about sex.

It could be about any number of other things and be great. Power, most especially, but shame, discovery, and vengeance, too.

This is the foremost problem with Brazzers, whose style is most emblematic of porn in our time.

Just about every set-up in every Brazzers production has an IQ lower than Forrest Gump’s. Their scenarios are seemingly designed to be as unrealistic and unrelatable as possible. A woman walks into a store and starts fiendishly masturbating. The clerk calls the cops. An officer arrives and hears that the woman is simply at her wit’s end in her quest for some Big Meaty Cock™. And well, well, well, the copper’s got just that: BANG! Frankly, it’s more realistic to think that for at least the last 36 years, the world has been ruled by three sprawling totalitarian empires.

There’s just no “there” there, and it doesn’t matter what your definition of “is” is.

As the saying goes, “everything is about sex. Except sex. Sex is about power.” In the world of Brazzers, though, there is no “everything.” There is nothing except sex, and that sex is not about power. Nor is it about any of the other things it’s normally about: shame, discovery, and vengeance.

Sex is enrapturingly meaningful because humans do it, and porn is generally insistent on removing every trace of humanity from whatever fleshy exchange lies in front of the camera lens. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say you might as well watch animals fuck.

Within my own sexual history, one time that really stands out was shortly after high school when I was still with my first sweetheart. I was absolutely pounding away at her on my bed in missionary, fully in the zone, having the time of my life. She was moaning loud enough for aliens to determine that our planet is inhabited, and I could feel the load in my sack reaching full blossom and expanding exponentially with each fresh pump. The time was coming and I could feel it, I was only going to be able to last another few thrusts, and with no condom, no birth control, and no money for Plan B, an exit plan was do or die. On my last push, I started to shoot on my way out, so I just grabbed it by the base and pointed it at her face. The sex had been so fucking hot that I wasn’t even jerking off; I was just shooting gobs and gobs of cum, and I was so young, so virile, and so turned on that despite the distance, the first three rounds drenched her beautiful face and the fourth the drab backboard behind her. The invisible hand of eroticism kept working up and down my shaft though, and I kept shooting even after that, just with less and less distance: first on her collarbone and neck, then her cute tits, then her perfect stomach.

It was fucking incredible, easily one of the hardest times I’ve ever cum, and one of the only times my dick just started shooting and kept going without me stroking it or going in and out of whatever hole. The money shot itself was amazing, too. She was fucking drenched. Usually, you have to choose between the various obvious parts to dump your guys, but this time, it was an all-in-one.

But here’s the thing: the whole time I was dousing her, she was begging me to put it back in her and make her a mother. The second that first round made impact, she started up with, “Put it back in me, cum in me, cum in my pussy, make me a mommy.” She had already cum a million times and was usually down with getting a good facial. But for her, this really intense fuck right after we’d graduated with no clear life plans, this epic bang with someone she loved so much—who loved her so much—kicked on her woman genes and translated into: knock me up, love me forever, prove it, mean it. Have it all become something more than just us right now together, as magical as it might be, let’s take it to the next tier of existence.

I hadn’t thought of it that way; wasn’t on the same wavelength. I loved her, I really did. But I wasn’t there yet, or at least wasn’t on that very page at that very moment. Our bodies were one, but her being was in a maternity ward while my cock was taking cues from the glazed donut section at the local bakery.

Ain’t life a bitch?

For better or for worse, that’s why this particular bang would have been a good porno. It had two characters in it, not two mannequins, not two strangers, not two “professionals.” You could’ve watched that scene without ever having met or spoken to us before, and it still would’ve hit you like a bright yellow Hummer. The sex was fucking hot, which is great, and it had that essential ingredient our wise cannibal ancestors discovered long ago: humans.

Maybe you find this all sad and don’t want your porn to be such a downer. Well, fine. Here’s another.

After about a month of sharing an apartment with a girlfriend for the first time, she and I were at each other’s throats. Everything was an argument, the hostility was suffocating, and it was apparent we were both thinking about just slipping out the back door. One night we talked about it, and in a rare bout of civility, we did so politely, in good faith, and with an eye to the long-term. The conclusion we reached was that I should rape her. We hatched the plan right there over Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. She would give me some Ritalin to make me more aggressive. I’d go out back and smoke until it kicked in. She’d put on something slutty and be reading in bed. At some point, with no set time to keep the mystery, I’d come into the apartment quietly and then bust into the bedroom loudly. She would be shocked and silent. I would be rough, forceful, and sadistic.

It worked.

I took my time outside, played with the cigarette smoke, and thought about Raymond Carver.

Suddenly, the rush hit and I was on the bed, hands wrapped around her neck, saying that a cunt like her justly deserved what was coming next. It was brutal and it was beautiful. Her face was a shade of purple from the lack of oxygen and a shade of red from the volley of slaps. It glistened all over because I kept shoving my tongue down her ass and spitting at her eyes. My left nut got bruised because I rolled her on her back, head dangling over the edge, and throat-fucked her so hard for so long that towards the end, it felt like her nose-ring was about to puncture my sack. She masturbated for the duration of that, and when I flipped her over and shoved it in her ass she cried, but her right hand never left that clit.

When I came, my orgasm was like a deified flashlight and I went fucking blind for a few seconds. We collapsed as one onto the sheets, now soaked in anal mucus, pussy juice, and bile. I looked her in the eyes and said, “I love you,” and meant it more than any time I had ever said it before. She said it back and we kissed and laid there together like junkies in an opium den after a couple of flashbang grenades have gone off.

Sorry, Mom, but that saved our fucking relationship. We had another six months or so, and without it, I’d have been in boot camp before Christmas. I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is, and that was it. Depraved, degenerate, disgusting puppy love between two pieces of white trash on a planet that deserves to be atom-bombed into oblivion.

And that’s the sort of porn that should be out there. An opening scene that makes the marriage in Casino look like a weak Hallmark movie, then a desperate plan, and then a goddamn daisy cutter of a sexual eruption. The whole thing wouldn’t take more than an hour, but it’d have it all: power, discovery, and yes—vengeance. After all:

We ain’t nothing but mammals
Well, some of us cannibals…
…But if you feel like I feel, I got the antidote.

Would you really rather watch a handful of strangers—with no relationships between them—fuck for no reason, or for a reason dumber than John Bolton’s plan for Iran? You might as well just watch randos eat food you like.

So yes, all porn is bad, because it’s never about the sex.

Make porn about anything else, literally anything but sex, and we’ll all finally be able to jerk it with some fucking dignity.