My choice of clichés to start this essay is long: the abyss stares back, down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, surfing the [whatever], and so on—plus all the variations. So let’s get down to it. Last night, I crawled up Casey Calvert’s asshole. It took hours, but I did it. That’s not where I knew I was headed, but that was where I landed. Many more clichés avail themselves: it’s not the destination, it’s the journey; not all who wander are lost, and so on.

When I gear up for a porn cycle, I like to start artsy. Last night, I opened with “Dysfunctional Marriage” from Pure Taboo, the part directed by and starring Joanna Angel. Pure Taboo is great, and not just because their crews know where to put lights and their cameramen know geometry (though those two things do count for a lot). What makes Pure Taboo shine above just about every other studio is that it makes porno that isn’t about sex. Bear with me on this and let me self-plagiarize:

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.

Porn is the only art that is (almost) always about what it’s about. That’s why it’s all terrible. But the folks at Pure Taboo aren’t so stupid that they make porn about sex. Instead, they make porn about power. And as such, “Dysfunctional Marriage” is great. Joanna Angel and Small Hands live together and are to be wed in a few days. But suddenly, Miss Angel’s younger step-sister, Jane Wilde, needs a place to crash; something about a bad alcoholic boyfriend. Miss Wilde has no place else to go, and big sister relents. Well before any sex happens, we learn all kinds of things: this lovely couple has got some issues, Mr. Hands and Miss Wilde have a secret past, and Miss Wilde never has her shit together. There are characters in this goddamn porno and I love it. Moreover, their motivations aren’t just sexual. The viewer learns that for all the empathy Miss Angel gives her little sister, there isn’t a reciprocal appreciation. There’s something off about Miss Wilde, something mean. All of this makes the film’s one sex scene worth the wait. The sex is great because it isn’t about pussy, it’s about betrayal. Miss Wilde is impeccably cute and arrestingly cruel. The two traits complement each other because they create complexity, and since I’m a human and not just a widget with a Fleshlight, complexity is what I’m looking for.

I watch the whole movie, sometimes hard and sometimes soft, secreting pre-cum and happy. It ends and I go looking for what’s next in line. It’s “I Did it for You”—also from Pure Taboo, obviously. We’ve got ourselves some stepsiblings here, Chad White, who’s okay, and Casey Calvert, who’s a goddamn fucking dime-piece. So what happens between them? What’s the scenario? Does one catch the other masturbating? Does she find herself stuck in a dryer? Perhaps it’s that he finds some nudes on her phone, blackmails her, and gets a blowjob some 90 seconds later? No. The writer (Midnight) and director (Craven Moorehead) didn’t feel compelled to insult us all in any of these popular ways. Mr. White is fresh out of prison and he’s seeing his (step)sister for the first time in years. They talk and we get just snippets: he defended her against their father, it got ugly, there was a bat, she terms it “the worst night of her life.” It’s all very loaded, and it’s quite clear that Mr. White has been pining for his sister the entire time he was incarcerated. But, like any woman would, Miss Calvert moved on.

It gets awkward. She wants him to leave. He can’t believe what he’s hearing. She wants to move on with her life and not have it all defined by one horrific night. Who can blame her? But his life is indelibly defined by that horrific night, and he feels he’s owed something. Who can blame him? He served as a knight in shining armor, and after a spell in hell, wants his fucking princess—or his princess fucking, if you will. This setup is not Marcel Proust, I’ll grant you. But I’ve never read that French faggot anyway, and I’ll bet you haven’t, either. This setup works. It touches on basic female/male differences (and not just biological ones) and it has feels. Yes, he wants sex, but not in the way the male in a gonzo POV porno wants it. He wants sex because he feels it’s owed to him. He feels that sex is the just response to his valor, his sacrifice. I know that feeling and it kills. If you’ve never felt that, go ahead and cast the first stone, I guess. Meanwhile, she likes this guy and does appreciate what he’s done…just not in the way he wants or expects. I know exactly what it’s like to be on the receiving end of that vibe. And again, you do, too. It’s what happens when you try to fuck an ex-girlfriend that doesn’t hate you and isn’t dating anyone else. She still “likes” you in some sense. She wishes you the best, thinks you’re a good dude, knows you can perform…and yet, that female brain has recategorized you outside the realm of sexual partners. It seems to make sense to women, that kind of thing. Who knows; maybe it makes sense objectively as well, and it is we the stupid males who can’t see it. Anyway.

Slowly, brother does get what he wants from sister. The sex is hot, again, because of the complexity within it. Plus, they do not go from zero to sixty. He spends a lot of time examining her and running his hands across every inch of her body before things get to pounding and sucking. I love this flick and it helps that Casey Calvert is a goddamn fucking dime-piece.

By the time the credits roll, I’ve watched an hour and some change of porn. There’s plenty of pre-cum to show for it, but I still haven’t stroked. I want to keep binging, but I’m pretty sure that if I do, I’ll end up jacking off and it’s still way too early for that. So I pivot, sort of. Ever want to watch porn and stop watching porn? You actually can, with this one weird trick: watch a documentary about porn. As long as the documentary isn’t extremely hostile to the industry, you’re good. I poke around all those Russian pirate sites and eventually land on X-Rated: The Greatest Adult Movies of All Time. It’s some TV movie from God-knows what channel, but it’s great and I take copious notes. I recommend you do the same. (Except of course that I don’t; I recommend you stop watching porn entirely and stop reading this essay.)

Normally, switching to a documentary lowers that “building up” feeling that watching porn with no release for hours leaves you with. That “build up” is dangerous and porno docs are the way to taper down before you shoot yourself back up. It’s worked every time but this one. For starters, it’s hosted by Channel Preston. She’s insanely hot, and ever since 2010 (or whatever), whenever I see her, I think about her eating cereal out of that other chick’s ass. That scene, in turn, makes me think about Mike Adriano, who directed it, and thinking about his movies takes my “building up” feeling to the fucking sky. And on top of that, Casey Calvert is in this documentary, talking about porn she likes. As they say on /b/, “diamonds.”

I’m a disciplined addict, so I watch this documentary to the end, taking no “breaks” for porn. But since no addicts have discipline, by definition, the second it ends, I’m set on one thing: crawling up Casey Calvert’s asshole. I have fancy opinions about Golden Age porno and I can write engaging essays about why pornos with plots are best. On top of all that, I can crank out surprisingly mature reflections on sex and sexuality. Fuck humility, I’m smart and I write well. But absolutely none of that matters. The tipping point of the “build up” has arrived and I don’t want complexity anymore. Lighting, high-contrast, camerawork, and whatever can all go back to whatever film school pioneered them. That shit is for pretentious fools. Right now, I just want to crawl up Casey Calvert’s asshole. And thanks to the Internet, I do just that. My porn “binge” becomes an outright rampage as I watch Miss Calvert’s scenes in Inspect Her Gape 2True Anal Sluts 3Teen Anal GapersManhandled 10Butthole Whores 5Anal Spinners, something from Bam Visions, and something directed by Joey Silvera. All of these are gonzo films—in case you couldn’t tell from their titles—so none have any plot. But all of them were great, too. The action is nonstop, the anal is unrelenting, and the star is a goddamn fucking dime piece.

Everything I wrote earlier is irrelevant, except the clichés, since this abyss has absolutely stared back. I started watching porn at around five. It was around eight when I finished that documentary. Then I started crawling up Casey Calvert’s asshole. I went to bed after three and even I am too embarrassed to tell you how many times I jerked off. Now that is an addiction. That’s when you feel your brain cracking and that’s how you manage to cut whole days right out the calendar. Sure, all of that is awful. Sure, I fucked up at work the next day because I’d slept only a few hours. Sure, all of this will fuck up future romantic relationships. Sure to all the millions of other problems with all of this. Definitely, no kidding. But guess what? For some six hours, I got to crawl up Casey Calvert’s asshole.