When I was a kid, the Internet sucked. I mean, really sucked. It was slow, hokey, full of gifs of skeletons smoking spliffs, and sounded like demons screaming in Hell whenever you fired it up. A typical day on the Internet was you waiting three hours to watch a fifteen-second clip from Star Trek and then getting kicked off the computer because your mom needed to make a phone call.
I say this for the benefit of anyone under twenty-five who happens to be reading this blog. Another thing I’ve done for your benefit: found a sound clip of the dial-up Internet noise. Don’t thank me too effusively until you’ve actually listened to it. Christ what a racket.
Erotica and the Early Internet
Needless to say, the Internet of the late-90’s was not the virtual flesh market it is now. Don’t get me wrong–it was still full of pornography–but one’s efforts to access it were often stymied by poor connections, insane site layouts, and whatever virus came with that HOT!HOT!HOT!AshBangsPikachu file you downloaded off Napster. This was a transitional time when middle school boys still kept adult magazines under their mattresses despite having the World Wide Web at their fingertips.
“What about middle school girls?” you ask, with a not-at-all-creepy gleam in your eye. “What did they do?”
To which I reply–after submitting your name to whatever shadowy organization maintains the government watch list–thusly: “We didn’t need the Internet or the skin mags. Not when our mothers had these…”