Jim Burroway over at Box Turtle Bulletin quotes a little Michael Heath

During my lifetime I have witnessed the descent from Playboy into the abyss of online porn…

Okay…That’s about all I need to read. If you think the human, let alone the American fascination with pornography started with Playboy Michael, and the mass consumption therein then you have been very grievously misinformed. Google “Tijuana Bible” Mike.  No…that’s not a translation for Spanish speaking Christians.

My own fascination with pornography ended pretty soon after it began, when I eventually figured out (don’t laugh) that there is very little romance in it. The few porn magazines I bought back in the day all had images of guys being affectionate as well as sexual. That was my turn on. No matter how hot I thought the guys were, if it was just sex I got bored if not a tad turned off. There had to be affection on display too. The more affection the better. But affection of that sort between males was a pretty radical thing to portray in any form back then, back room magazine rack or mainstream movie house. In some ways, and in some venues, it still is.

I’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating because it really says it all. Back in the day an old high school friend of mine told me about taking a college course on human sexuality. The course, he said, included a number of films which you might expect to find in an Adult Entertainment store rather then in a university classroom. And so naturally most of the college students who signed up for that course did so, according to my friend who probably did also, just to see those films. What they didn’t bargain for was also having to watch a bunch of sex they didn’t much like. This was after all, a course on human sexuality, not a course on pornography. In addition to the hot young babes there was also footage of folks old enough to be their own parents having sex. Then there were the sections on geriatric sex. You can imagine how well that went over with a bunch of college students. But it was the section on gay male sex that bothered some the audience most of all. And it wasn’t the sex specifically that offended them. In fact, the sex really didn’t bother that group much at all. According to my friend, when the gay male sex scenes came on screen the ignorant jock types in the class burst out laughing and mocked the couple.

But then images of that couple being affectionate with each other came on screen and the jock’s attitude changed. Those scenes of that male couple being affectionate, kissing, holding hands, being in love, completely offended the jocks my friend said…far more, far, Far more, then watching them have sex did.

What pornography is, to my mind at least, is it just pushes your sexual buttons and nothing else. That’s all it’s for. That’s all it does. Empty button pushing. But that’s all some folks want it to be. Oh well for them I guess. What I discovered about myself, and had I not the freedom to at least look the stuff over I might not have figured this out about myself, is that I am about romance, affection, playful fun, when it comes to sex. I like to be teased. I like the friendly smile and the longing look. And the kiss. Especially the kiss. I am not much about just having my buttons pushed for the sake of pushing them. There has to be more. There has to be love. There has to be the kiss. So what my little private collection of erotic art began to consist mostly of as I grew older, is that. Sex yes, but not always that specifically and always in the context of romance. Body and soul together. I love that. It turns me on.

Your mileage may vary. That’s fine. I’m pretty sure in any case that your definition of pornography Michael is almost certainly a lot broader then mine. Anything having to do with same-sex couples even if it’s just a kiss probably counts as pornography in your book. No…Especially if it’s just a kiss. Because homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. But here’s the thing Michael…most of us just look the other way when we’re grossed out or disinterested. When I found out there wasn’t much in pornography that interested me, at least of the hard core sort, I stopped looking. But you can’t for some reason.

Don’t you think that puts you in the same ugly peep show stall that the people you’re railing against are stuck in? Well…except they seem to be enjoying themselves and you’re not. And what is offending you most of all Michael, isn’t the sex gay couples are having. It’s the affection. It’s their joy. It’s the kiss…isn’t it Michael. You’re calling it “sodomy based marriage” now…it’s your new slogan that you seem to honestly think is a winner but it’s merely your way of turning kisses into pornography. Because that’s how they seem to you.

You begin your email to supporters with a little rant about pornography, but it’s all about same-sex marriage with you, not pornography, not sexual decadence. And that’s because it’s the kiss that offends you, not the sodomy. Marriage is about love and devotion, about body and soul together as one, and same sex couples are fighting for access to marriage, because they love, because they are devoted, because they are one in body and soul. And you see it don’t you. Yes…yes you do. And it bothers you massively doesn’t it. And you can’t look away. Why is that Michael?

Some might suggest that it’s because you’re a closet case yourself. I honestly doubt that you are in that particular sort of closet. There’s another, darker, colder one your sort lives their lives in. There is a marvelous scene in Mary Renault’s The Fire From Heaven, where Alexander’s father Philip, punishing his son and his son’s lover for a transgression, knowing that the punishment of his lover will hurt Alexander more then his own punishment, thinks, “…between contempt and a deep secret envy…The man does not live that I could feel that for, or the woman either.”  There you are Michael.  There’s why you can’t look away.  There’s why you need their kisses to be empty.  There’s why you hate them.