The pleasures and pain of non-pornographic porn

The pleasures and pain of non-pornographic porn

B y Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

A San Francisco blogger recently hired a woman to slap him every time he veered off track and headed for social media sites such as Facebook (I can empathize; this article would have been in last week’s issue if not for Buzzfeed, that fiendish hoarder of all things interesting). There was once a time when the only thing on the computer screen that a distracted office employee was trying to hide from their manager was a thwarted game of solitaire. Now desk-jockeys are positively inundated with a glut of virtual distractions, a new genre of which is being called Non-Pornographic Porn (NPP).

NPP is not meant to sexually excite. It is merely an image meant to arouse a quick and intense emotional reaction. These images are popping up all over people’s weapon of choice, be it Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest or any other of the myriad social networking sites. The rage seemed to start with food, images of a masterfully put together meal that someone was exceptionally proud of or a delicately ornate dessert that someone was treated to on a special occasion. Then came the deluge of indulgent imagery. The breathtaking landscapes, the mind-boggling breakthroughs in technology, the vintage finds, basically every image that screams, “I can make you want to be a part of this!” And hours, consequently days and weeks, have been lost in our complete surrender to these stimulating visuals.

Ask around any international watering hole, and you’ll soon find out that the rest of the world sees Americans as somewhat … repressed. Perhaps stemming from our puritanical heritage, when the Pilgrims arrived in a flurry of sensibly-dyed wool and pragmatic footwear, this part of the world has seemed a bit buttoned-up when it comes to all things involving pleasure.

Has this perhaps resulted in a swing toward excess, a hyper-sensationalizing of everything we can get our hands and eyes on, intemperance for all consumables? Or are we merely appreciating the beauty and bounty of the earth, celebrating the triumphs of humanity and basking in the glow of wonderment that comes from witnessing the truly remarkable? Or is it really as simple as straight up procrastination? In the opinion of a member of the clergy whom I know personally (and would rather remain anonymous), the light or the dark of the situation lays in as much the intent of the viewer as in the viewed, a sort of Rorschach of intention. A rabbi I spoke with had a similar take on the subject, using as an example how a knife can be both good and bad, depending on how it is used. If we are looking for beauty, we will find it.

That said, let’s tick off some of the top NPPs saturating the Internet at the moment. See how many you can add to the list.

VINYL PORN

They don’t just sound good. Upon spotting records for sale, vinyl enthusiasts will willingly cross hot coals in bare feet while simultaneously salivating and mentally calculating how much money they can part with and still pay rent (close to) on time.

Suggested websites:

http://www.dustandgrooves.com/

http://www.amoeba.com/music/cd-and-vinyl/#page-1

http://dopejams.net/

 

MAP PORN

Vintage maps are, of course, fascinating and naturally lend themselves to a certain decorative quality that just begs to be framed and displayed in a prominent area of the home. New maps, though, ohhhhhh new maps. Traffic maps. Weather maps. 3D maps. Maps of the lights on Earth at night as seen from outer space. MAPS THAT TALK TO YOU AND TELL YOU HOW TO GET TO THE NEAREST CUP OF COFFEE. And the map that builds itself during the opening credits of Game of Thrones? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Suggested websites:

maps.nationalgeographic.com

http://booksadventuresandlife.blogspot.com/2012/01/just-couple-weird-maps.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7L2PVdrb_8  (Game of Thrones credits)

 

FOOD PORN

You may not like it. You may hate it. You may have noticed that it’s fully capable of inciting each and every one of the seven deadly sins, and all while you’re trying to diet. But shoot, you are what you eat, and I want everyone to see how pretty I am.

Suggested websites:

http://www.thecoolist.com/sydney-international-food-festival-ad-campaign/

http://abduzeedo.com/yummy-dessert-photography

http://veganyumyum.com/2008/09/food-photography-for-bloggers/

 

CEMETERY PORN

Every headstone tells a story, some more provocative than others.

Suggested websites:

http://www.odditycentral.com/pics/dargavs-russias-city-of-the-dead.html

http://www.squidoo.com/BizarreGraves

http://www.doaaraku.com/culture/tourist-information-indonesia-toraja-cliff-tombs-unique-in-caves-with-stone-tombs/

 

SPACE PORN

Did you watch Felix Baumgartner’s space jump like it was your job? I watched it like it was my job. I actually watched it at my job, and I remember thinking, “Wow, I could not do his job.” The occasion did provide for some awe-inspiring photos, however, as do most newsworthy events that drop in from beyond the troposphere.

Suggested websites:

www.redbullstratos.com

apod.nasa.gov

www.vizworld.com/tag/hubble

 

BOOK PORN

“You have a first edition of The Hobbit signed by J.R.R. Tolkien?! Gimme gimme gimme let me just smellllllll it,” is how I would imagine my end of the conversation would go with a rare books collector.

Suggested websites:

http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/tolkien-book-store/rare-signed-Tolkien.htm

http://www.baumanrarebooks.com/rare-books/autographs-signed/1/10/price/desc

http://for.theloveofbooks.com/2009/01/rare-book-of-the-day-signed-albert-einstein/

 

CAR PORN

Powerful and phallic, sports cars are easy to mount on a pedestal and admire. Given that the economics of owning and maintaining them put them out of reach of the average enthusiast, these wanton objects of desire have spurred mass production of calendars and the like to encourage the dreamers to keep on dreaming.

Suggested websites:

http://www.autotraderclassics.com/index.xhtml

http://www.motortrend.com/multimedia/photos/27/sports/

http://www.gtspirit.com/2012/05/20/gallery-mille-miglia-2012-sports-cars/

 

COG PORN

Deserving of an honorable mention based on the name alone. Whether you’re tricking out your vintage Schwinn or comparing gear ratios with fellow fixies, the cog is the thing, and they can get pretty fancy. What’s your RPM?

Suggested websites:

http://www.velorbis.com/

http://purefixcycles.com/

http://www.bikeforums.net/picall.php?

 

NOSTALGIA PORN

Maybe things aren’t the best right now, or, at least, not as good as they could be. You may find yourself yearning for a simpler time, a time when decisions were easier to make, a time that may or may not have existed in the pure form it takes in your memory. Whatever the reason for the resurgence of items from times gone by, I’m just happy my future children haven’t missed their opportunity to watch Thundercats on Saturday mornings.

http://collections.nrm.org/highlights.jsp

http://www.vintageadbrowser.com/tobacco-ads-1960s

http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id177.htm

 

Reach DCP freelance writer Jennifer Lumpkin at jenniferhanauerlumpkin@daytoncitypaper.com



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2 Responses to “The pleasures and pain of non-pornographic porn” Subscribe

  1. Zac R January 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    I cannot believe reddit.com is not mentioned once, they have an expansive SFW Porn Network for about anything imaginable.

    My favorite being “Abandonded Porn” focusing on abandoned and run down buildings where nature is starting to reclaim it’s territory. http://www.reddit.com/r/AbandonedPorn/

  2. Raymond March 15, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Great post! We are linking to this particularly great article on our site.
    Keep up the good writing.

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