{ skull } { looking }

He pulled out a soiled magazine.

The cover said "Hot Whores," or something to that effect. I can't remember anything about it now, except that it looked like the cover of every other hard core porn magazine: a title in hot pink letters and a woman with her mouth wide open and her vagina spread between two fingers like a wad of pink bubble gum.



We forgot everything and sat down on the curb to flip through it. Every page had a different woman lying on her back, kicking her legs in the air. Sometimes a guy would be standing over her or lying on top of her. When these pages turned up, Eric would yell "dick!" and roughly flip the page.


It was the first time I had seen anything like this. In Catholic schools, sex education is when they make you promise you won't screw until you're married. At 14, I had a vague notion that I should be ashamed of being a virgin, and that was it.


But here it was all laid out for me, as it were. Here were acts and positions. Here were women who would. I wanted to snatch the magazine from Eric and flip back to the couples and see everything. Another part of me wanted to rip the magazine into shreds.


We were still looking at the magazine when football practice let out and we ran back to the car. Eric immediately showed the magazine to Rich. He cocked an eyebrow and said, "nice."


Rich was giving a friend a lift, so I couldn't sit in front. I tried to squeeze in the middle of the back seat, but Jed tossed me into the back of Rich's station wagon, on top of the spare tire. As he was driving, Rich had Eric show him whatever pictures seemed to get the best reactions out of us.


"Look at the stretch marks around her ass," Rich said, "She's definitely had it up the ass. A lot." Rich made Eric turn back to some of the "dick!" pages. He was very impressed by the "cum shots."


Something heavy rolled inside me. Looking was a volume of sexual information for a naive 14-year-old. All the details they never told you were slapped down wet on a garish pink backdrop and plastered across the glossy pages. But I tried to read the faces in the pictures. What were they thinking when the camera snapped?


After a while, I turned away. I couldn't sit upright, so I laid on my back and watched the sky through the window. I felt sweaty. Why didn't I want to look? Why did I want to look at the same time? The car kept going over bumps and tossing me around. Eric and Jed were describing "dick!" pages to Rich.


"Jesus! All over her tits!"


I started to feel sick to my stomach. The ride seemed to get bumpier. I felt liquid sloshing around inside of me. I thought about the magazine and its greasy white stuff everywhere. I closed my eyes and I could still see the women with their tongues probing out ... and the dead cat.


Eric didn't care. About any of it. He could do those things and see those things and not give it any thought at all. Rich even liked it. I laid lower and tried to hide my queasiness. I laughed out loud at Rich's running commentary on the women.


But I will never forget the red, searing stretch marks around that one woman's anus. I still cringe when I think of the pain.


When I got home, I put away my backpack and my books. Then I went into the bathroom and vomited. Too much rolling around on my back, I said.


I wiped the toilet inside and outside and dusted everything with Lysol before my parents came home.


It wasn't macho.


What was your first experience with pornography like?