Peter’s one of those guys who talks like he’s a champion of rights. He claims to believe in the struggles of the oppressed. His empathy is real enough as he talks about how pissed off injustice makes him. Any news article talking about black men being shot because they had a cell phone or a woman becoming the accused after abuse really set him off.
Thank God he never experienced any of the pains that anger him. For that, I’m grateful. And no one has to experience injustice to be outraged by it. Though...outrage itself...well, that’s a whole topic, isn’t it? He and I have brought it up. I’d like to think we’ve changed each other’s minds on occasion too.
As much as it’s possible.
I think I was a novelty to Peter. He didn’t know a lot of lesbians outside those he ran into because of me. White, straight, moderately handsome, he had it in him to do pretty much anything he wanted. See above on how I figured he was playing the game of life. He felt the pinch of capitalism here and there, but for the most part, he was doing pretty well.
At thirty-two, he’d gone back to college to get a degree in IT. Automation to be precise. The concept amused me. What I understood of his chosen field suggested he would get into a career that effectively ended other careers. Replacing human interaction with machine action. He insisted that wasn’t the case.
“It’s not about getting rid of jobs,” Peter said, “it’s about freeing people’s time up for other things.”
“And saving the company money,” I pointed out. “Right?”
“Yes, because now the employees can do other things.”
“Is that a job description?”
“Other things. Is that like...under additional duties. You’ll take out the trash, sweep the floor, and other things?”
Peter shook his head. “You don’t have a technical bone in your body. I can’t explain it to you.”
“Okay. So...here’s a basic one. An immature IT department might manually create all email accounts. Once they do that, they have to go through to add permissions to the account so that person can get into the various folders, send to the right groups, access applications, etc. You with me so far?”
“Great. Automating that process would be like...HR hires a dude and fills out a quick form. That form tells the computer everything the person needs. It then goes through and wraps up in seconds what probably would take a human an hour to do. Maybe more if they couldn’t get sign off on permissions.”
“Why’s it take so long?”
“Fiddly shit.” Peter shrugged. “I’ve never made an email account at some big company but beyond just putting in a name, you’ve got to figure out what groups they belong to. If someone forgets to put that information in the request, then you can’t finish. And if they do it last minute? The new person is fucked on their first day.”
“What do you mean?”
I smirked. “Why are they fucked? What exactly are they going to be doing on their first day?”
“I don’t know. Orientation, chatting people up, learning the job...”
“So what? That takes an hour? Those corporate jobs waste more time than that, don’t they?”
“Some are more efficient than others. It all depends on the job.”
“The people your automation replace are the only ones that can be of any use on day one,” I said. “Fucking guarantee it.”
“Yeah, but managers like their people to have everything they need.”
“Then they’re unrealistic assholes.”
Peter laughed. “I’m not going to argue that.”
“Why do you want to do this again?”
“It’s a good career,” Peter said.
“Is it really though? I mean, it was a good career like fifteen years ago. Maybe even longer. What I’ve read now suggests you’re just the bitch of a bunch of idiots who don’t know what you do. So when you tell them without getting all jargony, they go behind your back to liars who promise what you can’t provide.”
“You’ve never done it,” Peter said. “So you can’t possibly know how bad or good it is.”
“Fair point. Just going on what I’ve heard, I guess.”
“I’m not getting a degree in automation anyway. I’m studying computer science. Development stuff. Automation is just part of it. When I use the word, I’m meaning I’m personally focusing on that discipline because it’s fascinating and a lot of people are looking toward it.”
“Who is going to buy the shit that the robots make when no one has jobs?”
“Do you belong to Daily KOS?” Peter asked. “How many tin hats do you have on order? I mean, I know you’re too fancy to wear the same one every single day.”
“Fuck you.” I waved my hand. “I’m serious.”
“Because you don’t get it. I’m not saying people won’t lose their jobs. You don’t need forty people answering phones for support when half the shit they do is automated. But the guys who were wasting their lives filling in forms for say...adding permissions can be freed up to streamline, architect, develop better systems...implement new stuff.”
“Okay, so only the rank and file are really in trouble?”
“Meh. That’s debatable.”
“If you want to bitch about something, go off on outsourcing.”
“I don’t want to.”
Peter’s brows lifted. “Why?”
“Because I don’t have the energy right now.”
“What else is on your mind?” Peter asked. He went for his drink.
“Okay...” I smiled at what popped in my head. “I’ve been thinking a lot about pornography lately.”
Peter practically spit his drink. I don’t think he liked thinking of me as being sexually active. Just a guess suggested to me he thought of me as a sister. Which was good. I didn’t want a John Hughes moment where he admitted to being in love with me since we met or some other stupidity.
“Sorry.” Peter wiped his chin with a napkin. “How’d that come up? Let me guess. You were at the grocery store, staring into space and thought, Jesus, I could really do with a little muff diving.”
“Vulgar much?” I still smiled. “No. It came up just before bed the other night. I had something on...red head and a brunette making out. I was going through a phase where the actresses had to pretend to be in a relationship. Like...it couldn’t be camera fade in and two chicks were kissing. I needed some build up.”
The topic made him uncomfortable. Probably because he watched the same kind of porn and didn’t want to admit it.
“Anyway, I came to a conclusion that watching someone simulate an orgasm...arching her back...gripping the pillow...all that shit, that didn’t do it for me. Not the nipple tweaking or the arhythmic way they went after each other’s clits like they were kneading dough.” My description amused him. “You with me? Or am I just Audible Erotica edition right now?”
“Trust me,” Peter said, “nothing you’ve said is sexy. Unless your fetish is frank as fuck talk about...fucking...um...” He cleared his throat. “Anyway, what’s the point? What does it for you? The stunning conversation? Are you a masochist for a contrived script between two people that probably have trouble asking for a meal at a drive through?”
“You know, porn stars are plenty articulate, you jack ass. But no, that’s not it either. I realized that what gets me hot is the fantasy of how they got in the situation. Like...I’m rubbing myself thinking about putting on the shoes, pulling on a dress, picking out porn panties...the wonder of what might happen when I get with the person.”
“Porn Panties sounds like a punk band,” Peter replied. “And this is weird.”
“Is it though? You know, the videos I watch where they’re already naked, I have the added benefit of making up what they were wearing before hand. I’m thinking...that black haired lady wore a red dress with a slit up the right side. The red head wore jeans that she had to really peal off.
“When I get close, like I’m on the edge of cumming, I think about the end result of making love. I think about putting the clothes back on. Getting on with life. My point is, when I watch porn, the actual porn itself isn’t the hot thing. It’s the fact it’s happening in the middle of regular life.”
“I’m impressed that you can impose any concept of regular into porn world.”
“It’s the persistent world I’ve invented for pornography. It’s the Copulation Cinematic Universe. Black cuckold guy fucking a blonde in the ghetto is happening at the same time as posh bitches rub one off in a high rise condo in England. That kind of thing.”
“Okay, if someone proved out that all porn happened in the same creepy world, then yeah, I’d probably lose my fantasy. Fortunately, that’s just your weird kink.”
“It makes sense though. I mean, all kinds of stupid shit happens in every porn. I find it fun to link them. Shemale and dude need to get their car serviced. They go into a garage only to find no one there. While waiting for the service tech to come back, they fuck in his office. Because why not? That’s what empty offices are for. Fucks of Opportunity.”
“While that’s happening in downtown, Tim owes Mark some money. Tim tells Mark to fuck off. Mark goes into Tim’s house and fucks his mom. Cums on her face. Sends the picture to Tim. But instead of real life where Tim’s mom wouldn’t go along with it, she’s like a professional cocksucker who went to porn school. Goes down without hardly a fuss.
“Then, when Tim still won’t pay, Mark fucks dude’s sister. Goes over, cums on her face. Sends the picture. All the while, two chicks are at a pool just across the street basking in the sun. They talk about...God, I don’t know...the cost of lip balm at Seven Eleven then drop into the pool and make out.”
“I mean, they’re all stupid. They’re not exactly connected. Tim isn’t related to the pool chick. Mark isn’t buddies with the shemale. And the black guy who screws the blonde in front of her husband doesn’t play darts with the red head in my video.”
“But they all kind of play the same character. Anyway, immerse yourself in Porn World. I’m telling you, it can be fun because while you’re getting it on for one scene, you can be thinking ‘holy shit, the whole of porn world is getting some action right now! And I can voyeur up just by clicking the next thumbnail on Pornhub...or whatever site you like.”
I laughed. “Kind of doubt that.”
“So for you, porn is literally about the break in the regular?”
“I’ve thought about my relationships too. I’m not going to lie. Cumming is awesome. There’s no pretending it’s not just to be cool. But no, that’s not what fulfills me. I like the chase. That intimate moment where I touch someone for the first time. Exploring their body with fingertips in the dark. Taking off our clothes. Exposing ourselves. Being vulnerable.”
“The idea of you being vulnerable is funny.”
“The hardest person has to be vulnerable once in a while or they’ll break.” I shrugged.
“And here I thought the beginning of that sentence was going to be about a dick.”
“So you watch shemale porn?”
“Did...I say that?”
“Your example sounded pretty specific.”
“I don’t mind variety.” Peter’s cheeks darkened.
“Do you watch gay porn sometimes?”
“Do you watch straight porn?”
I nodded. “I don’t care how people are having sex. The intimacy is what turns me on. The break from the mundane. There’s magic in fucking. Spiritual connection. You have to use your imagination when people are doing it on screen. Honestly, the only difference between porn and HBO is penetration. They’re pretending the same.
“Just because I’m not aroused by men doesn’t mean I don’t find their reactions sexy. I like watching them lose all the posture and sass. They fall into a state of vulnerability when they get close. Yeah, they become more aggressive but that’s a surrender of their defenses, the things that make them socially acceptable. I wouldn’t subject myself to it. But it’s still hot.”
“I don’t think about it like that.”
“Then how do you get off?”
“It depends on the day. But often, I put myself in the shoes of one of the participants and before you ask, yes, sometimes I think about being the girl. Like I said, I need variety. You hear what that comedian said about porn?”
“I’m paraphrasing because it’s been a while but basically, when you first discover porn, tits make you cum your pants. Then, after five years of porn, your cocktail gets so wild you’re like I need a midget with a stuffed dinosaur toy, three women all in stockings, a flame thrower and a Jell-O pit in order to even get an erection.”
“Or you can just change it up constantly.”
Peter snapped his fingers. “Which is what I do. Sometimes, I can watch a girl masturbate. Other times, I need toys in the scene...” He stopped. “Anyway, what’s it say about us that we need to get so elaborate just to pleasure ourselves?”
“That we’re not using our creativity enough? That we’re not challenged by whatever choices we’re making? Or maybe we’re all fucked up. Maybe people have always been like this. I mean, who’s to know whether a French peasant in the Bordeaux region circa sixteen-twelve wasn’t choking himself with a draft hose bridle?”
“Just offering you some color.”
I shrugged. “I don’t think people have changed too much. Society oppresses desire by differing amounts depending on culture, time period, and the current hypocrite in charge. The heavier the demands to suppress your desires, the wilder they get. I think kink gets stranger because people hold in what they want. They have to.”
“Because they’ll be judged?”
“Do you tell your pals you like shemale porn?”
“Uh...” Peter shook his head.
“You can stop,” I interrupted. “It doesn’t matter what you’d say after that. Whether they think you’re gay, a freak, whatever, it’s something you’d rather not hear. Then, what happens if they don’t say anything? Your mind becomes an asshole. It makes things way worse as it poses questions like...are they judging you?”
“You should go back to school,” Peter said. “Back up your bullshit with a psyche degree or sociology.”
“It’s more fun to just be a bitch with too much time on her hands and a real attitude problem.”
“You’ve got that down.” Peter rubbed his eyes. “I think I need to call it a night. Who would’ve thought talking about porn and automation would be so fucking exhausting?”
“Hey, combine the two. Make a fortune.”
“Already done, my friend. Shit even attaches to the computer in a way that you can have an...experience.”