5 Ways People Looked At Porn Before The Internet

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Credit: Don Bayley/Getty Images

You’ve probably heard your grandparents complain about how they had to walk 10 miles uphill to school. Or how, if they wanted to know what the president looked like, they had to knock on the White House door. Or how it was really difficult to find porn.

Sorry to put “your grandparents” and “porn” in the same paragraph. The point is, masturbation wasn’t easy before the Internet. Here’s how guys did it back in the day…

1. Nudie Magazines

Yeah, Playboy has some pretty good articles, but that’s not why you sneaked glances at your father’s collection whenever he left for the office. (Or, better yet, his VHS tapes.)

2. Premium Cable

If your parents could afford it, you might’ve had access to HBO, Showtime or Cinemax. The late-night selections were mostly softcore, but on a good evening you’d end up with one of those weird “Real Sex” episodes about people who like to pour baked beans onto each other.

3. Scrambled Porn

It’s hard to get lower than this. Now that television is all digital, it’s hard to even explain what a scrambled cable channel looks like. (It was kind of like if Picasso directed a porn?) Someone should do a study and find out how many people went blind ’cause of this.

4. Classic Paintings

If you lacked access to the previous options, a trip to the local art museum was your last resort. At least you got some culture out of it.

5. Cave Walls

This is related to “Classic Paintings,” but a little different…because we’re talking about dudes 37,000 years ago carving pictures of naked women. The more things change, the more guys stay the same.

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Neal Stastny (@NealStas) is a comedian and writer in New York.