Ordinarily, David Cameron is falling over himself to show how normal he is. But back in July he dropped the ball. He announced a plan to limit access to internet porn – forcing households to actively opt-in for porno from their internet service providers.

Which, quite apart from stimulating some awkward family discussions up and down the land once the broadband contract is up for renewal, will alienate the millions of devoted pornaholics for who easily accessible, free-at-the-point-of-access images of people having it off have come to seem like a basic human right.

Eight out of 10 young men in Britain use porn at least twice a week for about 40 minutes – and a third of young women do the same. Free porno seeps out of the western world’s every cultural orifice: from the internet to mainstream entertainment to even the Today programme on Radio 4, which the other day had a discussion on the rise of so-called “ruin porn”. Ruin porn refers to an obsession with images of historical buildings. I don’t know whether the obsession extends to actually masturbating over images of castles or what, but that’s not the point. The point is that when the word porn is being casually bandied about on the world’s poshest radio show, then the notion has been officially normalised. For the Prime Minister to take it away from us is like trying to take away tea or whinging. Like those things, porn is an integral part of daily life in Britain. 

Of course, there is a chance (a tiny one, admittedly, but a chance all the same) that Cameron is not bothered by the political popularity of this idea but based on heartfelt principle. In which case, I’m right behind him.

Because, personally, I don’t like the stuff. At best I find porn corny and embarrassing. At worst I find it disturbing and sick. But most of all I find it boring. “How can the sight of, say, a housewife licking a muscly delivery guy’s ballbag while her mate simultaneously sucks his dick be boring?” you might reasonably ask. Because I’ve seen it all a million times before, that’s why. 

Let’s be clear about just how prevalent porn actually is: approximately 40 million people in the United States are sexually involved with the internet. 25% of all search engine requests are pornography related. £1,983 is spent per second on watching images of people doing sex on computers. And that’s just the paid-for stuff. 42% of all internet users have willingly viewed porn. And 34% of internet users who were just minding their own business, trying to do their grocery shopping on Ocado or whatever, have received unwanted pornographic exposure. So whether you’re looking for it or not, if you have a broadband connection, you are probably looking at porn.

Chances are, you’re looking at it right now while only half concentrating on reading this article. You make me sick.

There are much better reasons for limiting internet porn than to make it more exciting and edgy for the casual masturbator. It should be hidden in dark corners, not splattered across the cultural landscape in full view of children and innocent Radio 4 presenters. Do we really want our six- and seven-year-old nephews and brothers to be watching badly produced videos of Russian steroid freaks shoving their penises up a prostitute’s bumhole, before they’ve so much as kissed a girl? At the very least they’ll end up talking in dodgy Eastern European accents in the playground and assuming an average knob is eight inches.

Thankfully, I am one of the UK’s most easily titillated individuals. I don’t need vaginal squirting or hot-tub lesbians to get me off. A stolen glimpse of my missus’ side boob is quite enough to send me into a primal state of arousal. But then my other half is generally reluctant to show me her tits in the course of our day-to-day activities, hence they have managed to retain their tantalising frisson of mystery.  

There’s nothing mysterious about the tits on my computer: they are available for free, on demand, 24 hours a day at a moment’s notice. Big ones, small ones. Some fake, some real, most of them, at some point or another, splattered in spunk. Yawn.

It has become so much a part of everyday life that it is more unusual to abstain than it is to indulge. When I mentioned to a group of mates recently that I was just not feeling the whole porn thing, they reacted like I was the pervert. “But how do you wank?” one asked, his face screwed up in incredulity. “Do you just have to, like, imagine stuff?” 

Yes. That’s what I do. I imagine the sideboob of my significant other. Because in this sick and twisted quagmire of pornographic bombardment, the innocent has become perverse and the perverse become banal. 

You might see it as your democratic right as a British citizen to consume porno on a daily basis. Whatever. But don’t believe that what you are doing is normal. It’s not. Porn is weird and sick and barmy – and so are you. Isn’t that part of the appeal? 

If David Cameron makes it more difficult to get hold of porn, forcing you to shamefacedly request access to it from a faceless BT Infinity functionary with the same shiftiness that dirty old men once reached to the top shelves in newsagents, then he is doing you a favour. He is putting the intoxicating thrill of the forbidden back into your porn. And you should be grateful for it. 

So when the dawn breaks over this brave new world of contraband porn and you bring yourself for the first time to climax over some painstakingly acquired footage of exotic lovemaking, I want you to shut your eyes, picture the Prime Minister’s fleshy, earnest face and say, “Thank you David Cameron. Thank you for putting the danger back into my wank.”

Words by Sam Delaney, follow his ASFW (Absolutely Suitable For Work) Twitter here.


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