Saturday, October 9, 2010

Waxing Nostalgic - The Lazy Days of Summer and Scrambled Porn


I watched so much scrambled TV porn when I was young that by the time I got to see real porn I was quickly put off by the lack of subtlety and unabstract nature of it."
-Unknown SLA Goon

In my pre-teen youth, my summer days were filled with just a few goals. One was to do as little as absolutely possible in terms of anything constructive. Another one was to see how long I could stay awake before I either passed out or had a psychotic episode. My record is about 72 hours...I think. Around the 3rd day of no sleep, I remember hearing a constant buzzing noise in my ears, seeing swirling dots and feeling really paranoid. It was the closest I'd ever get to experiencing drug like affects without really trying drugs.

Beyond self induced sleep deprivation and absolute laziness there was one other thing I was determined to do achieve this one particular summer. Seeing as many naked women as humanly possible. To achieve this goal meant honing my skills of stealth, technical knowledge and plain old luck. The objective was watching the late night soft-core porn programming. This wasn't as easy as it might have seemed.



Back in the early to mid 80s there were only 2 local cable stations in Philadelphia: Prism (channel 48...after the regular channel 48 was shut down but that's another story)and WHT (Wometco Home Theater) on channel 57. The channels broadcasted a signal all day but it was scrambled. The only way to view the programming was to buy a converter box. They ran movies, sports and concerts which mildly tempted us as children to whine and beg our parents to buy it. Which of course they didn't, since they saw nothing insufficient with the free channels we had, home Sixers games and first run movies be damned. But the kicker for me was the late night programming which started around midnight until about four a.m..

The first time I discovered scrambled porn was the summer of  1983. The 76ers has won the NBA Championship in grand fashion (fo,'fi,'fo) and everyone wanted their MTV (except us because mom and dad wouldn't pay for it) and late one night,  I was spinning the dial on the TV (yes younger generation, back in ancient times TVs had nobs and dials and when the dial came off and got lost you used a pair of pliers to turn the channel) and I saw a flash of nipple. Was that what I thought it was?  Like a person taking that first shot of cocaine, I was struck. It was like a switch was turned on in my head and the spark plugs on my engine suddenly fired bringing the machine to life.

I saw female nudity and I wanted to see more. 

Intrigued, I stayed on the channel. It was another 20 minutes before I could finally confirm nudity. Now waiting twenty minutes for anything is excruciating for a twelve year old, mind you. To the pre-adolescent mind, whole life times can pass by in twenty minutes. And that's what it felt like watching that squiggly line, waiting for bits and pieces of body parts.

But it happened again...this time it was a whole breast. Left breast if I recall correctly. Then I heard footsteps and had to change the channel. But I saw it. It was on my radar now. There was nudity and sex and  it was easily accessible. All I had to do was just turn the channel. But this wasn't going to be simple. While there were four TVs in the house (one in my parents room, and one each in my siblings room) the TV in the living room was fair game for anyone. Whoever was sitting there watching it controlled it, but it was the best chance I had to control a set and watch what I wanted and once everyone was settled in their rooms, I could hear anyone approaching. The only thing I had to do was make sure that by11pm I controlled the livingroom TV.


But when you're the youngest with two older brothers and a sister you quickly realize that its their job to fuck with you at every opportunity so like clockwork someone would be sitting in the living room around 11 o'clock watching some BS nighttime drama or SNL. If I was able to control the living room TV, then they would constantly be going from their room to the kitchen, forcing me to keep flipping channels and remember this was the days before the remote became a mainstay. So I would have to position myself near the TV and be ready for anything.


But every so often everyone would stay in their rooms and man was it sweet when that happened. Oh the movies I got to (kinda) watch when things went perfectly. There was The Tale of Tiffany Lust, Emmanuelle In Soho (my personal favorite of the Emmanuelle series), Blonde Ambition and Electric Blue. Electric Blue was the first time I had ever seen Kitten Natividad and her 44-inch bazooms. The setting was a burlesque lounge and it was shot on video. I couldn't hear the sound but I could imagine what the music and sounds were like when Kitten came bounding out of the wings of the
stage and hopped in to a giant cocktail glass full of bubble bath water and started to grind and splash water to the delight of the audience.
Kitten Natividad

I mentioned earlier that I needed certain honed skill sets in order to ensure I would be watching my carnal programming without interruption. The stealth was necessary for sneaking downstairs at about one in the morning usually on a Friday or Saturday if I noticed the living room was empty. The trick was to move nonchalantly so as not to draw attention. The good part was that since it was the summer time people were used to me being up late (my little sleep deprivations experiments came in handy). And as long as I didn't break anything or make any noise my parents didn't care too much what I did as long as it didn't disturb them.

So with that part of it down, the next skill on my list was the technical know how on how to move the antenna and turn the knob just right to clear up the screen enough to make out the sex scenes and nudity. And there was a technique to it. First you had to position the knob on the TV so that it was between channels 56 and 57 but the mark had to lean closer to 57. I always chose WHT because Prism rarely played porn on their channel. And WHT never let me down. Now channel placement wasn't simple either because the knob was designed to be fully on one channel or the other which meant forcing the knob to hold its place. After few weeks of working it, I was able to make that happen.


Next came antenna positioning. The antenna itself really didn't make as much of a difference as the channel marker but like jiggling the handle on the toilet, it may not help but it made me feel like I was doing something. Sometimes, if I held onto the right antenna and stood on my left leg like a stork with my right hand on my hip I could see something but I think that was more of my imagination and wishing than real. But I did notice that after a thunder and lightning storm  the reception would be better and sometimes it would clear up exactly on the nude or sex scenes. It seemed like the less clothes they wore, the more the screen would would straighten up. And I,smiling broadly would just drink it all in. Before I would overhear my older brothers talking about girls and their bodies and who was hot and what they wanted to do to so and so. And I wouldn't have a clue about what they were talking. But that summer I understood...at least a little bit better than I had before. For a while there I felt like I was on their level. Though I would never let them know. Mainly because they would either dime me out to our parents or they would blackmail me into doing their chores with the information that I was watching dirty movies. Although I did catch them on various nights checking out the channel.

That summer was just the beginning of my odyssey into the world of porn and my adventures and misadventures in voyeurism. The next summer I would make the greatest discovery of my young life. I found my older brother's porn stash. But that's a whole other tale I'll have to tell you at a later date.  But the summer of '83 was my awakening of sorts. The beginning of my noticing women. I was still trying to figure out how the pieces fit but I liked how the picture was coming together. The great part about that summer was that suddenly everywhere I looked there were women, half naked and gyrating. You see that was the time when aerobics was a big thing. And channel 17's early morning programming (about 6am) consisted of such exercise shows. Usually with three of the most hottest scantily clad chicks you could imagine doing exercises barely anyone could do, particularly out of shape people. So even if I missed the scrambled sexual escapades the night before, all I had to do was get up at the crack of dawn and see near nakedness in all of its glory.
Traci Lords works it  out!

Oh those hot, lazy summer days...

Waxing nostalgic part 2

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