Throughout my teenage years most of the glossy smut I used to consume came courtesy of my gran’s Cable TV package. She was very much into sports, so most of the channels she watched weren’t to my particular taste, but after hours, I used to indulge – when I could – in whatever was on L!VE, UK Living, Bravo, or even Sci-Fi (although Sci-Fi also showed Knightmare for a while, so I was well-acquainted with them).
Channel Five changed everything.
With terrestrial new kids on the block – and those who actually showed soft porn, no less – actually recording some suddenly became an option. It was impossible to do on cable (and I never quite realised why), digital encoding was years away, and I had plenty of blank VHSs to exploit. While the softcore shown on Friday nights was of varying quality – the original Emmanuelle was good; Buford’s Beach Bunnies… less so – the fact that I could actually use magnetic storage to obtain these films (and, hypothetically therefore, watch them at my leisure) was something new.
New and exciting.
While I remember the first time I recorded something – it was called Lap Dancer and didn’t have nearly enough sex in it – the thing I remember the most, of course, was… destroying the tape.
Although I was diligent in committing to magnetic storage a lot of the flicks I liked, at this point I was going through my “porn is wrong and I’m watching it so I must be a pervert” stage. Practically every week I would give up, and as a result I’d tape over whatever I’d taped with an afternoon of CITV or something – assuring myself that I was now cleansed, and never would watch any ever again.
And then I’d record more the following Friday.
Things came to a head the week after recording Rosie Dixon: Night Nurse. Feeling appalling every time I saw the tape (labelled “Muttley” since I’d originally been intending to use it for Wacky Races), in the end I decided I needed to get rid of the VHS, thus spiritually cleansing myself and rendering myself unable to do it again (without stealing one of my parents’ VHSs, and they all had something on them). In the end, I went to my mortal enemy Stu, who – despite hating me – also knew a lot about destruction.
Using one of Stu’s methods, I managed to lever open the cassette, pull the tape out and snap it in half, and then – for good measure – stashed the remains in the tiny alleyway that ran by the side of the house, in a drain. Hopefully, I told myself, the rain and run-off from the pipe will finish it off. And I’ll never do that again.
I wasn’t wrong, on this occasion. I didn’t do so again. I discovered downloading soon afterwards.
But it didn’t stop, on one occasion, a distraught, horny teen ILB, standing in the rainy, wet alleyway trying to find a way to repair the tape he had so artfully destroyed.
Zounds, I can be so desperate sometimes.