The Runaway Lie         by Shawn Carmody

One never hears the words God and Porn in the same sentence with a positive
connotation.  One always hears how Porn is evil and against Gods will. If you agree with
this ideology stop reading right now….Ok I warned you…I believe God loves Porn.
How does that sentence grab ya? I was baptized Catholic but born with a
healthy dose of skepticism. I learned all of the basics that the church taught and
actually read the Bible from front to back as I got older. I love the, do unto
others as you would have done to you, and still try to live by this rule
today. What I did have trouble with was the enigma that God’s greatest gift to man
is freewill but at the same time he doesn’t want you to use it. The church
has all kinds of ways to keep you from exercising free will. It’s biggest tool?
Guilt. In my opinion, this is where God and the Church have different
interests. If God really didn’t want us to break his rules, we wouldn’t. If God
didn’t want for there to be porn, there wouldn’t. These are the things I tell
myself, right or wrong. Why? Because I LOVE PORN. I love it all.  I love good porn,
bad porn. (both subjective) any and all porn. If someone is willing to do it
and someone else is willing to take pictures of it, whether it excites,
mystifies, or disgusts, I want to see it.  Always have and always will.

My fascination with naked women started, innocently enough, when I was 6. I
came across an art book in our bookcase with pictures of famous artworks
from the Renaissance period. The pages were filled with Reubenesque women laying
naked on draped tables holding grapes, flowers or  even each other. The
excitement for me was more in the curiosity of the unknown department, but from then
on I was hooked. While most children my age were drawing pictures of sunshine
and rainbows, I was drawing naked women or what to the untrained eye looked
like stick figures with boobs. For some reason I knew, even at 6, enough about
nakedness to know that there was, as my Catholic upbringing would have me
believe, a bit of naughtiness to the nakedness. So, after drawing my works of art, I
would hide them in the safest place of all… the hiding place of all hiding
places…between the mattress and box spring of my bed.

Laundry day came in the Carmody household and along with the day came a
changing of the sheets. Having the long-term memory of a six year old, I helped my
mom remove the sheets from my bed. Much to the shock of both of us my
artworks fell on the floor. I was told that it was not nice to draw such pictures.
I’m sure she tried to say it in a way not to embarrass but it was then that the
porn shame relationship first reared its ugly head. It was also then that I
learned I had to find a better hiding place.
My quest to find porn started when I was 10. My best friend at the time was
a kid named Dave Small. Dave was a year older than me and lived in an old
farm house down the street. We were friends of convenience because his family
lived ¼ mile away from our house which, in the country, meant we were next door
neighbors. Our friendship was cemented the day I went over his house and he
took me aside and said "guess what I found". He said he was tooling around the
barn and came across a huge stack of playboys! I had heard of this magazine and
maybe even on occasion claimed to have seen one. But until that day, my eyes were as innocent as… as innocent as… well, as innocent as a ten year old who has yet to see a playboy. I looked at Dave with awe. "Can we see ’em"? I asked.
As cool as Cool Hand Luke, he said, "Let’s go"…

We walked into the barn and worked our way up to the second deck on a
makeshift ladder. We hopped over stacks of old newspapers and old broken chairs and
in the corner there it sat, an old antique bureau. The top two drawers held
meaningless junk. I couldn’t recall what if you paid me, but, oh, the magic of that
bottom drawer…
Dave’s dad had the complete collection of Playboys from May 1971 to Feb
1978. I remember the warm sensation I felt in my stomach when I saw the first
picture. Excited, aroused, and ashamed all rolled into one. We would spend hours
flipping through pages. Over the passing months Dave even started to resent my
love for the bottom drawer. He would use it as a tool to get me to do other
things.  I’d say. Hey lets go check out the drawer and he’d say. I’ll let you
go up after we play basketball or after we go for a bike ride. The excitement
of that bottom drawer lasted a good year and a half. I learned what I liked
and didn’t like. I became a seasoned Playboy connoisseur." Her ass is too fat" or
"she’s got banana tits" would roll off my tongue as we flipped pages, but, soon
1970s Playboys weren’t enough. Like a heroin addict I needed more. Playboy,
for those of you who do not know, had some sort of rule that kept them from
showing more than tits, ass, and bush. I had the general Idea what those looked like with all of their various shapes and sizes. What I needed was to see was what was lurking behind the bush. The quest continued…

Dave and I were constantly on the look out for new material. We had a
knack for finding porn. Whether it was a random page on the side of the road or
breaking into barns and summer cottages, Dave and I became Porn finding Gods. We
would walk in the woods and say," Let there be Porn!" And there it would be,
and we would see that it was good. I would actually call him and ask if he
wanted to go looking for Playboys.  With all this porn, you would think I would
come across (no pun intended) at least one picture with a clear view of where "IT" goes.  But we had no luck.

One day, he said he knew where there was a Hustler. Once again I looked at
him with awe, then punched him in the arm for holding out on me. Hustler for the
unknowing has no desire to be an upscale magazine like Playboy. Hustler
created by Larry Flynt (God bless him) had everything I wanted to see and then some. Dave took me into his parents’ room and lifted the mattress. I thought he was joking for I knew that not to be the best hiding spot. But, sure enough, there it was in all its low class regalia. Hustler! I knew that this was it. I was finally going to see the goods. I looked at the front cover and if there was any doubt as to what type of magazine this was, as a sales gimmick, it boasted of having a scratch and sniff centerfold. Jackpot! We flipped through the pages and I saw what I was looking for… And yes I did scratch and I did sniff, and fortunately it smelled like bananas.

In the early years the thrill was just in looking at the magazines. I would
read through the stories and try to figure out what certain words meant and
where certain things went. My imagination ran wild. I had figured out what most
of the words meant by putting the word in context. But, I had read the word
masturbation a thousand times and couldn’t figure out what it meant until the
day my mom thought it time, with puberty on its way, to give me an illustrated
volume of "Questions You Might be Afraid to Ask". This book was a cartoon
version of "Our Bodies Ourselves" complete with a cartoon picture of a guy on a
springboard springing wood, and a whole chapter on masturbation. A little
embarrassed I took the book. Read it in my room. Studied the chapter in question,
and learned well…
Many problems arose (pun intended) with my new found hobby. There weren’t
enough hours in the day for me to do it as often as I wanted. My parents would
call me down for dinner…I wouldn’t be hungry. Friends would call…I’d be busy…I
spent so much time in my room, my parents actually accused me of being on
drugs! My mom watched an episode of Oprah where they had a checklist to find out
if maybe your child is abusing drugs. Drugs I have no time for drugs! The list
asked: Is your child spending a lot of time alone…check. Does he spend a lot
of time in his room….check. If when asked what he’s been up to is he
vague…check. Bingo, Shawn must be on drugs. They searched my room and found all of my porn but no drugs. The only thing worse than the guilt of this new hobby is
the idea of anybody finding out about your new hobby. I would have spent a year
in rehab if it meant I didn’t have to explain what I was actually doing. After
the police finished their search and didn’t find any drugs, I was off the hook.

The drug episode passed, but not the love of my new found hobby. I had
thought I’d seen and done it all until I came across (you decide) an ad for phone
sex. This I’ve got to try, I says to myself. So try I did.

I waited for my parents to go shopping and I hunted for the perfect ad. I settled on one that boasted two girls for the price of one, and the price,
FREE! I knew not to call the 1-(900)#’s for the charges they would incur. These
would show up on the phone bill and I would be busted for sure. So I found one
with a 1800# which we all know costs nothing. To make a long story short, I
called the number, they transferred me to another line, and my parents got a bill for $75.

Now here is where I must give some advice. All of the drama to follow could
have been avoided if only shame was removed from this hobby. But shame in the
young life of a Catholic is like the nagging in a marriage, constant and

My dad walks into my room with a phone bill and says, "Can you explain

Now up until this moment I had never lied to my dad. Sure, when my sister
still lived in the house I would lie all the time if asked if I did something if
it meant either she or I got punished. But once she left, the burden fell on me. Everything that I did, I admitted to because who else was there to blame. But this was too big. This meant giving up the secret of my new hobby. I use the
term new loosely because I was now 15 and an upstanding member of the club. So when asked I said the only thing that came to mind. "Father, heavens me, I haven’t a clue of how that number could have ended up on our bill". To which he pulled from behind his back one of my Hustlers opened to the exact page where I had gotten the number. "What is that?" digging my hole even deeper. He had actually circled the number. He said, "I know you made the call, I just want you to own up to it and pay us back". I was in so deep at this point there was no turning back. I even tried to sell out my friend by saying, "Maybe Dave made the call and charged it to our phone." (still possible in those days), My dads face turned red and he said let’s go for a walk.  We got on the street in front of my house and started to walk. I knew enough to keep a safe
distance. He said "I don’t care that you made the call. I’m just upset that you
lied, and that you are still lying to me. Then he said the most powerful thing
a parent could say, "I’m disappointed with you, I can’t trust you, and it will
take a long time for me to trust you again." OUCH! A triple whammy! But being
the ever loving dad that he was he said. "I’ll give you one more chance. I know
you did it I just want you to admit it". "But Dad I…." I didn’t even get the
chance to finish the word ‘didn’t’ when I saw my dad wind up for the kick. I turned
to flee but before I could get away, I had a funny taste in my mouth. It
tasted like shoe polish. My dad kicked me in the ass so hard that his instep nailed my
tailbone and, to this day, I believe half of his steel toe boot entered my
rectum. I flew a good 2 feet in the air before I landed. I knew even then that it
was well deserved. I’d like to say I took it like a man but in fact I jumped
around crying like a little school girl. It was a hard lesson to learn but I
learned it well for I never lied to him again.

We laugh about the event now and even laugh harder when we discuss the
reasons they thought I was on drugs. I was just too ashamed of my hobby. My dad
told me of a teacher he had who said that there are only two types of liars:
Those who say they never tried it, and those who say they quit. And so it goes…