Thanks to the internet, you're always only a couple of mouse clicks or screen taps away from your porniest desire, and ... we just lost half our readers by reminding you of that, didn't we? It's OK, we understand. After all, it was not that long ago that humanity had to resort to insanely elaborate or plain ridiculous methods just to do something as natural as looking at naked people on a computer screen. Methods like ...
(Oh, fair warning: It's probably best to assume that every link in this article is NSFW.)
6Europe Was Broadcasting Pixel Porn Into TVs Way Before The Internet
Like Al Pacino, they're now caricatures of themselves. But back in the day, these colorful sex ads actually got people hot, bothered, and ready to spend lots of money:
They had something for all tastes -- young, old, fish mutant, etc.
It was called Teletext, and it was a product of the '70s and '80s (if the color scheme wasn't enough of an indicator). If you had the required decoder on your TV, you could receive text and text art over unused television spectrum -- it's how closed captioning works, basically. However, the most efficient use of this amazing technology was, of course, the advertising of boner-causing services. In Europe (especially Germany, as you may have guessed), Teletext ran shitloads of advertisements for phone sex hotlines apparently staffed by Sierra game characters. The flashing, colorful light pixels conjured up images of vaguely female sex partners while presumably killing every lonely epileptic in the continent.
And yes, they actually worked. Real people saw those things and said, "Holy crap, gotta get me some of that blocky action."
There were also non-sex-related messages, like these innocent shoe ads.
All of this was going on a full ten years before the World Wide Web became a thing, which is quite impressive. Even more interesting is the degree to which Teletext has not changed in the years since its birth. Although most major broadcasters have dropped the system, since it's not compatible with digital television, there are still people using it. And the sex ads look exactly as they did in 1983. So if you have any older European relatives who refuse to get rid of their archaic TVs, well, you may have now learned more about them than you ever wanted to.
5Future Sex Was The Cyberpunk Playboy That No One Wanted
Before the internet trained us to become aroused by pixels, porn used to come in magazine form ... and it was awful, you guys. Aside from the obvious holding the magazine / touching your junk conundrum, the contents were often so seedy that buying an issue would usually net you a bountiful harvest of clinical-textbook-level vagina photographs. It was probably a relief to some, then, when the first issue of Future Sex was published in 1992. "At last," porn connoisseurs cried, "a magazine with some production values!"
"Wire-frame dildos?! Where do I sign?"
Aimed at the internet-savvy, Future Sex billed itself as your cool robotic aunt -- "creative, offbeat, kinky, goofy, pro-sex." In reality, however, the magazine was exactly as futuristically sexy as being ninja-starred in the junk by a DVD of The Lawnmower Man. Sandwiched between the unflattering boob and penis shots were painfully awkward thinkpieces ...
We now know, of course, that it's both.
... stories about dickin' in the future that make Fifty Shades Of Grey look like Lady Chatterley's Lover by comparison ...
Porn mag graphic or Nine Inch Nails booklet art?
... coverage of some guy whose dick has its own blog ...
"In the future, everyone's dick will be famous for 15 minutes."
... and the piece de resistance: a vision of what cybersex might look like one day, courtesy of some designers who have never seen genitals or experienced any kind of sexual arousal.
If there are any insights to be gained from this, it's that Oculus Rift could have been way more uncomfortable.
The magazine covers in general resemble the sort of manic hallucinations that Harlan Ellison might have experienced if he'd taken a tab of LSD right before watching Showtime After Dark.
Whatever their designer was being paid, it was either too much or too little.
If you're confused about why Future Sex wasn't able to last beyond a phenomenal seven issues before collapsing like a black hole made from floppy penises, what can we say? The advertisers obviously weren't bringing in the dough. However, it's debatable whether that's down to the magazine itself or the fact that the ad copy was nothing beyond the sort of cybersex puns that we all made in high school.
Space Coast Software
Those prices are appalling. They couldn't charge $10 less to include the number "69"?