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Short Film “Jackpot” Makes us Nostalgic for Pre-Internet Porn

JACKPOT: A Film By Adam Baran from Adam Baran on Vimeo.

There are worse ways to spend eight minutes than watching “Jackpot,” a cute little short film set in 1994 about a kid desperate for porn, but it’s 1994 so he can’t get it online.

Yes, life sure was full of hardship back then.

Provided you’re over 30, there’s plenty of nostalgia to go around here, as the film does a fairly impressive job of dressing sets and actors as though it’s actually the mid-90s. (One exception: a kid on the phone who seems to have never held an SNES controller before.)

And of course, there’s that wistful I’m-all-alone feeling that’s all too familiar. The hero of “Jackpot” isn’t just cut off from naked men, he’s cut off from any gay culture whatsoever.

Before the internet was widespread, before any gays could marry, and before Ellen and George Michael were out, it was very very easy to feel like the whole world hated you. Whereas today, it’s possible to reassure yourself that only certain parts of the world hate you.

“Jackpot” is currently dancing around at various film festivals and fundraising for a full-length feature (you may recall its previous Kickstarter), so keep an eye on this one.

By:           matt baume
On:           Nov 15, 2013
Tagged: , ,

  • 13 Comments
    • redcarpet
      redcarpet

      I remember using the Penny’s catalog. Lucky for me the internet came to our house right about the same time (i’m 29).

      Still, who didn’t want to hand that kid an iPad and say “Knock yourself out”?

      Nov 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rand503
      rand503

      OMG! That was SO me back then! I used to clip out photos of all my favorites male models and keep them safe under my bed. And those photos of are Michael Ives, one of my all time favorite models! He first hit is big when Bruce Weber discovered him in the early 80s and he was the perfect preppie. I tried my best to learn about all these models.

      I even subscribed to INternational Male just to get some hot guys in nearly naked photos to jerk off to. I was so deprived until the internet came along.

      Nov 15, 2013 at 7:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scribe38
      Scribe38

      My granddad moved into an apartment and the renter before him would get the international male catalog. I must have stolen every one that ever came there and hid them in the drop ceiling in my parent’s basement.

      Nov 15, 2013 at 7:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mr. E. Jones
      Mr. E. Jones

      @rand503:

      I even subscribed to INternational Male just to get some hot guys in nearly naked photos to jerk off to.

      @Scribe38:

      My granddad moved into an apartment and the renter before him would get the international male catalog. I must have stolen every one that ever came there and hid them in the drop ceiling in my parent’s basement.

      I’ve got great memories of the IM catalogues too. Discovered the company in an advert in the back of a 1989 GQ magazine, and sent off for a copy, and when it arrived, oh the joy it brought me!

      Nov 15, 2013 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      There was life online before the internet. Doesn’t anyone remember dial-up BBSs? There was one in may area the allowed over 50 dial-up connections at once. It was so profitable, the owner threw a lavish annual party for free. There were also national services such as Compuserve, which cost an arm and leg to connect to. Of course, downloading pictures was insanely slow at 1200 baud.

      Nov 15, 2013 at 7:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rooney
      Rooney

      Hi, have you heard about BellyFatTack” yet? Simply copy and paste ????????????.??? to your browser to check out their website! There you can find a useful free video by a longtime medical doctor teaching on how to lose unwanted fat. This helped Cheryl to reduce her belly fat. I will probably give this a shot. I hope it will help you also…

      Nov 15, 2013 at 9:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rand503
      rand503

      @Mr. E. Jones: GQ was terrific for both the ads with gorgeous models and the editorial fashion spreads. Even the covers used to feature anonymous hot guys. Then they realized they could sell more mags with celebrities on the cover, and it’s been down hill ever since.

      All those mags, including Esquire, Details, and so on, knew that a large percentage of their readership was gay. As you mention, you just had to look at the ads in the back. Their articles were always gay friendly, too, in the sense that they never ever wrote anything that could be remotely construed as anti-gay. In fact, if you looked them over carefully, it was almost a wink wink that they were written by and for gay men.

      And that meant that they were the perfect magazine to read if you were in denial, or deeply closeted, as I was way back then. To this day, I’m sure that a large percentage of their readership was men who were somehow not totally hetero and deep down knew it but couldn’t necessarily face it.

      Let’s face it: Madison Ave knows more about they psychology of sex than any psychologist!

      Nov 15, 2013 at 11:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ppp111
      ppp111

      I remember buying not only the old GQ magazines with the hot cover models but those fitness mags with nearly naked guys who seem to love to flex. Men’s Workout was one of my favorites since many of the models also posed nude in porn rags and some also did adult films.

      Nov 16, 2013 at 3:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rbettenc
      rbettenc

      I’m glad I grew up then. While the Internet has its advantages, I wouldn’t wont to grow up with sex being so proliferate.

      Nov 16, 2013 at 9:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      Thankfully, I had older family members that had porn which got me through until I was 17. At 17, I started printing porn from the library at the college where I was doing early enrollment. Growing up watching straight porn I kept earning for a time that I could see gay porn. This was during the 1980s and 1990s when straight porn showed you the guys face for about 3 seconds every scene and other than that he was just a prop for the ladies.

      Nov 17, 2013 at 8:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @rand503: Thankfully, we had a librarian in my high school that took an early stance for diversity in a school district that was backwoods and dominated by white “Christians.” That meant that she filled the library with magazines that showed actual diversity (YM, GQ, etc.) and started to bring in books that showed gayness in a positive light during the 1990s.

      Nov 17, 2013 at 8:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jayson
      Jayson

      It was about 1986 when I found a bunch of 50’s-60’s “posing strap” magazines my father had left before he left. Looking back, I think there’s a story there. Anyway, I took them from the basement and kept them in my room. Then, when I was 17-18 I bought my very first gay magazine ‘Honcho’ at Out of Town News in Harvard Square. I wore that magazine out! On my second trip, I met a guy there and I went back to his place for a romp. I was pretty young and inexperienced, so it wasn’t that much fun, but it certainly started my gears grinding. To this day I do miss the book/video stores. Something about not having it right at your fingertips made it more exciting. Plus, the face-to-face cruising was fun.

      Nov 18, 2013 at 2:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tjflorida
      tjflorida

      I wanked to my baseball cards in the 80’s :)

      Nov 23, 2013 at 12:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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