Louisville, Kentucky, circa 1982: my best friend and I spent a lot of time exploring the woods on our walks home after school. One fateful day we stumbled upon a not-so-hidden cache of adult magazines which blew our Catholic grade-school minds. I still remember the titles after all these years: Oui, Harvey, Gallery, and two Hustlers. One of the issues of Hustler had an article on Anton Lavey, which I’m sure had a profound impact on my juvenile mind. That same issue had a pictorial I’ll never forget: two female “space aliens” in silver outfits and rainbow-colored afros. It was the first time I ever realized that two women could or would ever kiss each other. My initial reaction was “ewww” right before my secondary reaction of “ohhhh.”
Up to that point, I had snuck a few peeks at the old man’s Playboys, but I had never known that there was other stuff under those furry early ‘80s muffs. There were so many revelations in those treasures that at first sort of grossed me out, but then completely fascinated me to no end. It seems, arguably, in retrospect, that these magazines just karmically appeared out of nowhere at exactly the right time in my development. My friend and I split them up. He’d hold on to a few of them for a week, and I’d keep the others, and then we’d swap. To a pre-teen kid, prior to the Internet, finding and holding onto such riches was unparalleled.
It wasn’t until the Internet came along that I learned “woods porn” was a thing that was experienced by anyone other than me. I remember first hearing the term mentioned on a message board back in the late ‘90s. I was surprised, at the time, that someone else had had a similar experience to my discovery of forbidden sacred treasures in the woods. Others began to chime in with their experiences and I was shocked to find that it was such a common experience.