Do other species do it? Do ETs do it? (Human beings vs. the rest of the universe. Part 2)
I don’t aim at nailing it. I aim at debating it (if only with myself), or at least exposing our biased thinking (if only to myself).

VHS cassettes and family porn watching

[ 2 min read ]

Copy of Adulthood smooth& tasty.

VHS players / recorders became huge in 1980s Poland. For polish people it was their gateway to a different (freer) world. They were no longer confined to the repertoire of movies which in the communist era was always pre-approved by the censorship. They could taste something new which was exciting. Plus they could watch freely whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, in their homes, without going anywhere and without needing to look good.

There were two distinct rituals in Lukasz’s life in regard to the VHS experience.

One of them was the family porn watching. Whenever Lukasz and his parents visited the sister of his mother and her husband (and whenever their daughter Bożena visited them too, with her husband Janusz and daughter Justyna) they would always (or almost always) lock the door to the living room for an hour or so and the children (Lukasz and Justyna) had to steer away from that room in that time. They were told by the adults that what they were about to watch there was not for children. Justyna could have seen something as she, being savvier than them with hi-tech gadgets (as kids usually are) was always asked to start the movie for them. And Lukasz, being the curious child that he was (and perhaps still is), would always ask her what was it, if she saw something?
The cassettes were organized by Justyna’s father who, upon the arrival of Lukasz and his parents would always announce to Lukasz’s parents, big grin on his pleasant face, that he had a good new movie.

The other ritual was introduced when Lukasz was still in elementary school (perhaps 12 or so). A Video rental shop opened maybe 5 minutes walking distance from their house and Lukasz’s job was to go there and pick a couple of movies (two or three) plus one adult (porn) movie for his father. He was to tell the person in the VHS rental that his father wanted an adult movie (the newest one — to ensure that they don’t get the same movie several times). There wasn’t a single time when Lukasz came back home empty-handed (he would always get one of those porn movies for his father). This was a bit later so Lukasz already had some idea (albeit vague) what those movies might be about (there were all those naked people on cassette sleeves, some of them exposing their private parts).

There was also this ritual of exchanging VHS cassettes between people in big flea markets and Lukasz and his father did some of it, but they weren’t fans (the quality of the movies was often questionable to say the least and despite the fact that there were labels on most cassettes you could actually get a different movie than the one you picked).