Here are excerpts from Al Franken’s article for Playboy magazine published in January of 2000.
The moment Playboy told me I could tackle any subject for its millennium issue, I immediately chose pornography. Now, you may assume I picked pornography because I believe Playboy is pornography. Far from it. Playboy is erotica.
Indeed, if Playboy were pornography, Hugh Hefner would be a pornographer, which he most definitely is not. Hugh Hefner is a sensualist. Larry Flynt is a pornographer. And when I say that, I don’t necessarily mean it as a pejorative. (Although I have to admit feeling a little uncomfortable when Flynt and I were on the same side during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. So I did some research, and it turns out that Larry Flynt has done some positive things. For example, thanks to Flynt, every sex shop in California is required to have a wheelchair access ramp.)
Now you may be asking: what exactly is the difference between erotic (Playboy) and pornographic (Hustler, Big Butt, Barely Legal)? Thanks to research at the Institute for Pornographic Studies in Northridge, California, scientific techniques have been applied to the study of pornography so that such distinction can be drawn on a totally quantifiable basis. …
According to IPS, the average Playboy reader spends just 43 percent of his time with each issue masturbating. At Hustler, the figure is 81 percent. Of course, this only applies to Playboy the magazine. The IPS estimates that nearly 98 percent of an average viewer’s time while watching Playboy TV is masturbating.
Playboy TV is available only because of the technology that gave us cable television. Since the advent of cable, an ever-accelerating technological revolution has given us an explosion of opportunities to enjoy pornography in our own homes.
I’m talking, of course, about the Internet, which is a terrific learning tool. For example, a couple years ago, when he was 12, my son used the Internet for a sixth grade report on bestiality. Joe was able to download some effective visual aids, which the other students in his class just loved. See, at that age, kids are sponges!
If anything, this technological revolution will accelerate exponentially in the future, which is why the next millennium will be such an exciting time for pornographers and for us, the consumers of pornography. Of course, predicting the future is no easy task, which is why I traveled to Northridge to talk to the futurists at IPS.
I was escorted through the modest single-story cinderblock think tank by IPS senior fellow Dr. Julie DeVine, a futurist trained at MIT, the Minnesota Institute of Titology, which has a controversial doctoral program.
As Dr. DeVine led me to the Future wing of the institute, I couldn’t help but notice that she is an extremely attractive blonde with a tight, round ass, legs that won’t quit and firm but ample breasts. So ample, in fact, that she received a full scholarship from MIT.
At first, I thought it was my imagination, but when Dr. DeVine escorted me into the virtual reality room, she seemed to be coming on to me. She allowed her bodacious breasts to brush against my face as she lowered me into the prototype of the Virtu-Screw 2000. “How does that feel?” she cooed. I didn’t know if she was referring to the Naugahyde bucket seat or to the two erect nipples pushing through her white lab coat and nearly poking my eyes out.
Then Dr. DeVine placed the Virtu-Screw helmet over my head. Sitting in the pitch dark, I felt slightly vulnerable but also excited. She asked me which setting I wanted. Since I’ve been married 23 years, I naturally chose “blow job.” My chair was abruptly tilted backward and I “felt” my pants being unzipped. If I hadn’t known I was sitting in the most state-of-the-art virtual reality sex machine, I would’ve sworn that a real woman’s hand had pulled my cock from my pants.
My nervousness disappeared, and I sat back and enjoyed the amazingly realistic cyber job. It was every bit as good as the last real blow job I had gotten 23 years earlier — if not better — because when I shot my wad, the virtual mouth swallowed. …
Virtual reality sex, Dr. DeVine fears, will become the crack cocaine of the 21st century. Why then was she contributing to the VRS project? She explained that if the U.S. didn’t develop the technology first, someone else would, and she shuddered just thinking of VRS in the hands of the Chinese.
I found myself extremely attracted to the vulnerable side of this sexy scientist, and when I offered to comfort her, she accepted, kissing me full on the lips and inserting her tongue into my mouth and moving it around suggestively. Then she reached down and started rubbing my crotch and within just five or ten minutes, my cock was again hard and ready for action. …
While still rubbing my crotch, Dr. DeVine led me through the Future wing to the Sexbot room. …
The most current Sexbot prototype, Connie, while quite attractive, has moving parts made of plastic and metal alloys considered quite dangerous. In fact, as a futurist, Dr. DeVine believes that the first Sexbots to hit the market will result in class-action suits filed by severely injured men.
That’s why Dr. DeVine urged me to forgo Connie and introduced me to Wilhelmina, a beautiful young German-born researcher who, while human, most closely approximates the Sexbot of the 22nd century. Wilhelmina escorted me to a private room with a bed and removed her clothes. If this is what Sexbots will look like a hundred years from now, I envy my great-great-grandsons. We made passionate love for two or three minutes before being joined by Dr. DeVine, who wanted to make the point that Sexbots will be used for threesomes.
I could describe the incredible sex the three of us had, but this is a piece of journalism about the future of pornography and not one of those cheesy letters from a horny reader. Suffice it to say that everyone came several times, except me, who came only once. …
As I thanked Dr. DeVine, she again rubbed my crotch and asked me to tell readers tours of the institute are available for $500.